Flailing Pillows to Solve Problems

{Repost of a Popular Post}

I have never seen my husband jump out of bed so fast–we had already checked on our three sleeping babies, turned off reading lamps, tucked covers around them.  We had brushed our teeth and put on pjs.  I was just climbing into the bed beside Mark who was laying on his stomach reading a text, in his boxers (because that’s what males call pjs, right?) when he smacked his back and jumped out of bed and into the corner of the room–somehow in one motion of jumping he also turned our bedroom light on to the brightest setting.

What’s wrongI questioned

Something just bit me!

Now, before I continue the story, I’ll let you in on a bit of a secret–my man does not like insects.  He will rid the house of a spider for me if I ask him, but in general, I probably kill more bugs than he does. Let’s be very clear that my man is a man — he is strong, a defender, he can lift every piece of furniture my little heart desires, & he makes chopping 35 year old tree roots with an axe look easy.  But, he’d prefer not to spend time around insects, particularly when he is donned in his undies.

It wasn’t long before we saw the bug that had nipped Mark — it was black and resembled a hornet–definitely not trustworthy in Mark’s book.  And, of course, we couldn’t go to sleep or turn down the lights until we rid the room of this unwelcome intruder.  Mark spent much of the next 15 minutes flailing pillows at the bug, as I worked to control the stomach cramps I was getting from laughing. His work to get the bug was erratic and made little progress. I finally came up with the plan to trap the bug by attracting it to one particular light and frying his bug guts. When the bug was dead, and the flailing had stopped, Mark said something we now quote to each other regularly.

I’m proud of how I handled that situation.

That smug and sarcastic comment was followed by at least five minutes of me laughing.  He and I both knew that he had behaved like a crazy man and made for a great story, but nothing about those moments were proud ones.

The phrase has become a joke around our house when we really botch something.  It is a funny joke, but the reality is there are so many situations in my day that my response is the equivalent of flailing around with pillows in my underwear in the spiritual realm.

Mark responds to me in a way other than what I had imagined and I get hurt, and then I let my brain toss it around for the next few hours, compounding the offense–flailing pillows

Beckett wakes up with a goopy nose and full cough, and my initial thoughts have pity party written all over them–flailing pillows.

Charlotte interrupts me early in the morning when I am spending time in the Word, and in a huff I carry her back up to her room–flailing pillows in my undies.

I would like to actually walk away from these interruptions, unmet expectations, and disappointments and be able to say to myself, I’m proud of how I handled that without any sarcasm in my tone.  Not because I can then walk around puffed up, but because that would mean I handled it the way my Father God has been training me–I handled it with an attitude of gratitude, the truth of the Word, and a deep love for people around me that covers their shortcomings.

Mommas, our enemy is real.  He is sneaky and deceitful; the Bible tells us he prowls around looking for who he may devour (or distract). Ready and waiting to jump out and nip at us just enough to get us flailing our pillows around, accomplishing nothing to resolve the issue and accomplishing nothing for kingdom purposes.

What is it that nips at you, what is it that gets you huffy or your brain reeling in offense? Gird yourself up with the Word & by the Holy Spirit at work in you, next time, walk away saying, I’m proud of how I handled that. 



The Best News for Your Monday Morning 

  “You know the world is not stuck and that it hasn’t been abandoned by God”

Do you know that on this Monday morning, momma? 

Do you know even when it feels like you’re doing the same things everyday, trying to solve the same problems over & over and though creation doesn’t fill the whole you have in you for your Creator, God is working an eternal plan.
You’re an eternal creature living in a temporary world.  You’re a momma picking up abandoned socks and chasing messy toddlers with a washcloth & you’re a daughter of the king being prepared for something much greater than what this world has to offer. 

More posts to come as we look at an eternal perspective in our temporal world.  But, today, “…get up…and give yourself to doing the things that God says are good because you know that if grace has put eternity in your future, than nothing you could ever do in God’s name could be in vain.” (Paul David Tripp)

Not one day of pulling dinner together after work, not one kiss on top of your little one’s feverish head, not one early morning Bible time…not one of these things can possibly be in vain–eternity is in your future. 

What is Coming Out of Your Mouth {Part 2}

And How to Pour out Grace

More important than what is coming out of your mouth is the why of your (life-giving or death-ushering) words and speech patterns.

In my post last week, I wrote,  “I think we have been overlooking an entire category of speech that is much more damaging to the user and the hearer than any potty talk will ever be.  God showed me that there are words I have allowed to come out of my own mouth–even towards my people–that are painful, and setting an example in our home that makes me uncomfortable.”

Read the full post here, “What is Coming Out of Your Mouth?:It Might Be Worse Than Potty Talk

I had noticed that when I was in a hurry, inconvenienced, or just forgetting what it’s like to be four (or 1, or 7), my words were often uncaring and compassionless.  My heart aches to realize this as I know I am training my people to use their words to bring life (or death).

Knowing I have a problem is of no use if I don’t have a solution, which lies in discovering the why of my words. “For the believer, harsh, critical, impatient, and irritated responses to others are always connected to forgetting…what we have been given in Jesus.” (Paul David Tripp, New Morning Mercies) 

Let’s look to Ephesians 3, “And may you, having been [deeply] rooted and [securely] grounded in love, be fully capable of comprehending with all the saints (God’s people) the width and length and height and depth of His love [fully experiencing that amazing, endless love];  and [that you may come] to know [practically, through personal experience] the love of Christ which far surpasses [mere] knowledge [without experience]…” (17-19a, AMP, emphasis mine)

Mommas, our words are an overflow of our hearts.  Our hearts’ grace for people runs dry when we forget (or don’t know) how much grace has been given to us. Paul David Tripp says it this way, “when I take time to consider the grace that I couldn’t have earned, achieved, or deserved, but which has been lavished on me…I am joyfully motivated to give grace to others.” (New Morning Mercies)

So, today, mommas, I pray for you (and for me) that we would be fully capable of comprehending the width and length, and height and depth of His love for us–that we would recognize the grace lavished on us.  I pray we would know that though our tantrums don’t look like our children’s (ever thrown a little fit in your head when plans changed?  Me too.), and some of our emotional injuries are the equivalent of a stubbed toe, His endless love pours out grace on us. May we through personal experience in our messy mundane days know the love and grace of Christ. And as we know His love and experience His grace, may we sloppily pour it out for our people.

God is constantly stretching me in how I use my words–I am a talker, so it is the most likely area of sin for me.  If you’re at all like me, here’s another post for you, “Guarding My Family from Reckless Words.”