When I saw you as a to-do list...

I'm not quite sure when it happened... but it did.

There was a casual, barely noticeable, slip off the trajectory. The trajectory where I valued my children each as individuals, enjoying their idiosyncrasies and nuances, entering dinner preparations covered in flour from a group-effort tortilla-making session. We were unflappable, a tight-knit crew, (mostly) unfazed by the occasional skipped nap and always in favor of the spontaneous zoo trip.

Then, I slipped.

Maybe it was when I started "officially" homeschooling, though I didn't feel it then.

Suddenly, each day held a list of goals and ideals, all of which hinged on the participation of oft-unwilling participants. My child was no longer my sweet boy with his own particular needs, but a kindergartner that needed to accomplish X,Y, and Z, in order to be "successful." My other two tots were then thrust into their roles as part of this unspoken mission, where naps could NOT be skipped and spontaneity was cursed. Because, did they not know, we had a Plan for our day, and it could not be interrupted by sickness or tantrum?

They became to-do lists. A reading level. A math problem. A piano practice session. Things that needed to be accomplished on an ordinary Tuesday... not a person to love and enjoy, but a project to manage.

And I buckled.

"Why am I so irritable?" I pondered aloud to no one in particular... I guess you could say it might have been a plea to God... make me different.

And, in His kindness, He has slowly revealed to me the self-imposed pressures, the yoke under which I was struggling to stand each day.

Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened...

Shouldn't I be passed this? Passed this need to perform? Isn't this basic gospel 101?

My yoke is easy, my burden is light.

So, once again, I humbly drop the yoke I have so carefully crafted in a few short months, and surrender. My hands are open to the One who determines my days.

My heart attempted to plan the way... but as Proverbs 16:9 says, it is the Lord who was directing my steps. And, here we are again. Me... being shown the depths of wickedness in my heart. He has searched me, as Psalm 139 says, and wants to lead me in the way everlasting.

The best thing about God, is He will do whatever it takes to draw you near. If it takes several weeks of irritability and frustration that come crashing down, so be it. Just as Jesus purposely waited extra days to come see Lazarus, even allowing him to die, allowing so many that He loved to mourn... He did it because He cared that deeply about the faith of His disciples. The healing needed to wait.

We are painfully stripped of our idols in pruning processes over and over in this life. As Jerry Bridges says, "it is through His word that He nourishes us... and through adversity that He prunes us."


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