4 December 2014
For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart. – Hebrews 4:12
I am a designer by education and profession and have recently had the blessed opportunity to work with a client in the designing of their new space. Because of this, the past two months have been quite busy for me as I have worked within an ambitious schedule to prayerfully deliver a finished and constructed design the client likes that is on schedule and within budget. During the length of this project, I have had to hire a baby sitter for my 17 month old daughter when I needed to meet with my clients or be able to work consistently and uninterrupted. The baby sitting would only be for a specific amount of time as I would have to stop working (regardless of where I was or what I was doing) to pick my son up from Pre-K. While I was fully aware of the fact that my hat had changed from “designer” to “mommy”, the client, contractor or consultants would not be aware of this. So there would be times when I would be answering e-mails while my children ate snacks or took phone calls as they played. I tried my best to limit these moments, but because of the pace of the project it was best to answer questions or make decisions as soon as they were presented to me to keep the schedule.
The pace of the project was, to say the least, quite stressful. I didn’t always finish everything I wanted to get done in the span of time my daughter napped or when she was with a baby sitter. As a result, there were a lot of late nights and occasional work on Saturdays. Inevitably, the tiredness and stress set in and the funk monster of impatience would make her unfortunate but occasional appearances. The thing about following Christ is that when you act outside of His will for you, you get convicted about things a whole lot sooner and it is an act of disobedience to not atone for these offenses.
So in this season of life and through this process, I am learning a few things:
I am learning patience. A lack of patience can lead to a multitude of sins – from being easily angered to saying too much when silence is best. Learning to practice patience sets the tone for peaceful interactions with whomever I may have to deal with daily.
I am learning that when I am impatient or snappy with my children, I make sure I look into their eyes and give a sincere “I’m sorry” to them. The Lord has entrusted these children to my husband and me – I do not want to take advantage of their age or natural innocence by thinking they won’t notice my rudeness or impatience with them, thus glossing over a much needed apology. I want for them to know that I am flawed and will make mistakes, but also that I am not too proud to show humility.
I am learning to say “thank you” to my children and husband for even the little things. My son cleaned his room recently – it wasn’t perfect, but it was an improvement from what he would have done even a few months ago. My husband will do the dishes when I cook – that is our deal. He does not do them how I do them – and this is okay. I am learning to say “thank you” for the intent of his heart and the act of love.
I am learning to not complain as much. In everything we do we are to do it in a way that brings glory to God (1 Corinthians 10:31) – so if I am busy complaining about something, how is this bringing Him the glory He is so worthy of? This was critical for me as my days got a little longer, it was easy to find things to complain about.
I am learning to dispense grace regularly – because it has been poured onto me so abundantly. There are times when my children are disobedient – plain and simple. I have seen the simple and beautiful act of giving grace to them when they knew and understand they should get otherwise. as a result of this, the grace given to them brightens their previously defeated face and changes their entire demeanor. My son has even hugged me when he knows he should have received a “time out”. Even at four years old, he understands the general concept of grace and forgiveness because he has experienced it personally. Regardless of age, when you truly receive grace the response is always the same – unutterable gratitude.
Most of all, I am learning to allow His word to be alive and active in me (Hebrews 4:12) at all times.