Joshua 24:15, "...choose you this day whom you will serve... but as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD."
Each day, every hour, every minute, we have a choice to make. We can serve the Lord, we can serve the world, or we can serve our flesh. It is our decision. God is a Gentleman. He does not force us to serve Him. He allows us to choose Him.
How we react to the circumstances in our lives, reflects the master we just chose to serve.
During Christmas vacation our seven year old daughter slept on the floor in the bedroom with us. She got accustomed to this. When we returned home, she had a new anxiety about sleeping in her bedroom alone. We were patient and kind. We prayed with her. We spoke with her. We prayed more. We got up over and over and over, night after night after night. We tried to have her sleep with her older sisters. Little Rebekah would sleep, but her older sisters didn't sleep enough to face their demanding days. We tried the couch in the family room outside the older two sisters' bedrooms. That didn't work. She returned to her room and weeping herself to sleep.
After a month, we were all exhausted.
Two nights ago Beka and I had another chat. As I was tucking her into bed, her face was all pinched and red and she was weeping, "I don't think I can make it through the night, Mommy."
It crushed my heart to see her in pain, but I also knew I needed sleep. I really, really, really needed some sleep. As much as my Mommy heart wanted to sleep with her the rest of her life, my Mommy mind knew this wasn't the best solution. I also knew I couldn't solve this one for her. She had to solve it on her own. I could be there, I could pray, I could advise, but I couldn't physically take the irrational fear from her.
As I had been asking for the Lord's wisdom for a month, I felt I would attempt one more conversation.
I spoke with her about choosing her thoughts. She could choose to think about how upset she was that she was alone, or she could choose to think how thankful she was that her Mommy and Daddy were right next door. She could choose to think about being scared, or she could choose to think about the Lord's presence with her. She could choose to think about scary things in the room, or she could choose to think about the angels around her.
Without being overbearing or demanding, I just firmly explained the way she could choose to direct her mind. She had always slept in her room without problems, she could do so again, but she needed to choose to have good thoughts. We prayed again. I left. After only a few callbacks, she fell asleep.
The next night as I tucked her in, she was smiling. "Mommy, I want you to know that I am choosing to think good thoughts."
Last night, as we prayed together, she asked the Lord to help her sleep in her own room. She was asleep before I checked on her the first time.
This may stick, it may not. If it doesn't, we'll just have to pray more and keep training her little mind to think on good things.
Philippians 4:8 Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things.
It's not by chance we serve the Lord, it's by choice.
What am I going to do to start off this new week?
I'm going to take my own advice. As I face another week of school, laundry, obligations, parenting, wifing, I am going to choose to serve the Lord by thinking on "these things."
I'm going to choose to serve the Lord by lovingly helping my godly husband, and ironing all his long-sleeved work shirts, which I've put off for a week already.
I'm going to choose to serve the Lord by happily doing the laundry. That's easy, I love the laundry.
I'm going to choose the Lord by cheerfully making dinner. That's a hard one. I'm not crazy about cooking. But, I won't complain. I'm feeding the family I love.
I'm going to choose to serve the Lord by not complaining that I am starting another week with the house not in the order I want it. I love order. I crave order. The house is not in order. I will continue to try, but choose to not be frustrated.
Like Rebekah told me, "I'm choosing to have good thoughts."
If it works to chase away night time fears, it should work to chase away daytime crabbies, doncha think?
(Choose to pop over to Nan's blog for Making Your Home Sing Monday and read what other moms are choosing to do to make Monday not such a Monday.)