It’s Sunday night and for the first time in 28 years, I am wandering around my kitchen trying to figure out what to do tomorrow morning. I don’t need to wake up a child for school like I have done for the past two decades, every Monday morning.
I don’t have to check the fridge to think ahead about what I will make for breakfast tomorrow. I don’t need to pull out a lunch box and make sure it is clean and free of Friday’s sticky leftovers. I don’t need to go into a boy’s room and check on his homework or his heart.
I don’t need to go ask anyone about their schedule for the coming week so I can plan transportation or meals. I don’t need to load the dishwasher so my kitchen is not such a mess at 6:00 AM because I don’t have to get up at 6:00 AM and there are only two coffee cups in there anyway.
It was only yesterday that I held my firstborn. It was only yesterday he started kindergarten. It was only yesterday that his little brother was born. It was only yesterday that we listened to Adventures in Odyssey. It was only yesterday that I snuck a paper cup full of Goldfish and Cheez-Its onto the top bunk because he couldn’t sleep. It was only yesterday that our house was full of the pings and buzzes of Mario and Pokemon. It was only yesterday that we were at orthodontists and soccer practice and debate tournaments and orchestra concerts and parent/teacher conferences and graduations.
It was only yesterday, but yesterday now feels like a thousand years ago.
My hand was on the door handle, ready to open the stall and leave the bathroom. But then I heard familiar voices and stood perfectly still. The Sunday worship service was about to start, and two women from the church were standing at the sink talking about our pastor while washing their hands. They thought they were alone. Their comments about him were small and mean. They took turns criticizing the pastor’s sermon, his tie, and even his hair. I was so angry I could barely breathe.
That pastor? He was my dad.
For God has not given us a spirit of timidity, but of power and love and discipline. 2 Timothy 1:7 NIV
Well, sister, that is some good news, right? Now, if I could only live it out!
I often lack confidence. Timidity sometimes gets the best of me. And, I bet you know exactly what I’m talking about. Timidity, fear, and a lack of confidence aren’t what our Father gives His daughters.
Resentment. We all feel it from time to time.
It’s like the invisible undertow in the ocean that sweeps away even the most experienced swimmer. It pulls at us. It sucks us down into a pit of bitterness.
We hold a grudge. We secretly fume about what he said or she did. We keep a running list of how we’ve been wronged. We review how we’ve been hurt.
It is subtle until it is sudden.
I admit it — the only way I got through high school math was because of Todd Williams! Almost every morning before class I was in a state of panic until I found him in the hall and begged him for help with my homework. I gave him gum and candy and a thousand thanks and he tried his best to help me survive algebra. I squeaked by with a C and I give Todd the credit for lifting me to the level of my glowing mediocrity.
It’s not any better today. If I have to count, I still use my fingers and break out into a sweat if one of my kids asks me a math question from their homework.
Here’s what is totally weird — I can do retail math. Give me a clearance rack in Macy’s and I morph into a mathematical genius — I can tell you exactly how much that cute blouse costs if it is 20% off the lowest price with an additional 15% off, subtracting the $17 from my gift card — in less than five seconds! It’s freaky. I am like a living, breathing retail calculator!
But, there is a math I am learning now while I am in the glorious middle of my life — a math I am trying to get really good at by doing it every day. I’m learning to number my days.
Do you number your days?
We all have stuff in our lives that we could easily define as problems. Go ahead, insert yours here! The car breaks down. The roof is leaky and it’s been raining since Tuesday. Your dog… well, you know what dogs do to the carpet! You get it, problems.
Then, there are some things in our lives that we think are problems, but in actuality, they are facts which create problems.
Okay, okay… stay with me. This will make sense and it can really make a difference in your life.