Today’s post is from Julia White, an energetic warrior mama who loves to inspire the hearts of women with faith and encouragement. When Julia is not running back and forth to her two kids’ activities, she loves reading, music, and sharing stories with friends. Julia published her first book of devotionals in 2015 and runs an inspirational blog, providing weekly sparkle to those looking for God’s “jewels” in their own lives. She reminds us that even when we feel lost, God tells us we are beautiful and valuable, just as He made us.
Winter is in full force here in the Midwest. Sparkling snow is on the ground, there’s a brisk chill in the air, and frost is glistening like diamonds on the trees. I love the way the world looks after a snow….calm, patient, gentle…and let’s face it…sparkly. I love me some sparkles.
Of course I also really appreciate the fact that I have a garage to park my van in so my vehicle is not as sparkly as my husband’s work truck in the morning. There’s no scraping or de-icing for me. I just jump in my van and go.
Our last house had outdoor parking and mornings were not quite as glorious as I tromped outside to turn on the car defroster and then set off to scrape my windows. It was a chore I was happy to give up when we moved.
Just recently a friend of mine and I were talking about how it probably doesn’t take more than 5-10 minutes to completely scrape the ice off your windshield, but how little patience we have for that chore some days.
In fact, what made us laugh the hardest was when we started talking about the driving “peephole.” You know, that 10 inch oval circle that appears when you turn on your car defroster and it finally melts enough where you think “Yep! Good enough to get going!”
So you scrunch down in your seat, peer intently out your peephole and navigate your car out of your driveway and down the road. You would think our years of experience with snow and ice would have helped us build different habits. All we have to do is actually wait the 15 minutes it takes for the car to warm up and clear the entire windshield. But instead, our years of experience have led us to choose the opposite. We rationalize,“I’ll just start moving now because by the time I get anywhere that I REALLY need to see my windshield will be clear.”
I honestly remember driving to work more than once where I had to roll down the side windows before I turned so I could check for oncoming traffic. I knew it was a safety issue. But some days….I just didn’t want to take the time to do the work. It was a bad habit, but one that was hard to break.
This happens in our lives, too. Kids have activities to do, guests are coming over, houses don’t clean themselves, and by golly these people in our lives demand to be fed…every day…over and over. And sometimes our responsibilities and “what needs to be done” start to cloud our vision.
While this happens with our kids, I would even boldly say it happens more often in our marriages and our friendships. Why do I always have to be the tough parent? Why didn’t HE help with the dishes? Why can’t THEY run the errands? We scrunch down in our seats and peer intently through our opinions of WHAT needs to be done and by WHO…and our 10 inch oval keeps getting smaller and smaller.
God reminds us there is a different way. Ecclesiastes 4:12 says, “Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves. A cord of three strands is not quickly broken.” Or the other translation I like is “ A person standing alone can be attacked and defeated, but two can stand back-to-back and conquer. Three are even better, for a triple-braided cord is not easily broken.”
We are not alone, despite what our small peephole would lead us to believe at times. While we are focused and intent on driving our families forward, we also need to take the time to wait before we move forward safely.
Instead of just plunging forward and hoping that everything will be as it should be by the time we get there….we need to start instead with a clear purpose.
Start with open eyes that see the other people God has given you on your team. The ones that you can stand back-to-back with and conquer everything this life throws your way.
Take the time to connect with your husband and friends. Just 5 minutes of talking to them about how you can pray for them today can reveal a whole world of worry or joy that we would have missed otherwise!
Take the time to let God reveal the bigger picture and connect you to His purpose.
Like that freshly fallen snow, God’s love is always around us…calm, patient, and gentle…and maybe even a little sparkly. So, let’s not continue to drive blindly just because it’s a habit. God has so much more for us to see.
God, thank you for your many gifts. I’m grateful for friends and loved ones who walk this journey with me. Thank you for this reminder to open my eyes. Help me to drop the habit of looking at life through a peephole and missing the bigger picture. In Jesus Name. Amen.