School is back in session. I spent the summer planning, researching, saving for and purchasing curriculum and repeatedly promising, out loud, that this year was going to be the one when I managed to do it all. Clean house, good-round-home-cooked dinners at a beautifully set table every evening, morning quiet time with the Lord, laundry under control, family devotionals, stretching academics, and reading every moment that wasn't scheduled. We might as well sell the TV and grow our own food for the plans I've laid. . . . Well, today was day 3 and ... I AM TIRED. Mind numb, sit on the couch and please do not talk to me TIRED. Where is the remote? Can we order pizza? I'd like to turn my brain off and loose myself in the drivel piped into the living room. Everything in me is crying to sit down. I feel so weak. But I've discovered something about my couch. Someone like Screwtape or Wormwood or even Lucifer himself lives in the very frame and fabric. He is unseen like the coins, crumbs, and legos that quietly take up residence under the cushions. Always plotting how to steal hours of my life and joy, little by little, day by day this couch foe slyly disguises itself as a soft place to rest a bit and catch your breath, make a call, type an email or catch that program. Every time, it seems harmless. Just for a moment or two. And before I know it . . . I'm late. For something. For everything. Now its hurry! hurry! hurry! And I am not nice in a hurry. I can be a monster in a rush. Who has time to speak calmly and kindly when no one seems to possess a sense of urgency? I become a drill Sergeant for my elementary personnel and it never ends well for me. Behind in everything, I now get to wrestle with the house chores AND my guilt well into the night. That is where I start the self-condemnation . . . I am unworthy of this beautiful family. I promised today would be different and look - the same. Have I damaged these children for life? When they're older will they still want to spend time with their crazy mother? The one who sat on the couch for a cup of coffee and then suddenly started shouting "HURRY UP!" at everyone. I weep and pray at the sink with the dishes. I weep some more at the dryer as I fold. Its late now and I'll be tired in the morning. The couch will look appealing. . .
But somewhere between all those tears and cries to heaven, it was revealed and I saw it. "Your adversary the enemy roams about like a lion, seeking whom he may devour." And like prey in an open field, I have sat on the couch looking for rest of my own making. An easy lunch.
Then the gentle Spirit floods my memory . . . The Lord is my shepherd. I hear and know His voice. He knows me. He is my rest. Will I cast this burden on Him? Do I dare snub that tempting living room furniture for Psalms of praise while I keep moving? Yes. I can breathe again. He is my strength and through Him I can do all things. Without Him, nothing but keep company with regret. I do not have to "do it all." Only seek my God.
The rest is His good plan.
Thank you Lord that your mercies are new every morning. And thank you for morning.