"I think I find most help in trying to look on all the interruptions and hindrances to work that one had planned out for oneself as discipline, trials sent by God to help one against getting selfish over one's work. Then one can feel that perhaps one's true work - one's work for God - consists in doing some trifling haphazard thing that has been thrown into one's day. It is not a waste of time, as one is tempted to think, it is the most important part of the work of the day - the part one can best offer to God. After such a hindrance, do not rush after the planned work; trust that the time to finish it will be given sometime, and keep a quiet heart about it." - Anne Keary 1825-1879
So much of being a wife and mother seems to feel like a struggle between your desired schedule and routine of things and the unplanned, "trifling and haphazard" things that occur to ruin our "perfect plans." I know for myself, I often see the unexpected delay or change in plans as most unwelcome. I do not want see it as a blessing, let alone something beautiful that I can offer up to Yahweh. To be honest, I had never viewed these times of inconvenience or hindrances as "welcome blessings" or "special offerings" that I could make to Him. How could inconveniences be blessings? And how could this "kink" thrown into my day be some sort of special gift I could offer back to my Heavenly Father?
Reading this quote by Anne Keary made me realize that what makes it special is that it was costly to me. It wasn't easy to give up that time I was planning to sit and read, to attend to my children that are calling my name every three minutes. It wasn't easy to keep calm when they were arguing and whining and repeatedly doing exactly what I asked them NOT to do. It isn't easy to read that extra book to them before bed when I'm about to fall asleep next to them and I still have a millions things to do before I can go to bed myself. These parts of the day make the best offerings because it took self-sacrifice on my part to not lose my patience, to offer kind words instead of anger, or to care more for the happiness of another than for myself.
If I can push through these moments and still give them to Yahweh, even if it isn't perfect; even if it's a little messy how much more valuable is that offering? Sometimes it will cost us our pride. Sometimes it will cost us our need to have things exactly our way, or our need to be right, or our need to be first, or our need to feel validated by the people in our lives. In the Old Testament, the sacrifices offered to Yahweh were of the best of the flock, and when the sacrifice was made, it wasn't beautiful. It was messy. And it was painful. - And I don't just mean for the animal, but I'm sure it wasn't easy to offer up a beautiful and perfect young lamb to be killed on the altar. But just as Abraham and Issac counted it all joy to offer his son and for his son to offer himself as a sacrifice, to have the privilege to offer something costly up to Him must also provide a supreme joy. We CAN make these sacrifices with joy knowing that our Elohim deserves this and so much more! His son sacrificed everything for us! Let us not hold back anything from Him!
Let us look to these inconveniences and trifling circumstances as an opportunity to bring a costly and pleasing sacrifice to Him. He is worthy of all we can give Him and more. What greater demonstration of love can we give Him when we are obedient to His Word, when we praise Him and offer Thanksgiving, and when we keep the right attitude, even in stressful, inconvenient, or difficult times?
Of course this is not done without His supply of help. His Spirit, His Ruach, is our helper. Ask Him to help you look at these moments with new eyes, and ask Him to help you offer them up in joy instead of frustration.
"And my Elohim shall fill all your need according to His riches in esteem by Yeshuah Ha'Mashiach." Philippians 4:19
"My brothers, count it all joy when you fall into various trails, knowing that the proving of your belief (being washed by and growing in Yahweh's Word) works endurance. And let endurance have a perfect work, so that you be perfect and complete, lacking in naught." James 1:2-4
"But the fruit of the Ruach is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.." Galatians 5:22-23
May we be filled with His Ruach (Spirit) and produce His fruit in our lives!