“Very early in the morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left the house and went off to a solitary place, where he prayed.” – Mark 1:35
I connected with Jesus today. Not in the traditional Sunday sense, like where I sat piously in church and marveled in His grace and Mercy. While that is an excellent thing to do, I connected with Him in a different mindset: the “very tired-about-to-lose-my-everlovin’ mind-I can’t-even-stand-myself-right-n0w” variety.
Naptime. It is often an enigma. And when you add a second child, it becomes the double enigma. I learned shortly after baby 1 what my girlfriend calls “expectation management.” Oh, the bitter, sour, gut-wrenching sting when you expect sleep, and it doesn’t come. It seems true: if you adjust your expectations and expect less sleep, it huts less when you don’t get it.
Well, I through expectation management out the window today. Really, I was too tired to even keep it on my mind. So, I have to confess that when my expectation of a nap completely mis-aligned with my reality of NO nap, I was a hot mess. I didn’t want to play, I didn’t want to be creative, or use my imagination, or do any of the suggestions I often feed my cherub. I didn’t want to share – anything – like not even the same room as anyone. I wanted to be alone.
Channel instant guilt. What a totally uncool thing for a mother to think – much less a “Christian” mother. Well, that’s it! I have messed up motherhood again, I thought. If I share this, I’ll probably be off the Children’s Church Christmas party list. Just pure evil. I was about to come completely unglued and if my bad attitude didn’t completely undo me – the guilt of my bad attitude was sure to.
I put the scriptures to the test. The scriptures say that Jesus was tempted in every way. The scriptures says that when I am tempted, God will provide a way out. Could Jesus relate to my overdone, tired, “I need a break” moment of motherhood? Could I find the way out with a heart that was more “toddler-tantrum” than “grown-woman?”
He prevailed. I could shed the guilt and with His help, make sense of the turbulence in my heart. In thinking about Jesus, I saw that even Him, even walking, human, perfection needed a solidary place. He needed to be alone. He needed to not share, even if it was only for a brief moment. He needed to pray and connect and remember who He was and who He prayed to. He passionately desired and sought out intimate moments with His God. Sometimes I twinge when I hear people refer to God as “their God, “my God, etc.” But I didn’t today in thinking about Jesus. Because possession usually means, on a heart level, you are serious about something. You make it happen. You protect it fiercely. You think,” that is mine, and don’t be messing with what is mine.” Jesus’s relationship to His Father was 100% worthy of imitation in His purity, devotion, commitment. I can be fierce about nap time. Can I be fierce like Jesus?
Jesus is not recorded as having children, but He surely had the constant requests, needs, and interruptions as a parent. I marveled today, how did Jesus maintain his cool in between his times of praying in a solidary place and being completely surrounded by needs? What about Jesus’s ‘expectation management?’ He expected some time with his disciples and quiet teaching moments became meeting the needs of the masses. But we don’t read of Jesus having melt downs, growing hysterical, or pulling his hair out.
Today I had a new appreciation for the call to pray continually, unceasingly, on all occasions. We should pray throughout the day, to help us keep our cool between the times we are able to pray in more peaceful, solidary places.
We need to get alone, so we can peacefully sit amidst His presence, and bask in thanksgiving for His graciousness. It often takes us getting alone that we more clearly realize that, particularly, in the midst of a trial, we truly aren’t alone at all.