I think that, when you are the parent of young children, and a thing is happening in your life that requires great focus, attention, and prayer [aside from said children, that is], the easiest way for Satan to attack you is to cause the littlest biggest parts of yourself to be up for all hours of a night.
Truly – I believe this is one of his strongest tactics. And several of the nastiest sort of every days strung together all in a row so that you become so distracted with keeping your head above water that you forget about the other thing that needed focus, attention, and prayer and formulate a plan to run away ASAP. Or you feel annoyed with your man for no good reason which causes you to snap at him at the end of the day over…come to think of it, you’re not really sure what.
For me personally, if I don’t get a handle on all that nastiness real fast, it all snowballs into a heaping mess that looks an awful lot like me crying on the bathroom floor. I’m learning that in order to combat this particular tactic of the big, fat butt-faced liar, I have to:
1. Pray. A lot. When at all possible, build time into my day to spend time quietly visiting with Jesus, revealing my heart. And also right before company comes over with broccoli wilting on the stove while everyone is talking to me at once, calmly walk to my bedroom, close and lock the door, and get on my knees to ask Jesus for forgiveness for not doing this earlier and help showing love and seeing others – or whatever needs to be said in that moment. And then serve your guests wilted broccoli and be okay with it.
2. Memorize as much Scripture as my fried mommy brain will allow. Don’t focus so much on the word-for-word, but on the idea and the heart of the message – as well as the Scripture reference, so that if I need to know the word-for-word I can look it up. Write one scripture/week on index cards and place them on my dashboard, by my kitchen sink, and on the foreheads of my children [mostly kidding about that].
3. Choose joy. When I am caught up in the fog of little sleep, catching Marilee sucking toothpaste out of the bottle…again, and answering question number 543 from the impressive mind of Adelle, choose joy. Choose to take a moment and see the way Marilee’s hair floats a little when she walks, or the way Adelle considers others far more than most four year olds, or the way the “B” on our front door looks so inviting. Choose joy by taking time to see it all around me.
4. Let it go. Let it go. I am one with the wind… wait. But seriously, let it go. I was supposed to fold laundry yesterday and also mop the oh so disgusting kitchen floor. I read my book and took a nap instead because this pregnant mama needed something to aid in the maintenance of her sanity – something different than a perfectly completed to do list. Often that’s the case, and I am STILL learning to do it.
That’s all, really. It’s nothing ground breaking. These are not newly discovered mommy survival tactics, but they are things that I am not doing well right now, and I am barely breathing. I know they work because I’ve employed them in the past. Maybe you needed the reminder today, too?