This week I’ve invited my friend Maggie Paulus to share a few posts with us on the blog. We’re giving away a copy of her book today: Finding God at the Kitchen Sink. I know you’re going to enjoy getting to know her.
Today was the first day “on my own” with the three kids. And I shouldn’t really say I’m on my own. Because God is always right here, helping me, even when my Mama leaves and Brent goes back to work. I must say, it’s been going rather well. And can you believe I haven’t even had coffee or chocolate? I didn’t know this sort of living was possible. I haven’t even perished!
There’s something about having a new baby that makes me feel like I have this chance to start all over again. Like, it’s a new year or something. When my mama was here, I asked her for some advice on how to keep up with the house and how to raise the kids, because it’s slowly dawned on me that some things I’ve been doing haven’t exactly been working. Bed time and meal times have been the most stressful moments of our lives. Mom was sweet to give me some very practical things to try and I’ve been doing them. It’s helped. Thank the good Lord for wise and helpful mama’s.
I’m not the sort of girl who falls easily into schedules or rhythms. My natural tendency is to chase butterflies (literally) when I should be sitting down for lunch or get out the finger paints when it’s time to get ready for bed. But God brings the sun up every single day and there are seasons that always come and go, so I figure it’s good for us to have some sort of structure to our living. So, I’ve been praying and asking Him to show me a few things that I can do faithfully each day, to just help bring some peace to the 24 hours that He’s given us. Now, I’ll never be one to write out a rigid schedule or to-do list and stick to it, but I am finding that having a daily plan actually frees me up to be creative because I’m not so distracted and stressed out by all the chaos.
One of the rhythms that I’ve managed to carve out is reading a devotional with the kids in the morning at the breakfast table. I learned that I actually have to eat first so I can read while I’m helping the kids shovel food in. Or else Hope will get down a hundred times to fetch her blankey and then her baby doll and then some plastic apples and Gideon will start launching french toast or cheerios with his rocket launching fork.
So, I go ahead and eat so I’m not starving and grouchy and yelling and then I find that overall, it’s a sweet time together that just gets us all sort of centered on God. And it’s fun to see how the kids process what I’m reading to them. We usually end up having these deep theological discussions, because apparently four year olds are way smarter than I ever thought. I’m trying to teach them about God and life, but I usually walk away being the one taught.
This morning, in our discussion about good guys and bad guys, Gideon informed me that Jesus isn’t too far from anybody’s house. And then he said something sort of out there and funny. He said, “Jesus is at everybody’s house, standing on the table.” I almost corrected him because it seemed a bit irreverent and outlandish, but I knew what he meant. He meant that Jesus is really, really close. Like, He’s just. right. here. And since Gideon happened to be sitting at the table, it was obvious to him that Jesus would be right where he was. At the table.
I sat there quietly, amazed that my little boy is grasping a concept that I’ve been drilling into myself for years. God is real. And He’s so close to us. Besides, who am I to say that Jesus isn’t standing on the table? Jesus did a lot of irreverent, outlandish things when He walked the earth. Things that made the religious Pharisees blush and stew with anger. Maybe Jesus is up there, every morning, just making sure we hear Him.
Anyhow, He’s helping us here. Helping us find our way, through all the chaos and all the muddled mess right back to Him. No wonder we’re finding some peace and rest.
Thanks, Maggie! If you enjoyed Maggie, you can read more from her at her website: http://maggiepaulus.com/
Today we’re offering you the opportunity to win a copy of Maggie’s book: Finding God at the Kitchen Sink. Leave a comment below letting us know that you’ve shared this link on your Facebook page or on Twitter and you’ll be entered into the drawing for a free copy.
We’ll be drawing one winner per day all week, so if you’re not chosen by midnight tonight (check the blog in the morning), then leave a new comment tomorrow and you’ll be entered again!