As a mom, there are a lot of days when before I go to bed at night I think, “Hey, today was a good day… we did this and that and I felt like I was able to really spend time with each of my kiddos today…” and then there are days when I fall into bed crying because I am just so exhausted and I feel like I barely made it to the end. I feel like I have neglected one or the other depending on what was going on and prioritizing needs to be met. It’s a constant juggle!
With two kids, I realized very early on that you have no down time. Unless you can line up a nap between the two (hahahahahahahahahaha…..) you really have no time to do things you want to do until they go to sleep. And that’s ok. But one thing I have neglected since having my second son is really having quiet time to read God’s word and talk to Him. I more or less do quick reads or quick prayers during the day, and while those efforts are good, I haven’t been sitting and studying like I did before Jude came along.
I realized this week after having a rough day on Saturday, that I am missing something. I kept thinking, what is it that I feel is missing… and then it hit me.. duh… I am not filling my soul. I was so thirsty. Thirsty for God’s word. So I am making more of an effort to sit down during the day, whether I have a few minutes alone or there is a baby in my lap, to read just one chapter of God’s word and write a few notes about it. I can do that.
I started in Acts. One of my good friends read through Acts recently and was talking about how it was such a good book, and I haven’t read it in a while and thought I could use a refresher. I read through Acts 1 a few times and then wrote down some of the high points. I feel like when you read a chapter a few times back to back and then go back and look at the way it is broken up by headers, you find things you might have never seen before… so I just thought I would share one of the things I hadn’t seen before with you today.
The first chapter of Acts talks about how Jesus was here on Earth for 40 days after His resurrection, His ascension into the clouds (Wow how I wish I could have seen that with my eyes!) and then how the apostles chose a new apostle to replace Judas.
One thing that really impressed upon me was in verse 15. Peter stood up among the apostles who had traveled to be together to gather in prayer, and began to address them and lead them in selecting a new apostle.
Now wait a minute… wasn’t Peter the one who only a month earlier denied Christ on three different occasions and ran from his faith??? Yes, yes he was… not only just a casual denial, but one that involved cursing and swearing! I don’t know about you, but if I had just done that, I would probably want to sit in the back corner and not say anything to anyone!
“Now Peter was sitting outside the courtyard, and a servant-girl came to him and said, ‘You too were with Jesus the Galilean.’ But he denied it before them all, saying, ‘I do not know what you are talking about.’ When he had gone out to the gateway, another servant-girl saw him and said to those who were there, ‘This man was with Jesus of Nazareth.’ And again he denied it with an oath, ‘I do not know the man.’ A little later the bystanders came up and said to Peter, ‘Surely you too are one of them; for even the way you talk gives you away.’ Then he began to curse and swear, ‘I do not know the man!’ And immediately a rooster crowed. And Peter remembered the word which Jesus had said, ‘Before a rooster crows, you will deny Me three time,’ And he went out and wept bitterly.”
– Matt. 26:69-75
This really made an impression on me. We all have bad days. Peter had probably the worst of his life that day when he denied his relationship with Jesus. When I have hard days (and yes, I know that my hard days pale in comparison to others for sure!!), I sometimes feel like I just want to be done and not try anymore. But we can’t have that attitude. Peter didn’t. A month after his denial, he stood up and led the apostles to replace Judas and get moving on God’s command to be witnesses to the “ends of the Earth.” (vs. 15)
This life is about persevering. It’s about pushing through and doing the absolute best that you can each day and not giving up. I think that’s all God expects of us, to give Him our best, and to strive each day to live as He wants us to live. Life is hard, but it’s supposed to be. My friend yesterday reminded me that the best things in life are the hardest and require the most work. Of course we were talking about nursing and some of the “fun” things associated with that haha… but still, the point is true. So when you feel like giving up, when you feel like you are ready to stop working and stop trying, just remember that Peter didn’t. The apostle we can probably associate ourselves the most to didn’t give up. He got back up and was a leader.
This life is short, shorter than we realize, and it will all be over soon. Enjoy each day as much as you can, and don’t give up on the hard ones. One day, we will be in Heaven,
seeing our GOD FACE TO FACE…
and He will pick us up in His arms, and tell us that the hard days and hard trials were worth it. That He loved us and hurt for us each day we struggled. I cannot wait for that moment. Check out my Dad’s blog for an amazing rendition of “I Need Thee Every Hour.”