Black skies and cold wind usually don't make my list. But that's what we had this morning. Mentioned the beach at breakfast, and the girls were dressed and ready to swim at 7:15. No turning back.
And I'm glad.
The weather was threatening and the wind angry. But our little sand castle stood firm. And our treasure buckets filled with Buckroe finds - rocks, half shells, drift wood. And our girls giggled and chased gulls and stomped at waves and shivered and turned purple. And thanked us profusely for a wonderful morning at the beach.
And Tim and I smiled over coffee, watching them sip their hot chocolate as we all warmed up at our favorite beach dive.
A perfectly wonderful morning at the beach, despite the very unbeach-like weather.
Our family has been knocked off-kilter recently. After months of working through rest and with only two weeks until baby arrives, I catch a glimpse of what is keeping us so sideways.
And it's not my lack of time and energy.
When my days were shortened, I focused my efforts. My prayer became, let me discipline diligently. A biblical prayer. It felt right.
I did not pause to seek The Lord. To ask his path for parenting under limitations. I simplified the task and chose what seemed most important to me. Training, teaching, exhorting all fell away, while rebuking remained.
And our family has felt the effects as little hearts become frustrated, always hearing what they can't do. Missing praise for excellence and opportunities to excel.
Mommy doesn't have time for messes, so there is no new art to show off to Daddy. Mommy is frustrated with yet another headache, so she didn't notice how well you built your tower or banged out 'baby sparkles' on the piano or played with your sister. But her eyes were open enough to notice you choke the dog and climb over the back of the couch and leave the library books scattered.
It sounds so ugly in print, but it made sense when I tentatively laid out my pregnancy parenting plan with the motto maintain control.
Which is precisely why his ways are not my ways. His ways are marvelous. They are high; I cannot attain them.
Just like a beautiful day at the beach under a roiling, navy sky.
In a mere day or two of recognizing my mistake, of asking for wisdom to encourage my house toward godliness not control, the girls are different. Big one put her toys away before finding a new one without being told, told again, nagged, and threatened. Small one contained her Godzilla-like impulses while sister was building a tower and actually walked around the construction zone. Little things, yes, but the little things have been going terribly wrong and weighing on my back like so many straws.
A burden of straws I piled on, then cried for The Lord to lighten the load. And he answers, I didn't tie it on. Take off the burden you created and take on mine.
The wisest of women builds her house, but folly with her own hands tears it down. Proverbs 14:1
I didn't see my folly until I saw the cracks and crumbles.
We behaved in the world with simplicity and Godly sincerity, not by earthly wisdom, but by the grace of God. 2 Corinthians 1:12
My wisdom failed us, was foolishness in fact.
But his grace is big enough to correct my folly and rebuild my house.
For The Lord gives wisdom; from his mouth come knowledge and understanding. Proverbs 2:6