She’s up long before the alarm, wanting water and a new diaper, then is not quite sleepy enough to drift away in the remaining dark. I lay still and listen to her even breathing, eyes blinking heavy but always reopening.
I breathe prayers for patience. I breathe prayers for her to go back to sleep. I plead with the One who knows I went to bed early to rise early because I could feel it in the deepest places that I needed to meet with Him. I need to see His face and hear His voice. But, I breathe in long and weary, You know what I really need, and if she doesn’t go back to sleep... please help me to have a good attitude anyway.
I had eaten supper then read and prayed before going to bed... but all that is soothed and smoothed out the night before has a way of crinkling and crumpling in all the tossing and turning and I woke thoroughly tangled and starving to break my fast from Him.
She doesn't sleep. The alarm sounds. Something inside me wails too. But feet hit the floor and I stop the nagging sounds with determination.
I will walk with You today. I will listen anyway, the best I can.
I take the lamp I can't walk without from the nightstand and guide the toddler downstairs in the soft gray-blue light of morning, His word clutched in my left hand, her chubby palm in my right.
And to my great surprise, we are immediately followed by the staggering, sleepy six year old, with deep purple rings still 'round her eyes. My spirit ruffles a bit more, but the strain doesn't quite reach my voice "well, good morning! You sure are up early."
From the way she groans and flops herself down in a chair I can tell we are in for a day.
But, the girls become distracted by the cats and begin to play so I quickly sit on the stair landing and open my Bible towards the light falling soft from the back door.
Then I close it. Must pray first. I know, in general, what I will find when I turn to my spot in Isaiah. I am not in the midst of happy chapters. I consider flipping to a gospel, seeking out a more pleasant story. I don't know if I can bear to read about the nations not following the LORD, and the horrid things they experience as a result.
But, I pray and hesitantly open, He knew I would be here today. He knew how I would be feeling. And this is where I am in His word... I will not assume it won't apply. I will not assume it will push me over my spirit-exhausted edge into depression or frustration. I will listen for His voice.
I read chapters 18 and 19.
The light continues to brighten and I begin to see The Truth... even with background noises crashing, the children play cooking and stomping loud.
These prophecies against Cush and Egypt... they are a physical unfolding of what was already happening spiritually.
The waters of the river dry up... they had already been dying of thirst for Living Water.
The plants wither, every sown field becomes parches and blows away... there is no sustaining harvest from their sowing wicked and fruitless deeds.
The fishermen cast hooks and nets but catch nothing... they were not following the LORD, who makes us fishers of men, they gather in nothing... they lament, pine away.
Those who worked with cloth, those used to being clothed by the works of their hands... they despair, lose hope, become dejected and sick at heart.
They have a spirit of dizziness poured out on them by the LORD.
They lose everything. But it is after this happens... it is at that time that they bring gifts to the LORD Almighty.
In that day they swear allegiance to the LORD Almighty. They return to the LORD, He responds to their pleas and heals them.
Their physical and emotional state helps them to recognize their deep soul-need for Him.
I lower the lamp for my feet, turn my face full into the Light: what does my physical/emotional state reveal about where I am with You right now, LORD?
I am needy.
Desperately needy. I am needy everyday and it just takes a lot for me to acknowledge it because I don't like to think of myself as needy. I don't like the idea, I don't like the word, I don't like the feeling.
But apart from Him... I can do nothing. Nothing. I forget this.
I can not even stand, much less stand firm. I can not stand in His presence when I am arrogant. And what great arrogance to forget, act, live in ways that proclaim that I don't need Him for life and breath and everything else?
Remembering this is humbling. Recognizing that I could have forgotten... that I did forget... that I do regularly forget... is humbling.
And it is in this bowing, this kneeling down, this not being able to stand in His presence, that I offer the gift He desires... a broken spirit and a humbled, repentant heart.
I return to the LORD, He responds to my pleas and heals me.
In a matter of moments, in a peace that passes all understanding, all that was broken He puts back together.
Something crashes upstairs.
I stand up, foundation of the day dug down deep and laid on Rock.
And good thing... because in a moment the torrent is about to strike the house...
**A Daughter's Confession (Part 2) will be posted tomorrow**
Counting His endless gifts today...
*Proverbs 1:23 "If you had responded to my rebuke, I would have poured out my heart to you and made my thoughts known to you."
*Holding onto, trusting in His promise: "Return, faithless people, I will cure you of backsliding." ~Jeremiah 3:22
*husband's eyes lighting up over the intricacies of God's design in aquatic life
*the way the toddler emphasizes every syllable of the word "disgusting!" during potty training
*the three one-year old cousins interacting
*increasing discomfort reminding moment by moment of the precious daughter making her arrival soon
*clothes becoming too small, daughter growing well
*being with the husband as he launches his business, shares his passion
*seeing how comfortable people are talking with him
*mornings and evenings that feel like fall
*stretching groceries resulting in creative new meals
*having clean water to offer my children when they say they are thirsty
*toddler-sized rocking chair
*He encourages me to confess for my sake, for my family's sake, for His name's sake
*the freedom to read my Bible
*deep theological conversations and applications with the six year old, she sharpens me
*sharing a long drive, just me and the husband
*the farmers market
*re-reading good words from good books
*time with Shannon
*toddler praying loooooooooooooooooong prayers