You're probably wondering about the daughter Isabella loves to clean-she comes by it honestly. I am a shameless clean freak. One morning I was working away in the kitchen while she had the mop I'd left out overnight to dry. And I look over to check on her and my then-7-month-old son, and say the five words I never thought I'd say as a parent, "Isabella, don't mop your brother!" He didn't mind, and she just wanted to make sure he was sparkly. So welcome to my world!

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Proof of Life

As a mom of two active littles, I find evidence of their presence all over the house: jump rope in the kitchen, a mini General Lee car among my baking dishes, goldfish cracker crumbs in the bathroom (the bathroom?), pennies and game pieces in the couch cushions, food-smeared prints on the wall next to Ryan's high chair, nose prints on the dining room windows as they've watched the garbage truck roll by, a dried line of saliva and hand prints on the deck door as they've longingly looked outside. As a neat freak, this sometimes drives me bonkers (like the chalk mural Ryan scribbled on the dining room wall). But sometimes, it's endearing. It shows that my kids are there and living life and having a blast playing with toys from one end of the house to the other. And those times when they spend the night with my in-laws, the house seems too quiet. It feels off.

So is there proof of life in your heart? Can you look around your life and see God at work? Psalm 139 has the psalmist listing all the places he goes where God already is. The end of Romans 8 lists all the things that can't separate us from God. But what about you? Do you go happily throughout your day-the to-do list is so long-and not have proof that God is with you? I know the challenges of balancing children, schedules, groceries, meal-planning, laundry, housework, errands and homeschooling, and I only have two little ones! But I also know the failure of days not spent in time with God first thing. When I want to hit the ground running, list in hand, clean slate, nothing to stop me. Except myself. No proof of life in the Spirit. I could practically make the whole blog about my failures to walk in the Spirit, to sprint ahead instead of staying in step.

Does your heart seem a little too quiet? God desires relationship with us, and as I read in Isaiah 26:3 yesterday, "You keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on You, because he trusts in You." What an amazing verse to soak up. To have your mind "stayed on" something means to lean, support, uphold, sustain." David Guzik put it this way, "So what sustains your mind? What do you lay your mind upon? What upholds your mind? What does your mind stand fast upon? What is your mind established on? What does your mind lean upon? To have this perfect peace, your mind cannot occasionally come to the Lord; it has to be stayed on Him." I love that. If your mind is stayed on your day, your schedule, your needs, then it's not stayed on Him.

I encourage you to put a plan into action. For me, it's getting up earlier than my children and spending time with God. I've even gone so far as to freeze a sippy cup of milk during the day and leave it in my son's crib overnight so it would thaw and he'd have something to occupy him when he woke up. It might be that you park your kids in front of the TV for a few minutes just for you to spend time with God. (I know this isn't an option for some, so maybe pull out special toys or activities for this time.) Maybe your children's nap time is your best bet for time with Him. How much time do you spend over the sink cleaning up after meals? I've used that to meditate on a verse written out, or pray over my family. Make housecleaning day a chance to praise God for your home, for clean clothes, for food, anything.

Make a point to have some proof of life in your heart. Let God get His fingerprints all over your life!

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