Some days I just don't think I'm a connected mom. I feel like I push through the second part to get home for the third part, but then just rush to get to my fourth part.
Yep, I'm selfish.
And, I hate that.
I want to be the mom that walks in the door and lovingly greets my children, hugs them and listens to the school day stories. I want to pop on an apron and cook a meal that is memorable and delicious. I want to not have to think about things other than my family.
Guess what? I sometimes rush in the door because traffic or some other reason explains why I'm feeling as if I'm late. Four of the five weekdays, I only see Caroline because Camille is already at gymnastics. Yes, I greet her, but sometimes I start asking her to pick up, straighten up and work with me on getting ready for the next day. I sometimes cook a meal that is more like assembling pieces or re-positioning leftovers. I sometimes think of all that needs to take place within the next few hours to make the next few days hum.
Oh, I really try. I park the car in the driveway and take a breath and ready myself to walk in and be an in-the-moment mom.
(It's like when I say to myself 'this is the day that the Lord has made' when the alarm clock goes off in the morning. It's positive thinking.)
Today was one of those evenings. I self-talked (is that a thing) and reminded myself I can be a mom in the moment and really focus on family.
I feel OK about my effort. There wasn't much to pick up (which that kind of stuff makes me crazy) and it was a peaceful entry.
I knew leftover mac and cheese was on the menu and I had a link of kielbasa sausage awaiting the slicing. On a whim, I referred to a favorite cookbook, The Family Dinner, and searched for sausage in the index. There it was. A reference to sausage that didn't lead me to a recipe, but sent me to one of the most pleasantly written, well-received and very needed paragraphs I've ever read.
A woman named Kaisa wrote "A kielbasa sausage is always in our fridge. I slice it into coins and sauté them. I'll roast some broccoli in the oven with olive oil, sale and pepper. The kids call it 'crispy broccoli and sausage night'!
Well, we had no broccoli but we did have salad fixings so the Adams had salad and sausage night. Those few sentences calmed me and reassured me that even a slice of sausage can be present and special. It was so special because Caroline helped me assemble the salad and asked when she could learn how to cut sausage. Simple, but special. Thanks, Kaisa. Your words helped me.
After dinner, after watching The Bachelor (fourth part folks), after showers and after tomorrow prep, I looked at some other words that a friend and colleague recommended I study.
Remember when I wrote that I think about other days (think, ha. How about worry!). Well, specifically, I'm thinking about Chris' upcoming Spring Break. I'm praying so specifically and focusing on what I want. Hmmm, that's not really what my prayers should be, right?
It took this friend to share with me that my prayer should start with 'God, I know he is your son.' Then, she said a whole bunch of other stuff, but I was stuck on those seven words. I nodded to her other comments and may have even shared insights. But, I was stuck on those words.
You see, my children are my children. I've not been able to fully give them to God. They are mine. They are mine. They are mine. Writing that makes it so obvious that no, they aren't mine. They are God's. But, dang, those are my kids. The ones I want to focus on and the ones I want to be in the moment with and the ones I want to make a salad with and the ones I want to pray about. Mine.
Then she said something about Genesis 22 and that I needed to read and study those words. Y'all know what that is about, right? Abraham willingly offering Isaac for sacrifice. I mean, it is written that he 'bound his son Isaac and laid him on the altar, on top of the wood.' He also 'reached out his hand and took the knife to slay his son.'
I can't. I just can't.
Abraham had told Isaac that God would provide the lamb for the burnt offering. Abraham obeyed God. He trekked up that mountain with his son, gathering wood and all along knew what was expected him.
I carried my son for nine months, delivered him and then raised him. And, now he's off at school making decisions about Spring Break that I just don't like. So I pray he changes his mind. I pray God puts friends and people in his life that are good for him. I've walked to that mountaintop with my son, but just couldn't bind him up and put him on an altar.
I can't I just can't.
But when you really read and pay attention to the words (even through tears), you notice verse 4 has a reference to 'we.' Once the wood was gathered and Abraham saw the spot for sacrifice up in the distance, he said to the servants 'Stay here with the donkey, while I and the boy go over there. We will worship and then we will come back to you.'
We will come back. Was Abraham hopeful? What lead him to say 'we'? Was Abraham just so super positive that God would use Isaac in some other way (like I don't know be in the lineage of David) that he knew he wouldn't sacrifice him that day? Why the 'we'?
It might have had to do with Abraham not sharing the full story with the servants. But, I'm going with, Abraham was super faithful and knew God would know and do best and what is right. God's plans. Not Abraham's. God's plans. Not mine.
This reading and studying is just the tip of leaning into this need to fully give my children to God. I mentioned I'm selfish. I want to hold on to them. I want to not bind them and completely give them and trust them to God.
That paragraph didn't calm me as Kaisa and the sausage. It didn't offer up an instant solution.
It did what it needed to do. It pulled me into the Bible. It put a focus on my family in a way that I could not have predicted. It created a crazy night.
God didn't ask Abraham to complete the sacrifice. He provided a ram for Abraham to sacrifice. Abraham named the place The Lord will Provide.
It doesn't end there.
The Lord tells Abraham, 'I swear by myself that because you have done this and have not withheld your son, your only son, I will surely bless you and make your descendants as numerous as the stars in the sky and as the sand on the seashore. Your descendants will take possession of the cities of their enemies, and through your offspring all nations on earth will be blessed, because you have obeyed me.'
Talk about family. Talk about focus. Talk about a paragraph.
My prayer for Chris really does need to change. I need to pray God's will be done and I have the strength to handle whatever comes my way. I need to pray for my spirit and my attitude. I need to pray that more paragraphs of inspiration come into my evenings.
On a crazy sausage evening at that.