I just received two of the sweetest gifts from my Lord and Savior following a day of seeking Him through prayer and Bible reading.
I was doing laundry, and I pulled doll clothes out of the dryer. On other days this same act would have probably escaped my notice as I rolled darting thoughts through my head such as, "Yikes! I wonder what we're having for dinner tonight. It's nearly 5 p.m. and I haven't gotten any meat our of the freezer."
But today the doll outfit that I pulled from the dryer was medicine to my soul straight from the Giver of All Good Gifts. You see I've fought fear all day. I've been in a fog of faithlessness.
This week I had a respite from being mom to the ten who still live at home. I had the opportunity to accompany Mr. Beaver on a business trip to LA. With the exception of our career man, John, the rest of our kiddos were very happily cared for in Ohio by their oldest sister Anna and her husband, Aaron. Anna and Aaron also had the help of Aaron's loving parents, Ric and Tina, and Aaron's sister, Amber who is one of those rare "kid magnets."
However, tomorrow the nine children return. Thus, my fear. I have given in to a common doubt I face--my ability to meet the needs of so many. I've also battled with knowledge of my own sinfulness. When it's just me and Mr. Beaver, I'm able to be fairly Christlike. But when you throw in ten kiddos who all have needs--often arising nearly simultaneously--then I'm all too likely to get impatient--at best--and angry (in all its ugly shadings) at worse.
Pulling that piece of doll clothing from the dryer gave me a sudden shot of reality. I am SO blessed. When Psalm 127 says that children are a blessing from the Lord, no truer truth exists in Scripture (I feel safe making this bold statement since every revelation in the Word is pure, perfect Truth.) As I stood in the laundry room, I pulled the little black velvet jumper to my chest and reveled in the fact that I still have little girls playing with dolls. I am SO blessed. We're even about to add one more doll-playing beauty to our number! I am SO blessed!
My soul was swept free of the ravages of fears that had made their home in my heart since I awoke this morning. The doll clothing wasn't the only reason for the disappearance of the fear, however.
As I was doing laundry, I was listening to music on my iPad. Just as I was being reminded of the blessing of my children by an itty-bitty piece of clothing, a song began to play that I listened to dozens and dozens of times during the advent season of Christmas 1997. We had just moved to England, and only our air shipment had arrived. It would still be weeks before the majority of our belongings, traveling by ship, would be delivered. When packing our temporary shipment, we hadn't thought to throw in any Christmas music. So, as a spur-of-the-moment purchase in a bookseller on High Street (their version of our "main street") I bought Mariah Carey's Merry Christmas. I could tell from the cover that the songs were innocuous enough and knew they would provide a bit of Christmas cheer for newly relocated Anna (7), as well as our twins, John and Lissie (5-1/2). What I didn't expect from the secular album was a God-glorifying song called "Jesus Born On this Day."
Hearing those words again while in my fog of fear today, I was reminded that I will not be alone in my role as mom after my children return. The child who was born 2,000 years ago is King of all nations, and, yet, He will be with me. He will help me manage and even meet the need for attention that each of our children represents. And He can keep me from sin as I abide in Him, my Vine. Here are some of the words from Carey's song:
"He is our light and salvation.
He is the King of all nations.
Behold, the Lamb of God has come.
Behold, the Savior has come.
He is our Lord and Savior.
The light of His birth fills us with hope.
He is life...He is love...He is grace...born on Christmas day."
(I share the song that has meant to much to me here, but please be extra careful of where YouTube may take you afterwards since she's a secular artist.)