Nine months ago Cindy Quatt, the president of our Ladies’ Fellowship Group at church, asked me to speak for 15 minutes at the May Picnic. Needless to say, I’ve been nervous for NINE months! (Thanks, Cindy!) Not a week has gone by that I haven’t thought “What on earth could I possibly have to say to these ladies, many of whom have become some of my spiritual ‘idols’ in the last year and a half?” Then I think, “What on earth could I possibly say in only 15 minutes?” Lately, though, I’ve been thinking lots about how to handle interruptions to my day. I’ve pretty much come to the conclusion that my day IS interruptions, and doing things that need to be done are the actual ‘interruptions”!!
Seriously, though, I’ve realized that the more ‘interruptions’ I have in a day, the more frustrated and irritable and impatient I become. And with 2 kids under 2 1/2, how do you not have interruptions, right? (Special Note: SUPER shout out to all those moms out there who have more than 2 kids – and who can handle the interruptions that grow exponentially with each kid!!) Sometimes I wonder – “Why did Chloe become so much more of a handful after Kami was born?”
Case in point – today, she managed to dump a whole box of cornstarch in her bedroom. While I was cleaning it up, she managed to wake up my colicky baby. While getting her put back to sleep (which took almost an hour and an extra ‘off-schedule’ feeding), Chloe dumped ANOTHER box of cornstarch in a different room. While taking her to the bathroom to get a bath (by this time her hair looked like someone had spraypainted it gray as part of a costume for the character Martha in Arsenic and Old Lace; and her face looked like something out of an old horror film about ghosts!!), she decided to make cornstarch handprints all over one of Chris’ favorite tops of mine that I had just washed and dried – just so I could wear it for him when he got home tonight. Pretty sure by this time, I’m not feeling remotely romantic.
So, my mind went back to Mark chapter 1 – in vs. 35, we read that “in the early morning, while it was still dark, [Christ] arose and went out and departed to a lonely place, and was praying there.” This was His plan for the day. . . to spend time with his dear Heavenly Father before He attempted anything else. The day before He had done many miracles from healing illnesses to casting out demons. But now was His time of solitude and quietness – to do what He had planned to do. However, He was interrupted. Here comes Simon Peter – who, I think, Chloe will be able to relate to really well one day – who says, “Everyone is looking for you!” (vs. 37). Boy do I feel like everyone is looking for me – or needing me. Not even needing me, but needing more milk, or more cookies, or more oranges, or a clean diaper (boy do we need lots of those around here!), or a sheet washed, or a paci stuck back in a mouth . . . .
Here I am, just wanting to sew a dress for Chloe for this wedding coming up, just wanting to make some rehearsal dinner invitations for me sister (why did I volunteer for that again?), just wanting to make the house clean for my husband who doesn’t get home until after 9:00 on Mondays, and really needs a calming, relaxing place to sit down after his long day of work and classes. This was MY plan. And yet, I attempted it without spending time with my Lord this morning. And, when my plan was obviously thwarted by the One who is in complete control of all things (including the two boxes of cornstarch), I reacted by frantically looking for my phone to call my husband and give him a ‘talking to’ about leaving cornstarch in Chloe’s reach, then running to email him instead, then just crying my eyeballs out and begging Chloe to just “be good and act like a 6 year old for a little while, instead of a 2 year old.” (Yes, I really did say that to her. She just stared at me, then grabbed my nose and said, “honk! honk!”).
But then, how did Christ respond to Peter who interrupted His time with the Lord, His plan for the morning? He calmly (a seeming rarity in my world these days!) and confidently told him what would happen for the rest of the day. He had gotten His orders from His Father, and that was what He was going to do.
I’m starting to learn that at the beginning of my day, I NEED to spend time with God. It isn’t just a duty that Christians should do, or something that would be nice to do, but rather, it’s a genuine NEED. I have to give everything about my day to the Lord. I need to approach Him with my plan. However, I have to be willing to do Plan B – which is what God might have for me that day.
Pastor Ray Ortlund said this, “I’ve found that if I pray over my interruptions and get them squarely under God’s sovereign control, they don’t irritate me. I realize that they are part of God’s plan.” And I sure could be less irritated.
So, all of this to say, I’m thinking that the Lord is giving me something to talk about with these ladies. And cornstarch does vaccuum up well, and sheets do wash well, and shirts wash well, and my daughters are both still alive and fed today, (and Chloe and I even had an Easter Egg Hunt, and I finished sewing the sleeves into her dress – it really wasn’t that unprofitable of a day, now that I think about it!). Most importantly, though, I’ve learned the importance of dedicating my day – and my plans – to the Lord first thing. And to be expecting-ly optimistic about the interruptions that may WILL come up.