December 18, 2013

The Chink

I remember reading The Hobbit when I was younger, probably 10 or so...and the scene with Smaug at the end (spoiler alert if you haven't read it) where the knowledge of the missing scale on his hide was shared and they were able to vanquish him has always seemed so cool - the idea that a powerful being could be brought down by the tiniest little unprotected spot made for amazing dreams of being a heroine...saving the day by finding the one way in, the secret answer to winning the war and the like.

After recent events I won't go into today, I'm realizing that a Mighty Foe also makes use of the tiniest chinks in my armor...finding the teeniest spot I'm unprotected, the littlest opening to vanquish hope and lay down despair and discouragment.

To say it's been a lousy end to 2013 is an understatement...my FIL had back surgery for a ruptured disk at the beginning of November.  Last weekend, my mom fell and cracked a bone in her hip.  Last night we took Princess to the ER thinking she had appendicitis.  We were doing well financially - BB had gotten a bonus and so we got some treats and were making plans to do some maintenance/upgrade things around the house and our garage door opener broke, followed by needing to spend a few hundred dollars on vet bills...

I was feeling overwhelmed with a long list of "things to do" that was rattling in my brain regarding our next trip, and the kids were feeding off my stress (which I thought I was hiding nicely) and were cranky and slower than molasses.  I asked them why they obeyed BB so nicely but not me, and Princess looked me dead in the eye and said "we like Daddy better"...which of course spawned a whole host of ickiness inside me...

I'd recently read an article about the bully within, talking about how we are our own harshest critic and that we often allow it to spill over into the way in which we interact with others...so I tried to change my thinking and I was able, by God's grace and the Spirit, to respond in a kind way that didn't show how hurt I was.

Yesterday was awful.  I stewed and dwelt on that comment from an almost-6-year-old girl...and I stewed and I mulled, and I pondered and contemplated and wondered and thought and dissected and analyzed...

It wasn't until last night on the way to take that same little girl to the ER for what we thought was appendicitis that I realized what exactly was going on...

I hadn't kept my appointment with God for the last 6 weeks...6 weeks!!!  I also hadn't worked out for the same amount of time.

Suddenly, as I was praying and driving, it hit me what was going on - I'd created a tiny pinpoint in my armor and Satan had turned it into a gaping hole and was doing his best to pull me away from God.

I immediately began praying for protection and a renewed relationship, forgiveness for willfully ignoring Him...and THEN I prayed for Princess' healing...

I won't say that things are miraculously different today - my FIL is still slowly recuperating from his surgery, MIL is stressed to the sky, my mom is still healing from her fall, Princess is exhausted and may still show signs of tummy troubles...

What IS different, however, is ME.  My attitude, my choices, my inner monologue, my conversation...I may not have happiness and perfection (never will, I know!), but I have JOY and PEACE because I know God is in control.

I woke this morning, after barely 3 hours of sleep (ERs are not good places to rest when one has a sick kiddo), and kept my appointment with the Lover of my soul, and we had a fantastic reunion...I readied for my day, full of energy and feeling refreshed...the kids were mostly happy (who's happy about another day of school, knowing a vacation is just out of reach!??!), the dog was well-behaved, the cats were purry and lovey, BB was less prickly...or maybe I'm the one who's different.  I know I'm loved, protected, cared for, that God's got my 6 (3, 9 and 12 too!), that HE is the One in control...all I need to do is trust Him.

What amazed me the most was how a decision 6 weeks ago of saying "I'm sleeping in 15 minutes today" turned into 6 weeks of ugly emotions, feeling overwhelmed, being cantankerous and moody and just downright irritable...

Asking God to hold captive my every thought has changed that...

So, my words of advice?  Keep that appointment my friends.   Surrender your mind to God and let Him hold your mind and heart captive every second of every day...it's much better to be His captive than that of the Evil One...

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