The Morning Rush

Has it been awhile since you spent time with God one on one?
Has it been awhile since you spent time with God one on one?

If there was ever a perfect example of why I needed a morning devotional time with God, it was today. The morning rush attacked me this morning, once again. Anybody else out there stressed out in the morning with all that you need to do? I hear you! I think I wake up with instant visions of my ever-growing to-do list and this is why I get preemptively stressed. Is anybody else like that? I don’t choose to be this way – but I immediately see everything that needs to be done and everything that could possibly screw it up before it happens. For this reason, I admit that I have had some days in the past that I completely skipped my morning quiet time with God because I had convinced myself that I was too busy. I don’t know if you’ve experienced this, but on those days, my patience is nearly non-existent. I yell at the kids and at my hubby out of anger over little things that don’t matter – I definitely do not use my “customer service smile over the phone” at work – and my co-workers probably notice that I am missing my usual ability to smile easily and handle complaints calmly.

Here’s a little peek into the start of my day this morning 1)Wake up – get coffee ASAP! 2)Spend time with God for at least 5 minutes – reading verses and praying – hopefully more like 15 minutes if I didn’t snooze too long 3)Shower and get dressed 4) wake up hubby 5) start packing lunches and getting breakfast out 6) wake up boys  – FEED all of us ASAP (we are a cranky group before we get our coffee (for me) and food!) 7) Clean up spill #1 from my 2.5 year old – thankfully this time it was an accident 8) Remind boys of the routine – again – have hubby pass out meds and give breathing treatment and vitamins – send boys to get dressed and brush teeth  while I attempt to actually do my hair today 9) make sure that daddy and boys don’t have any major wardrobe clashes then get everything done just in the nick of time – uugghhh! I forgot my ½ finished coffee – I’ll get some at work 10) Do make up on the way to work while hubby is driving – didn’t get to brush teeth once again, but I  store a travel toothbrush and toothpaste at work because this is a frequent occurrence. 11)Discuss with hubby how we are going to get our morning routine down better tomorrow – hopefully 12) Get to work with 1 minute to give hubby and boys kisses and walk in the door. 13) Try to hide the stain on my shirt that I just noticed with my ID badge strategic placement (Yes boss, if you are reading this, there is a reason my ID badge is always clipped somewhere on my shirt) 14)Get my hard-earned coffee and try to gulp down before I realize the lid is not secure 14) Proceed with spill #2 down the front of my shirt – well I don’t have to worry about that old stain anymore – the new one covers it nicely 15) Put my hair up in a pony tail that didn’t last long… 16) Thank God for the peace that He gives me that allows me to still smile and sometimes even laugh at myself because I made an effort to thank him this morning and to praise Him for my blessings instead of scrolling on Facebook like I have done so many times in the past when I get my precious alone time.

Some of you may be thinking – “well geez – you only gave God 5-15 minutes”. Yes, that’s correct, and that is all that I am able to give in the morning. However, that is not the only time that I have for God. Have you ever worked in Customer Service of any kind? Some of my deepest and most sincere prayers are silently pleading with God while I handle one more complaint. I also frequently pray while working out on my lunch break – pray that I can make it running 5 more minutes without stopping – pray that I don’t spend the whole time comparing myself to that skinny girl on the next treadmill because if I focus on Him I can remember that I am fearfully and wonderfully made.  Sometimes I pray while creating a post on my lunch break, such as right now. I pray that someone other than my hubby and my mother will read this so that my voice may reach to other busy working moms out there – other women who doubt their worth – other athletes who sometimes feel unmotivated or unworthy in the gym – other women who sometimes question their purpose – other parents who sometimes wonder if their kids allergies will ever get better – other cooks who sometimes wonder if it is worth all of the time and energy to prepare a homemade meal that the whole family will agree to eat – other Christians who sometimes want to hide in a cave away from the evils of this world. I hear you! I am you or have been you at some point! You know what’s going to get you through that struggle? Time with God! He may not be your best friend right now, but you still have the chance to change that! Time with God is not just one more thing on my to do list – it is what relieves the stress and the pressure of the to do list – so in a way, my time with God determines my view – not just my view of myself – my view of the world. I don’t know where I would be without my God time – but I would be a much bigger mess than I just displayed for you with the start of my day.

