It's been over a month since I last blogged...and I can tell you exactly where the time went! It went to the busy-ness that is our lives...school, home, boys, and baby! I literally have had no time to sit down and write a blog post, but I have been working on one in my head off and on for about a month. I ran across a verse that came at a good time for me. (Isn't it "strange" how God sends us what we need exactly when we need it?) :)
Anyway, the verse is found in Proverbs. (An excellent place to find pick-me-ups, and great advice!) Proverbs 14:4--"Where no oxen are, the crib is clean: but much increase is by the strength of the ox." Now, you may be wondering, "How can a verse about, umm, cows be encouraging to me?" Well, I was feeling slightly overwhelmed in my life. I had just started back to school, I was still getting up with the newbie during the night, and the household chores were falling behind because I was too tired when I came home from working all day to try and tackle them. It was all I could do to get supper on the table and collapse into bed to get up and do it all again the next day.
I was sitting in the nursery at church, feeding the baby, and I was reading from Proverbs on my phone. (See, technology can be a good thing!) I get to verse four, and I guess I had a small epiphany. As I was thinking about all the things at home, undone, and all the things I had to do in the upcoming week (not exactly a spiritual mindset for worship...) I realized something. Why were there loads of laundry sitting around? Why had the bathrooms not seen a sponge or cleaner in over a week? Because I have a family, that's why.
A family given to me by a loving Heavenly Father Who knew exactly what I needed and also what I could handle. Yes, my house could be spotless. Yes, I could have non-sticky placemats on the table and neatly folded towels in all the bathrooms. But what would I have to give up to have that? My "crib" would be clean, but I would have no "oxen."
Now, don't get all upset that I'm comparing my little people to cows. (Although, there are days....) But in those times, cows were a blessing from the Lord and they came with certain responsibilities--and mess. My family is also a gift from the Lord--one that comes with responsibilities and messes! You can't have one without the other. The verse goes on to say "...but much increase is by the strength of the ox." This part can apply as well. The little "calves" God gives us will be big "oxen" one day. It is part of our job as "wrangler" to not only keep them fed and safe, but to train them to be strong in the Lord. Their spiritual strength will be to our increase in eternity. God will look at what we have done with the "calves" He has given us and He will reward us accordingly.
So, it's okay if the "crib" is messy. (A struggle for my OCD soul...) Because it's messy because God has blessed us with little hands to hold, little heads to fill with a knowledge of Him, and little hearts to guide into an understanding of His Word and will. And what are a few loads of laundry, sticky walls, and toy-strewn floors compared with that?
I hope this reminder about the important things helps you face your challenges this week. It has helped me to be more willing to focus on the important rather than the urgent. Love your messy "crib"--it's there because of the blessings God has given you! :)