The truth is that for the last few weeks, I've been struggling. Not in a deep, serious, life-threatening way. In a "I'm gonna lose it if I have to pick up one more toy" or a "Didn't I just feed these children" kind of way. In a "the air conditioner isn't working, I dropped and broke my most expensive bottle of make-up, and I've spent 29 hours a day with hyper children (who may or may not belong to me)" kind of way. And to top off my exhaustion and frustration I liked to end the days with a big helping of guilt as I thought about all the people in the world who have REAL problems. So, that's where I've been.
Today, my buddy Kate sent me a text as I was walking into Wal-Mart with all 3 of my offspring. I texted her back and asked her to pray for me as I was about to attempt a grocery trip. She responded with this prayer,
"Dear Lord, Please help Emily survive Wal-Mart with all her little kiddos. Please help her stay strong and not give into buying ALL the junk food that they pick up. :) Give her the strength to say no. Hee hee! Help her get all her shopping done and be out of there in less than 1738228 hours! I love you Jesus. Amen!'AMEN! First, I love someone who would put hee hee in a prayer. :) Secondly, I wondered how a teenager with no kids would know exactly the right things to pray for. And 3rd, I realized that while I feel like such a loser that I would need prayer to make it through a shopping trip, it really did make me feel better. And I came to the conclusion that life sometimes gets difficult for me because I forget how much I need God's strength. I think that I need to save my prayers for the big things. But the truth is, I'm just not as strong as I would like to think I am. And while I would love to report that I am as awesome as people come and I not only do it all, but I do it all by MYSELF, it would be a big.fat.lie. I'm just terminally human and weak. As soon as I start depending on my own strength, I fall BIG. I am so needy of the grace and power God offers me. I have to agree with the psalmist when he said,
" My flesh and my heart may fail,
but God is the strength of my heart
and my portion forever."
Just for the record, we made it out alive. At one point I thought we were going to have to turn right back around because every time I looked in the rearview mirror the kids had pulled a different snack out. It's a nine day wonder we made it home with any food left. But TWO Wal-Mart trips in one day????? We woulda had to ring up the church's prayer chain!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!