Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Mama with the Manna

Ten days ago, I sat down and wrote what would become my first "official" post on this blog. It was about How to Maintain a Peaceful Home. The following seven days were some of the busiest we have had in a very long time. We fed over 40 people in three days, which meant that when I actually "published" that post on Monday morning, my kitchen looked like this:

And because the few spare minutes I had in the week were spent preparing for two speaking engagements (one for me and one for my husband), my laundry pile ended up looking like this:

Then while I spent Monday playing catch-up and simultaneously advertising the new blog via social media, my cloth diaper pail sat like this:

And you know what? That's life right now.

It's the reality of having kids - whether you have one or four of them - there's always something left to do. Another load of laundry. Another sticky spot on the floor. Another pile of dishes in the sink. Mismatched socks. Lost shoes. Dust bunnies. Dust monsters. Homework. Dinner prep. Finger prints. Unidentifiable goo. 

Always something. 

Something left undone. 

Something that will have to wait one more day. 


And it used to really bother me. It still can now, if I let it. All the piles and incomplete tasks can leave me feeling a little hopeless. When I wake up to a never-ending to-do list, and go to bed with same list still undone, it can feel like failure. 

But it's in those moments we mamas have to remember the principle of "enough."

As a Christian, I use the term "Sabbath."

I love the story of how the Sabbath was given to God's people. The Israelites were wandering the desert with Moses - hungry, tired, with a forty-year journey ahead. They woke up to a never-ending desert, and went to bed with the same desert still stretched out before them.

Then God sent manna. The Bible says it was like bread or grain. It came fresh every morning, raining from the sky. The people were to go out and gather just enough for one day. Just enough to sustain their families and fill their bellies. On the sixth day of the week, they were to gather twice as much so that on the seventh day, they could rest. 

There were some who didn't obey. They took more than they needed. 

I think I understand them. I think I am one of them. 

I see that mama, the one who pulled her children away from the only home they had ever known, where they were slaves, yes, but their bellies were always full, and they never had to worry about their next meal. She brought them into the desert to follow a man who claimed to hear from God. And for the first time, when her children's tummies rumbled, she had nothing to give them. No means to provide for them. So when the manna came, she swore she would never again hear her children complain of hunger. She would work a little harder. She would gather a little more. She would store it away for the day when the manna stopped. Then they would have enough. 

But the next morning, when she and the other mamas started to prepare breakfast, all the manna they had gathered reeked. It was filled with worms, and the smell filled the whole camp. 

So she learned to trust. She had to. She learned to know when enough was enough and to believe the Lord when He said there would be more tomorrow. 

And when the sixth day came, there was more than enough for that day. Covering the same amount of ground, she gathered twice as much. There was enough left over for a day of rest - a gift from her Creator, who had seen her never-ending work in Egypt. For one day each week, He would say to her, "You have done enough."

That's why I love the principle of "enough." The Sabbath. Manna. God gives me - gives us - grace enough for each day. New, fresh mercies every morning. I do what I must to sustain my family, to fill their bellies and their hearts and their minds. I love them with my words, my actions, my service to them and to our home. And at the end of the day, when there is still so much left to do, I hear God say to me: "Enough."

You have cooked enough. You have cleaned enough. You have loved enough.

You are enough.


And trust that tomorrow, there will be enough.


What about you? Could you use a little "Sabbath" in your life? In what areas do you need to remember to trust God for "enough"?  Tell us below, in the comments!



Jessica said...

I think rest is like so much about life "in Christ", like how most of the kingdom realities are upside-down from what we all collectively think or feel we should do. Rest is like that. When there are things to do, messes vying for time, activities screaming out for attention, rarely do we think to rest. Rarely do we think "enough". But once again the lyric comes to mind: "my rest is a weapon against the oppression of man's obsession to control things". Wait, rest as a weapon? Dude. Yes. Indeed. And it's one we did not know we needed added to our arsenal so badly until about a year ago. Now we're learning to pick it up, handle it, wield it, use it well. I could write volumes on the shifts it has made in our lives.

Great blog, Brandy.

Brandy Thixton said...

Oh, Jess. Rest as a weapon. Yes. When things seem out of balance for our family, it's most often because we have neglected our Sabbath. Our rest. Our "enough" place. So blessed to hear about your family wielding that weapon!