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Dishes, Diapers & Diligence

16 Sep

She wouldn’t settle and it’s not usually like her to fuss more than once at night.

I sleepily pushed the button to illuminate my cellphone and it read 3:09 AM.

I tried nursing her, but still she whimpered. We rocked and nursed and rocked and nursed and finally she drifted off. Putting her back into her crib, I wondered how long she would last as she normally sleeps snuggled between Daniel and I from midnight on, but I wanted to see if having her own space would help her to rest better.

5:15. I stumbled into her nursery, scooped her up and brought her into our bed. The air was chilly, and I thought maybe the warmth was what she needed.

Still she cried. Knowing that Daddy would need to get up and going in just an hour or so, I took her down to the living room to rock her in the recliner and give him some peace and quiet for his last few minutes of sleep.

Though my eyes were burning and my mind was filled with thoughts of the busy day ahead (Sunday, the day of rest, is our busiest day, it seems!), I gave her a few teething tablets and we rocked some more. I knew being awake most of the night was going to make for a very long day, but my sweet girl needed me and there was no place else I’d rather be than cradling her in my arms and bringing her comfort as she struggled to sleep.

Being a wife and a mama has been such an enormous and ongoing lesson of selflessness and of learning to put the needs of another before my own. Most days, I do it without thinking about it, but others find me struggling to be diligent.

Kitchen sinkChanging diapers and doing dishes.

Mopping floors and planning meals.

Laundry and laughing with Lovey Lou.

Changing more diapers and doing more dishes.

I only get one chance at this and am I so convicted and challenged to do it right.

To give it my all.

I want to “train up (my) child in the way (s)he should go.” {Proverbs 22:6} I want to “look…well to the ways of my household.” {Proverbs 31:27} I want to be a “crown” to my husband. {Proverbs 12:4}

To do these things, I must be diligent.

As I read, Proverbs chapter 12, it screamed diligence over and over again. Verse after verse challenged my heart in this area.

The dishes aren’t going to do themselves.

Laundry needs to be washed, folded and put away.

Meals must be planned if we are going to eat well and spend wisely.

The little girl tugging on my skirt tail is only going to be little once. I only get one opportunity to teach her, to hold her, to love her, to point her to Jesus.

No one else can spend time with the Lord for me.

“He that tilleth his land shall be satisfied with bread…” v. 11

If I’m going to look back twenty years from now and be satisfied with how I did in my role as wife and mama, I must till my land.

Tilling takes work. It takes time and energy. It takes diligence. It takes doing what needs to be done even when my flesh wants to sit down and do nothing!

“A man shall be satisfied with good by the fruit of his mouth: and the recompence of a man’s hands shall be rendered unto him.” v. 14

I’ll only get out what I put in, and I can only put in what is needful if I’m where I need to be with Jesus. Without putting him first, dishes are a drudgery, I grow impatient with sweet Londyn girl, and frustrated by the ever-growing pile of laundry.

Verse five is so simple, yet SO profound.

“The thoughts of the righteous are right..!”

When I am seeking His righteousness, my thoughts are right.

When I’m thinking right thoughts, I am thankful for dirty dishes because I know they mean our bellies are full. When my thoughts are what the should be, I am grateful for laundry as it means we have clothes on our backs. Most importantly, when my thoughts are right, I am praising the Lord for the privilege of being the one to teach and train my daughter rather than seeing the constant attention she needs as a burden.

Being diligent has a lot to do with having a schedule and sticking to it, but it has even more to do with making sure my heart is pursuing my Potter so that He can make this worthless lump of clay into something useable.

“The slothful man roasteth not that which he took in hunting: but the substance of a diligent man is precious.” v. 27

It is all too easy to be slothful when I’m focused on self, but it’s almost impossible when I realize how precious “the substance” I’ve been given is.

He has so graciously given me a husband to love, a baby to raise, a home to keep, a ministry to serve in.

All of those things are so very precious to me and all of those things deserve my diligence.

Lord, help me to remember that, “In the way of righteousness is life: and in the pathway thereof there is no death.” v. 28 Righteousness comes from You, alone, for my righteousness is filthy rags. I need your righteousness to think right thoughts which will lead to right actions and the ability to be diligent in the tasks before me. Whether it be rocking a fussy baby at three in the morning or doing a sink full  of dishes, I need You! Oh, how I need You!