It was one of those days. We have all had them. Where you wake up and step on a LEGO, both kids are whining for absolutely no reason, and you happen to be out of Keurigs.
As I stood there staring blankly at my empty cup of coffee, my daughter puts her tiny hands on my shoulders and whispers in my ear, “Mommy, take a deep breath and just pray.”
I was shocked, at first, that my 4-year old would be giving me advice, but she was right. I did exactly what she told me.
I open up my daily devotional while standing in the kitchen eating my kids leftover breakfast (I call this timeframe Cheerios with Jesus). For the life of me, I couldn’t seem to get past the first sentence: “Be still and know that I am God.” Be still? How many of us moms have been still lately? I can’t even eat sitting down. I look to my right which has my to-do list for the day, which does not include being still.
My phone abruptly rings, so I close the devotional and get right into my day: school drop-off, grocery shopping, park playdate, the attempting of laundry. All of these moments during the day had their highs and lows, meltdowns and big kisses. Through it all, I heard the words of my daughter in my head: “Mommy, just pray.” And I said many.
Middle adulthood can be confusing and definitely not “still”.
You still watch Teen Mom but want your home to look like Chip and Joanna’s. You still long for the days of freedom but love to be in bed by 8 p.m. You’re on your feet pretty much the entire day and yes, sometimes step on a LEGO. But we can’t let stepping on that LEGO dictate how the rest of the day is going to be. Don’t let a bad moment turn into a bad day. Take a deep breath and just pray.
As dinnertime approached, I opened my devotional back up to read the rest of the page. Be still and know that I am God. I hear a crash that interrupts my being still. I see my 18-month-old climbing the couch, then jumping off into a pile of half-folded laundry. I turn the corner to find my daughter crying in the bathroom. She fell off her step stool that had somehow collapsed. I pick her up and grab her hands calmly and say, “Hey it’s OK. Take a deep breath.” She looks into my eyes and says “Mommy, just pray. Can we pray my foot feels better?” I, of course, oblige then give her the princess Band-Aid of her choice.
I walk back to my devotional for the THIRD time that day to finish the five sentences I’ve been trying to get through and that’s when it hit me: just how I wish my children would just be still, God wants us, His children, to be still. We say we trust God, but then we do what we desire.
He wants us to stop controlling the day, stop prioritizing everything above Him and just pray. Just trust. Just listen. Just be still.
That night, as I was finally in bed watching another true crime show, my husband asked how my day was. I immediately told him all the fails I had that day as a mom. I told him how cute it was that our daughter thought to say a prayer. He responded nonchalantly (like all dads do) with, “Well, you always pray with her—she’s picking up on it.” And he was right.
I may have done a lot of things wrong throughout the day and many other days, but I did do one thing right: I just prayed. And she noticed. And that’s all that matters.
Now if only I could be still, and the kids could get that one down, too. Until then, I will continue to attempt my Cheerios with Jesus, trying to be somewhat still and, of course, just pray.
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