Let me know how you are doing with your God Time in the comments below. Feel free to email me at krautfam3@gmail.com for recommendations of good daily devotionals that can keep you on track or good hints to sneak in more God time throughout the day. Whether it’s sticky notes of verses on the bathroom mirror or on your desk at work, or a full-out prayer closet, whatever it takes!

Here’s part of my devotional today that protected me from a bad attitude and a gloomy mental state:

James 1:19: Understand this, my dear brothers and sisters: You must all be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to get angry.

Blessings,

Aubree

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When Suffering Smacks You in the Face…

When Suffering Smacks you in the Face - What can you do?
When Suffering Smacks you in the Face – What can you do?

We all dread that call from the school, the one that may leave the parent crying as much or more than the child. I still remember getting the call from my son’s school last Spring, informing me that my 5 year old at the time had fallen off the monkey bars, had landed on another child, had lost two teeth and has a large gash but they are not sure where it is on his face because there is too much blood to tell.  I am normally a calm person, but when you tell me that one of my children is in pain like this, I tend to turn into a raging lunatic / emotional basket-case / deer in headlights, which is not a good condition to be in while driving.  Thankfully, I was blessed with a husband who remains calm in crisis. He was able to go to the school, take him to get checked out, eventually get stitches in his lip, and turn the whole thing into an adventure that ended with ice cream. Don’t you wish that all  pain and suffering could be done in a day and end with ice cream?

Then there are some illnesses or struggles that creep up on us slowly, that started out small and then turned into an unbearable crisis.

This has been a rough couple of years for my family and I. We have had many hospital visits, many allergist visits, many doctor visits, many chiropractor visits and for some things, we are still praying for healing, still trusting in healing. Sometimes it was our youngest son having allergic reactions and severe asthma attacks, once I had to have surgery, and once had a horrible case of the flu, a few times, my husband threw his back out. I will admit. I have sometimes gotten to the point that I wanted to keep my family in a bubble and never come out. However,  I need to remind myself that God never promised that we would have healing the minute we ask for it. He never promised that we would even have complete healing in this life. We live in a broken world, a world with germs, with disease, with allergies, with less than ideal food options, and sometimes, honestly less than ideal finances to purchase the best food options. God did promise us that in this world we would have trouble, but also that HE HAS ALREADY OVERCOME THE WORLD!

So, as I pray for healing for myself, for my children, for my husband, and for many other loved ones off and on as all of the struggles come and go, I will trust in the Healer, trust in the one who made us. I will trust that He sees the big picture. I will trust that He knows what is best in the grand scheme of things. No, I don’t believe that God wants us to suffer, don’t misunderstand me. I do, however, believe that when suffering comes, whether in physical pain, emotional pain, in loss of a loved one, or in other ways, God can use that pain and turn it into something better. He can use it to remind us to trust in Him. He can use it to remind us that He is all we need. He can use it to change me into a better person, a more compassionate, a more loving, a more generous person.
Do you know anyone who is a spoiled brat? Do you know someone who has never had to work hard a single day in his or her life? Do you know anyone who has had life handed to them on a silver spoon? And what do you think of that person’s character? Is he or she a pleasant person to be around? I didn’t think so. Suffering comes in all forms. It can be health, it can be finances, it can be failed relationships, failed jobs or businesses, addictions. You name it, somewhere, someone has suffered through it. But if they went through it, that means it is done. That means there is an end to it, and more than likely, that person is stronger, braver, more compassionate, or has learned something from their suffering.

Let’s make a promise to each other today. Let’s promise to pull together and love on each other when we are going through suffering. Let’s not point fingers, or blame someone, or make up some lame excuse for not helping like “That’s because of their sins”. Let he who is without sin cast the first stone. Let those with sin, (everyone on this Earth), show compassion, band together, and help each other through our suffering, continue to pray for healing, and continue to grow stronger together.

Blessings,
Aubree

References:
“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” John 16:33
Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. James 1:2-4
Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope.
Romans 5:3-4
Jesus Referring to those who wished to stone the woman caught in adultery:
When they kept on questioning him (Jesus), he straightened up and said to them, “Let any one of you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone at her.” John 8:7