kingdom of heaven

These last 7 weeks have been some of the most overwhelming and chaotic of my life so far – trying to split time between an infant and a 21 month old. Trying to love my husband well. Trying to love God well. Really just trying to keep my head on straight. And in the midst of all the joy and love that has come with adding these little girls to my life, there has also been an overwhelming amount of guilt.

I don’t just sit and cuddle Emorie as much as I wish I could because I am also trying to take care of a toddler. I don’t take Eliza to the park enough or read her enough books or build her enough towers because now I have to feed and bathe and change the diapers of an infant. There is peanut butter or coconut yogurt stuck to all my leggings. Spit up down the back of all my shirts. By the time my husband comes home from work, I barely have enough energy to say “hi, how was your day?” before I pass out beside him watching Netflix. Only to be a woken up a few short hours later to nurse a hungry baby. A quiet time? Read the Bible? Journal all my thoughts and questions? Cast my cares upon the Lord? Yeah, right. The few quiet moments of peace I find, are now broken almost instantly with an avalanche of guilt, guilt and more guilt. I don’t love my girls the way I wish I could. I don’t love my husband the way I wish I could. And I definitely don’t love my God the way I wish I could.  There was a season where I woke up and studied the Word of God for an hour, sometimes two, before the day began. Where I was involved in some sort of cool, new ministry or bible study most days of the week. And I still do those things – just less. And that can be source of guilt too.

But I’ve realized something really profound in these past few weeks. That it’s not about the worship services. It’s not about the ministries. It’s not about the hours I spend reading the Bible. It’s about being present with Him always. In all things. At all times. In the chaos. In the sleepless nights. In the toddler tantrums. In the doctors appointments. In the worry. In the fear. In the guilt. It’s about inviting him into all of it. Not waiting till I have an hour of silence to make myself a latte and get out my Bible and my journal, but letting my heart cry out to him when my babies are crying. Letting my soul worship and touch heaven in the 10 minute car rides and the walks to the park. Learning to offer up praise during bath time and while we build towers.

I’ve had to get up about 83 times to “shhh” and pat the back of my baby while she tries to sleep beside me as I’m writing. And God keeps reminding me that those “shh’s” and pats are just as sweet of a song to Him as if I was singing along to Elevation’s new worship album in an auditorium with hundreds of people. That all of heaven sings with me when I sing “If You’re Happy and You Know It” for the millionth time with Eliza. That His Father’s heart is moved with every peanut butter and jelly sandwich I make, with every picture I color, with every slide I go down, with every swing I push. I’m learning to offer it all to Him as worship – because that’s what it is. That’s how we abide in Him. That’s how we live lives of worship. When we learn to give it all. Not just the perfect, quiet moments. Not just the Sunday morning services. Not just the Bible studies. Not just the mission trips. But the hard days. The hours filled with screaming, tantrums. The middle of the night feedings. The early morning cartoons. The 5th load of laundry. The 10th round of Peek A Boo. Kissing bruised knees. Rocking crying babies. Singing silly songs. He’s in it all.

“Jesus said, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.” – Matthew 19:14
“The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.” – Matthew 25:40

I will not let the enemy steal the joy of this season. I will not let him steal my worship. These days with these girls with this family, are sacred. The kingdom of heaven is in these little hearts, and I’m determined to experience it all with them.