Sunday morning when I arrived at church for rehearsal with my other friends in the praise team at GBC I foolishly thought I was the only one who had had one of those weeks. Now that I sit and reflect, I realize that it really is ridiculous for me to think I’m the only woman/wife/mom/business owner who has rough patches. After all, I’m not the only person on the planet. How narrow my perception can be!
It had indeed been a bumpy road last week. I cried several times throughout the week, and my husband and I had a really loud and heated argument, which is not something that happens as often as it did in the beginning of our marriage. The baby was diagnosed with a double ear infection and despite my innermost desires to avoid them, we started a round of antibiotics. I literally cringe every time I give them because I’ve just been learning some not-so-great things about them, plus there are lots of mommies out there who look down their noses at folks who use antibiotics. Yes, I know…I don’t have to listen to them. But you can’t sit there and tell me that you don’t struggle to ignore what other people think/judge about what you do and why you do it and how you do it. I try to remind myself that I’m doing the best with what I have at this time for the sake of my son’s health and comfort.
Unfortunately, they haven’t done the trick and he’s continued to be uncomfortable and sick. We went back today and she started him on a new set of antibiotics. Heavy sigh.
My beautiful new dishwasher was finally installed, but we ran into a bump with it and the very nice guys had to come back a second day. This wouldn’t be such a big deal except that it interrupted our school day. As I explained to my accountability group last night, this might not sound like such a big deal, but here’s why this bothers me. Are you ready for the level of Ashley-ness here? I sat down two weeks ago for the first time ever and wrote out the next six weeks of lesson plans in an effort to be more focused, intentional, and to help me figure out what we need to do in order to wrap up for a decent summer break.
We missed two days of school last week, and there is a part of my mind that is in panic mode because I planned it all out. It’s all written down. I took the time to write it out and now I’ve missed two days and have to readjust everything. It’s in pencil, I remind myself. (Yes, I talk to myself.) It’s okay. Nobody is setting deadlines for me. He’s smart and doing well in school. But I made a PLAN. Please tell me I’m not the only one who feels this way. I know I’m not. Alas, I also know that I can make plans, but the Lord determines my steps. Sigh.
There are other issues that we had as well, but they’re either too lengthy to discuss here or just don’t need to be here at all. Yup. But altogether they contributed to a really tough week and a really weary Ashley.
Yesterday was so encouraging, though. You already know how much I love music and singing. Our music minster does an incredible job of not only choosing music with sound doctrine but also diligently working to have music that goes along with whatever passage is being preached that morning. Yesterday was no exception. Have you ever heard Chris Tomlin’s “Lord I Need You“?
Lord, without You I fall apart
You’re the one that guides my heart
Lord, I need you, Oh, I need you
Every hour I need you
My one defense. My righteousness
Oh, God, how I need you.
Ummm, I’d been crying these very words to the Lord all week, and then we sing this song as a congregation?! This is undoubtedly a testament to the Lord’s divine sovereignty and absolute grace toward His children. What about the Getty’s “My Soul Longs for the Lord“? Oh my. Just read.
My soul longs for the Lord in a weary land
Wells are dry and I am empty, only dust in my hands
How I yearn for streams of mercy
Where my soul can be restored
“Come and drink” Jesus calls me,
“and you will thirst no more”
Oh the fullness of Christ, Word of God, Word of Life
Oh, my lands. Yes. It took every ounce of my strength not to weep as I stood there before my brothers and sisters and sang this song with the praise team. Every. Single. Ounce. Not only was my spirit encouraged and renewed, but I always feel like I’m using my voice to spur on the congregation toward seeing God’s goodness when I’m there. Like if I sing at the top of my lungs and with all my heart they will see and hear that they too can be strengthened in the Lord. Anyone else?
Between those songs and Pastor Kyle’s sermon from 1 Samuel 7:5-15, I was reminded of Christ’s victory over sin and death because of His work on the cross and the victory that I have because Christ’s death was done for me, a sinner.
That means that weeks like I had don’t have to conquer me though they be difficult. I felt like I was drowning, but Christ raised me up and reminded me that I have victory over sin through Him. Suffering is still there and hard, but I can endure with hope because He has saved me from eternal suffering through the shedding of His blood, and He has promised that His Holy Spirit will never leave nor forsake me. So this morning when I woke up and everything hit the fan before 7:30am for the second day in a row, and I cried while making breakfast because I felt like I was reliving the previous week, I had to re-remind myself of what I sang and heard yesterday. Again and again and again.
You know what my favorite part about Sunday was? The way it ended. My husband led our family in our Sunday evening worship time by reading Psalm 34. Oh, my Savior, how sweet for You to sovereignly determine that he would read this specific chapter! I know this was a long post. I’ll leave you with a portion of what I’ll be memorizing to commemorate God’s amazingness:
I sought the Lord, and he answered me
and delivered me from all my fears.
Those who look to Him are radiant,
and their faces shall never be ashamed.
This poor man cried, and the Lord heard him
and saved him out of all his troubles.
The angel of the Lord encamps
around those who fear Him, and delivers them.
Oh, taste and see that the Lord is good!
Blessed is the man who takes refuge in Him!
Psalm 34: 4-8, ESV