As a mommy I often have days where I ask my kids over and over again to complete a task, and they just won't listen. When I just can't take it any more I often get frustrated and force them to do whatever it is that I have asked (eat their food, change their clothes, get their coats on...). I think this must be similar to how our Heavenly Father feels when He asks us to obey Him, and we simply ignore Him.
Recently I have been feeling what I thought was "mommy guilt" because I felt like my house had to be cleaned constantly, and I had to run a certain amount of miles a week. All of the pressure I was putting on myself to have a perfect house and stay fit was taking a toll on me. I just kept feeling this nagging that I needed to slow down and play with my kids more . These are things that I have struggled with since I started having kids, so I thought that I was just over analyzing things again. Then it happened. The power went out. We had a decent sized winter storm earlier this week that started as rain and ended with over a half foot of snow. The more it snowed the more the power blinked and around midnight we lost power altogether.
We lost power for nearly 20 hours. During that time, I wasn't able to run on my treadmill, vacuum floors, wash dishes, clean bathrooms, or even take a shower. It almost felt like God threw up his hands and said, "ENOUGH!" It occurred to me that God was forcing me to slow down and spend time with my kids, because I wouldn't listen to that whisper in my heart that He had tried so many times lately. So instead of cleaning and running, I spent the entire day playing with my kids. We bundled up and went outside in the snow. I helped them make snow angels and a little snowman. I pushed Maggie on the swing and pulled both kids down the hill on the snow-tube. Then we came inside and cuddled up on the couch and spent way longer than normal reading books together. I didn't do any of the things that I normally feel have to be done each day, and it was wonderful. The house didn't fall down around me and although we ordered pizza for dinner (because the power was still out) I didn't fall out of shape either.
As we were eating pizza by candle light I remembered why we made the decision that I would stay home with the kids to begin with. It wasn't so I could keep a perfect house, or be in the best shape of my life. It was because God had blessed us with a beautiful little baby, and I didn't want to miss a second of his precious little life. I wanted to be the one to teach him his alphabet and how to say bedtime prayers. I wanted to watch him grow and change. Now I have two beautiful children and even more reasons to put the steam mop down and pay attention. Of course it is important to keep the house clean, but God keeps reminding me that my family is MUCH, MUCH more important.
Isn't it amazing what God reveals to us, even if He does have to force us to listen. After our power outage I have made a few decisions. First of all, I need to scale back my running. I don't need to be running ten miles several times a week. Especially when I am not even training for anything. I have also decided that I am going to spend less time cleaning and more time playing with my kids. My final revelation is that I will be spending significantly less time online. That's right, if you need to get a hold of me you will have to give me a ring on the telephone. I plan to check my email only once a week, and facebook will only be used to video chat with my sis who lives far away. I waste entirely too much time on this computer, and it does not help me quiet my soul and listen to what God is saying. Although it was fun, I don't want any more power outages anytime soon.
Are you listening to what God is whispering to you?