God “Nose” What You Need

Margot typically naps from 1.5 – 3 hours a day, and I’ve been using every bit of her nap on fruitless, earthly pursuits (cleaning, trying to find the perfect pink ink, browsing sewing patterns, sewing, looking at clothing online, reading, etc.).  Last night, as I was saying my prayers in bed, I prayed that God would help me with my current lack of discipline — that He would create in me a desire to spend time with Him.

He answered that prayer quickly and in an unexpected way.  The nose for Margot’s Mr. Potato Head has been missing for a couple of months, and it’s been driving me nuts.  This particular set came with several mouths and sets of eyes, but it only came with one nose, and he has this super adorable handlebar mustache that is useless without his solitary nose!  This afternoon, Margot opened a tin, and there it was — the missing nose.  I was elated to find the missing nose!  I was thinking about the FOUND nose, and the FFH song “You Found Me” (from way back in 2003) popped into my head, and it was just this blatantly obvious prompting that could have only come from God — reminding me that He has already FOUND me and that I was made to commune with Him.  And I knew that during today’s nap I HAD to spend time with God.

I gave my friend Christine this book of devotionals geared towards moms for her birthday, and I mentioned that she needed to tell me if it was good so that I could know whether or not I should buy it for myself.  She did one better than that and bought me my very own copy for Christmas — and it’s the perfect thing for this season of life.  The entries are short but insightful, and there’s a place at the end of each entry for self-reflection.  I opened it up today, and the title of the lesson was A Place of Peace.  The point of the lesson was that, as moms, we’re called to be peacemakers in our household; we cannot be peacemakers when we’re not filled with His peace…when we’re not making spending time with God a priority.  This lesson being the next one in the book was no coincidence — it was definitely God-ordained (just like the resurfacing of Mr. Potato Head’s nose).  The lesson led to me diving into Bible verses about peace:

“Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God.” – Matthew 5:9

“Depart from evil and do good; seek peace and pursue it.” Psalm 34:14

“So then we pursue the things which make for peace and
the building up of one another.” Romans 14:19

How can I build my daughter and husband up when I myself am not willing to pursue God’s peace in my own life?  By not making him a priority, I’m doing both myself and my family a disservice.  And I feel convicted.  I know that going through seasons of spiritual drought is normal, but I take no comfort in that.  I pray that my newfound conviction lasts.  I am so thankful that Margot found Mr. Potato Head’s nose — through it, I found God again. My very own proof that God meets us where we are.

A side rabbit trail…did you know that “God works in mysterious ways” is not a Bible verse?  I was researching that saying as I was preparing to write this entry.  It is actually from a poem written in 1773 by William Cowper called Light Shining out of Darkness.  It’s a beautiful poem, so I wanted to include it here.

1
God moves in a mysterious way,
His wonders to perform;
He plants his footsteps in the sea,
And rides upon the storm.
2
Deep in unfathomable mines
Of never-failing skill,
He treasures up his bright designs,
And works his sov’reign will.
3
Ye fearful saints, fresh courage take,
The clouds ye so much dread
Are big with mercy, and shall break
In blessings on your head.
4
Judge not the Lord by feeble sense,
But trust him for his grace;
Behind a frowning providence
He hides a smiling face.
5
His purposes will ripen fast,
Unfolding ev’ry hour;
The bud may have a bitter taste,
But sweet will be the flow’r.
6
Blind unbelief is sure to err,
And scan his work in vain;
God is his own interpreter,
And he will make it plain.

Margot did this all on her own while I held the potato for her.

My 21 Day Facebook Fast

Each January members of our church are encouraged to participate in a non-mandatory period of fasting.  I typically haven’t participated but felt called to take part in this year’s fast.  Since having Margot I have felt like I “don’t have time to do anything.”  The one aspect of my life that was suffering the most from me “not having time to do anything” was my relationship with God — I don’t remember another season of life when He’s felt so far away.  My prayer life was good because I spend an hour each day bouncing/swaying/walking Margot to sleep, and I use that time to pray, but I was struggling to spend time reading the Bible.  Reading scripture has always been a crucial part of me feeling God’s presence in my life.  I knew in my heart that I was wasting a lot of my time on my cell phone, particularly on Facebook.  My heart was convicted, and I knew that God was calling me to embark on a 21 day Facebook fast.

Initially my Facebook fast was much harder than I had anticipated.  For several years, I have started and ended my days with Facebook.  For the most part, the only time I see someone besides Bryan and Margot is at church on Sundays.  Facebook is a good way for me to keep in touch with people, especially friends and relatives who don’t live near me.  I felt myself wondering how so-and-so’s baby was doing or wanting to share a cute picture of Margot.  There were several times where I picked up my cell phone with the intention of making a post only to reluctantly put it back down.

One thing that I realized almost immediately during my fast is that it suddenly felt like I had more time.  When I woke up before Margot, I would start my day off by reading my chronological Bible.  On days when I wasn’t able to do that, I’d read it during Margot’s first nap of the day.  I dug around the You Version Bible app and found some short devotionals to read through, and that app became my go-to winding-down-before-going-to-bed app.  I was witnessing firsthand the true meaning of James 4:8 —

“Draw near to God, and He will draw near to you.”

Not only did I all of a sudden have time to spend with God, but I also managed to find more time for household chores and my hobbies.  Clean laundry was folded shortly after it dried (rather than sitting in a laundry basket for days on end).  We ate several new meals (by the way, I highly recommend this cookbook).  I dusted and vacuumed and mopped.

With the exception of Margot’s Halloween costume, I hadn’t worked on any sewing projects since Margot was born.  During my fast I made her a heart-shaped crinkly tag toy (part of her Valentine’s Day gift), and I made myself a pen-roll to store my fountain pens in.  I wasn’t taking photos to share on Facebook; I was just taking them with me, so I used my “real camera” a ton during this period — a change that I intend to make permanent.  I haven’t felt much like “myself” since Margot was born (so much changed so fast, especially with my transition from production engineer to stay-at-home-mom), and my Facebook fast gave me a few glimpses of “me.”  I do not believe that my old self can coexist with Sarah-the-mom (how can they when my responsibilities now are SO different?), but there are hobbies that I do intend to hold on to, and my Facebook fast showed me that that goal is doable.

Pre-baby, time-management was something I only practiced at work.  I kept a to-do list of things that needed to be done around the house, but beyond that, time-management at home simply wasn’t necessary.  My Facebook fast made it painfully obvious how important time management and setting priorities is now that I have a baby to care for.  I learned that I need to put my time with God first; if I don’t spend time with Him the first chance I get, then there’s a high probability that it won’t happen at all.  I also learned that I can get a lot done during the two, 30 minute naps Margot takes each day when I don’t spend the first 15 minutes of each of them scrolling through Facebook.  In addition to all of that, I learned that, no matter how disciplined I am, sometimes there will be days that I feel like I didn’t get anything done, and that’s okay.  Because on those days, I took care of Margot, and she felt loved.  And that’s a big something.