Saturday morning. We should have a spring in our step that day, yes? The end of a hard week and usually some guaranteed relaxation, even for moms who still have laundry and dishes and spills staring us in the face.
I wanted to have a spring this morning...some extra joy. I wanted to give glory to God with my gratitude, but I struggled for hours.
We used to do our neighborhood Children's Bible Study every Saturday during the school year, but when summer arrived we changed it to every other week. We'd planned to go back to every Saturday this fall, but the children's ministry job cropped up for me, so I told the neighbors we needed to keep it to every other week.
But then life happens and we had to do it two weeks in a row to accommodate a trip to the Apple Orchard (still haven't been there due to weather...hoping for next Sat.).
So I awoke this morning with housekeeping and delegating hanging over my head, and my husband, as usual, working until 1:30 PM on Saturday.
The nothing-to-look-forward-to blues hit me hard and my thanks were few. The neighbor kids have multiple issues making them high maintenance; I didn't want to see them today, much less prepare my heart or home for them.
Yesterday, one of them, the girl about whom I frequently write, told Peter she wanted him to dig up the dead hamster's body so she could see it. He refused and told her she was crazy. She pouted and kept insisting but eventually she dropped it.
Peter didn't share this with me until this morning, and of course I was furious with her selfish, shocking nonsense. My heart was insistent that I don't owe this crazy girl a thing, and I'm sick of the whole business.
So I cleaned the house with a pout in my heart for a couple hours, and then the Holy Spirit dealt with me.
Whose life is this anyway? Yours, or mine? Whose Saturday is it...yours, or mine? Didn't I suffer on a tree, separated from my Father, to give you life? Aren't you bought and paid for? That crazy girl matters to me. Her soul matters to me. I expect you to live for me and get ready to serve these children this afternoon, with a smile in your heart.
Well, I didn't exactly have a smile in my heart, but I managed to finish cleaning and delegating and preparing the rest of the lesson. I practiced a smile for two crazy neighbor kids.
The young lady arrived an hour early because her mother and grandmother went shopping.
Wonderful. I wasn't ready, and it looked like I was babysitting. My attitude flared again and I kept practicing that smile.
Fast forward two hours and the study is over. My kids and the neighbor kids are outside playing football with my husband. I watched them play in the muddy yard, a light rain dropping.
I saw such joy.
Neither of these children have a father in their lives, and that football game delighted them. The fellowship, the exuberance, the smiles...it was all perfect. God was glorified in that scene and I realized for the thousandth time as a Christian...It's not about me. I really am bought and paid for, and my Saturdays really aren't my own.
And watching that scene as though it were a movie? Well, it delighted me. It gave me such fulfillment, seeing my Savior as the star, front and center.
The greatest joy we can possibly experience? It comes from living for Him.
He takes our obedience and in turn, He gives us Life...Abundant.