Since adding a third arrow to our quiver, I am still trying to establish a new morning routine, one in which I am showered and dressed (in non-spandex pants), and have had some time in the Word. It is hard. It is hard to make myself get out of bed one second earlier than necessary (necessary is when I hear Beckett’s squawks). So, it wasn’t part of an organized Bible study, like I typically enjoy, or a reading plan this morning when I opened my Bible app while nursing Beckett and read from Romans 12,
I APPEAL to you therefore, brethren, and beg of you in view of [all] the mercies of God, to make a decisive dedication of your bodies [presenting all your members and faculties] as a living sacrifice, holy (devoted, consecrated) and well pleasing to God, which is your reasonable (rational, intelligent) service and spiritual worship. (Romans 12:1 AMP).
“Isn’t that beautiful?”, I whispered in the hushed nursery with my sweet smelling son curled up on my lap. “That’s what being a mom is, isn’t it, Lord? It’s me offering my entire self, decidedly, to my children as an act of worship to the One who offered it all for me. And, yes, it is my rational and reasonable service to God. In light of all He has done for me, it’s such a little sacrifice, it’s reasonable.”
And then the nursery’s door flung open in the hand of my almost six year old–flinging with it the hush of the morning. Through her tears I deciphered she needed to know why there was no surprise in her room for the tooth she lost last night. Oof. Forgot.
Reasonable act of worship. After consoling her by suggesting the surprise was probably downstairs by her toothbrush, and hustling her tiny buns to her room to double check. I dashed downstairs to find the dollar store trinket and place it nearby her toothbrush. Hush was gone, the day had officially begun. Ready–to offer myself as a living sacrifice–or not.
I could hear splashing in the bathroom as toasted some sandwiches for lunch. I called out to the girls, Audrey responded that they were just washing their hands. I wanted to go help them, keep the water off the counter, hang the towel on it’s hook, but they were giggling. And, it was okay to let them have these minutes I thought. I can clean up later–reasonable act of worship.
Charlotte’s shirt was soaked when they arrived at the table for lunch. After I snatched one from the clean laundry sitting near the dryer she said,
“I was just trying to get some bubbles…” Sweet, I thought. Good I let them have their minutes, “…to get Audrey’s poopies off me.” I laughed (better than slumping in defeat). And, off to the bathroom I went to investigate and clean up. Reasonable act.
As I cleaned up dinner, with Bob and Larry singing Sunday school songs in the background for the eighteenth time that day, I whispered, “I deserve a medal for keeping an even tone of voice all day.” It had been a messy day. Just as quickly as I whispered, I felt the Lord whisper to my heart,
See, I deserve death. That’s really all this sinner has earned on her own. I deserve to be separated from my God, my holy God. But (praise Jesus), I’m not. I’m in right standing with Him because Jesus carried what I deserve.
As for you, you were dead in your transgressions and sins…But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions—it is by grace you have been saved. (Ephesians 2:1, 4-5 NIV)
Each breath, quiet or exasperated is more than I deserve. Reasonable act of worship. And, it is with gratitude that I will work to listen carefully to the Lord’s whisper in the middle of long, messy, bubble and poop filled days. Join me? I’ll forget. I’ll think I deserve a medal or trophy some days. Others, I’ll know I have missed the mark more times than I can count before we even get to lunch. But, I’ll try, Jesus helping, to keep offering my worship.