One of Those Days

Posted: September 22, 2015 in Inspirational Moments

It is one of those days.

One of those days when the little things seem big.   And I am so tired.  The words to my children get jumbled and my 10 year old says Something is wrong with your brain! And that banana peeling I find on the floor rubs its slippery, brown mess all over my worn out last nerve.

Yes, it has been one of those days.

Where I look back and I can see the patience oozing out.  Like trained soldiers, my words keep their gentleness but I know the edging aggravation dying to explode.  Though my words stay calm, my children can sense my untamed heart.

One of those days.

Yes, one of those where I missed the big things for the small ones.  Those moments of little fingerprints, big hugs, and tears that I can never get back.

Yes, it may have been one of those days.

It may have been covered in stinky toilets, dead car batteries, and mounds of laundry.  But this day can never be refunded or exchanged for a new one.  It is forever etched into the hearts of four little souls.

And I am pretty sure they won’t remember their dropped banana peeling or overflowed toilet.  But they will remember their Mama’s  voice.  Their Mama’s hugs.  Their Mama’s heart.

And even when it’s been one of those days, – especially when it’s been one of those days – I don’t want them to remember a bewildered, frustrated Mama.  I want them to remember Jesus in their Mama’s heart.

And, as tomorrow will likely also be one of those days too, I pray that He penetrates deeper and fuller in my heart.  And that my kids, even in my moments of frustration, can sense His grace spilling out.  Loving them.  And  saturating us all.

Especially when we are having one of those days.

Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.  Hebrews 4:16

Love this song on those days:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xe4SckesWLE

“This Is The Stuff” (Battestelli)

I lost my keys in the great unknown
And call me please ’cause I can’t find my phoneThis is the stuff that drives me crazy
This is the stuff that’s getting to me lately
In the middle of my little mess
I forget how big I’m blessed
This is the stuff that gets under my skin
But I’ve gotta trust You know exactly what You’re doing
Might not be what I would choose
But this the stuff You use45 in a 35 sirens and fines
While I’m running behind
Whoa ho ho

This is the stuff that drives me crazy
This is the stuff that’s getting to me lately
In the middle of my little mess,
I forget how big I’m blessed
This is the stuff that gets under my skin
But I’ve gotta trust You know exactly what You’re doing
Might not be what I would choose
But this the stuff You use

So break me of impatience
Conquer my frustrations
I’ve got a new appreciation
It’s not the end of the world
Whoa ho ho ho

Oooooh This is the stuff that drives me crazy
This is the stuff
Someone save me
In the middle of my little mess
I forget how big I’m blessed
This is the stuff that gets under my skin
But I’ve gotta trust You know exactly what You’re doing
Might not be what I would choose
But this the stuff You use

Whoa whoa ho ho
This is the stuff You use.

There is always Hope

Posted: August 13, 2015 in Inspirational Moments

Mama, he told on me!  Mama, he grabbed my foot!  She looked at me!image

Tattling. Drives. Me.  Crazy.

With a relaxed schedule, summer brings lots of fun.  But in the end, it also leaves a lot of time for bickering and tattling.  I’m ready for a little structure.

As a homeschooling family, we may not return to “school” in the most common sense.  We are still at home for a major portion of the day.   However,  school does bring some organization to the chaos and a stronger sense of stability and security that the kids thrive on.image

I fill their little brains with reading, writing, math, science, history, bible, handwriting, spanish, art and geography.  And then we will add some activities – library, church, bible study, co op classes, ballet, swimming, art lessons – and their little brains and bodies will be just too tired to argue with one another.

Even today,  they had the afternoon free after school and they had such a renewed appreciation for eachother.  The boys hugged one another.  Zaiah told Leesy he loved her.  And they spent the afternoon playing with Leesy’s baby dolls.

A week ago, Eli would have been dancing around making fun of Zaiah who would have hit the closest person.  And Leesy would have been screeching.

So, yes, I am so glad that school is back in session in the Burkepile household.

But don’t be foooled.  That stability is as much for me as it is for them.    Life is easier when everything stays the same.

In fact, I generally steer as far away from the unknown as possible.  I might say that I will go to a new bible study, meet you for a night out, or show up for an interesting feild trip.  But here is the truth.  I probably won’t.  And if I do, I will probably flee early.   Unless I know exactly what to expect.  And have given you a much guarded trust.

I have learned how to navigate life for the kids’ sake.  They go to their lessons.  Their classes.  It’s the same every week.  And I don’t have to initiate much interaction with adults.

I praise God for his gift of the written word.  It is detached from me.  No physical presence or humiliation necessary.  Without an emotional outlet, I think I would bow to defeat.

But every once in awhile, I feel empowered outside of the words on the page.  And I step out.

Because God always has hope.  Even for me.

But usually, I also  get stepped on.  Rejected.  Ignored.  Forgotten.  Humiliated.  Whatever my internal trauma (weather real or imagined) – it ignites  a host of anxiety issues.   And in my decades of struggle with this issue, I have learned the risk of defeat far outweighs the benefits.

It doesn’t matter how many times I travel down that all too familiar road.  How many times I feel defeated.  How many times I feel hopeless.  I  return again and again to fear.  And yet, each time, God keeps holding out his hope.  He always offers healing.

Always offers his love.

                            Always.

I waited patiently for the Lord to help me, and he turned to me and heard my cry.  He lifted me out of the pit of despair, out of the mud and the mire.  He set my feet on solid ground and steadied me as I walked along.  He  has given me a new song to sing, a hymn of praise to our God.  Many will see what he has done and be amazed.  They will put their trust in the Lord.  Psalm 40:1-3

Eli’s Strong Muscles

Posted: August 4, 2015 in Inspirational Moments

At eight years old, Eli  wants to be strong.  Physically strong.  He flexes his little muscles, does a few push ups, and tries to lift Daddy’s 20 pound weights.
imageAt times, it feels like I have much more than a 20 pound weight on my heart.  I see how my own insecurities, anxiety, and sins afffect my children – and it is an insuffferable weight on my heart.

Most often, the hurt comes from seeing those same insecurities in them.   But there are also times that I let them down.  I fall short.   And feel their dissapointment in the depths of my soul.

This next weekend, Eli is having a birthday party.  He has been talking about a little boy named Zach from church that he wants to invite.  However, our church is big enough that I don’t know Zack – and I certainly don’t know which parents he belongs with.  This week, as we were leaving, Eli got excited because he saw Zach and his dad stopped in the hallway in front of us.   Eli wanted me to get their information so I could send them an invitation.  But I didn’t.  I walked away.

Regret tore at my heart.

Abby was helping with our church group at a clothes give-a-way.  She is always so insecure, like I am, when she isn’t sure what to do.  I should have stayed to make sure she had a job.  But I didn’t.  I left her standing.  Wondering what to do.

Sometimes I wonder how things got this way.  How I can be delivered.  Freed.  And yet, be so hopeless.  And my mind starts to wander and ponder in the sticky muck of Satan’s lies and deception.  And I seriously question my ability to do the work that God placed in my life.

And then I hear the pitterpatter of little feet coming down the hall.  Leesy snuggles up close to me.  And whispers quietly…

Mama.  I love you.  Jesus wants you to know.

And I remember.  I have to keeep going.  Keep trying. Keep loving them the best that I can.   Even with my multitudes of mistakes, God’s got their little hearts.  He will carry on this work until it’s completion.

… being confident of this, that He who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.

Philippians 1:6 NIV