Oh momma, are you at all like me? A bit persistent, strong-willed and stubborn. Although I am starting to get it, I have had to learn the hard way through lots of disappointments that it just isn’t worth the battle.
As my kids grew up and left home, got married and then returned for their visits during holidays and then with their children, my comfortable home began to feel a bit tight. We have a small dining area just on the other side of an island of counter that is approximately 12’ by 11’, and this where meals are taken. It sufficed for years with three kids, mom and dad. But now the table for comfortable five has had to become stretched out into the living room to accommodate 10 – 12 at times. Yikes, we are in on the living room rug!!! (Bless your hearts those who say what’s the big deal!)
I would pray and ask, then pray and ask some more…only to get ‘for the few times we are all together we can make it work.’ I even drew out the plans to push out our kitchen and dining room to make an L-shaped house from its regular rectangle. (I love planning things like this!) I had even drawn the cupboards and was going to have just a lovely dining area with the space to safely keep us all on the tile floor for meals and include a nice large island for cooking times when my small counters get easily crowded.
As my husband drew nearer and nearer to retirement he was more and more determined that this would never happen. God and I would talk ‘cause I knew that God delights in giving us the desire of our heart, even a larger house…and sometimes He does. However, I found with every no that I was getting more and more determined to make it work.
Then God spoke to my heart and showed me that I was fighting a losing battle, and if I persisted in demanding my way (to which I thought was for the best of reasons!) that I was only going to get more and more angry at not getting my way. Wow, did I have a lesson to learn. I was going to have to resign myself to the fact that this just wasn’t ever going to happen!
It was at that juncture that I could stomp, connive, deceive and work my way into a tizzy trying to get my guy to change his mind. This would certainly drive us all nuts! Or I could give it up and…let it go. My Father was asking me to “let it go”.
I can be a fighter! I had pushed this thing and of course had everyone on my side to make it happen, but I couldn’t change his mind. I remember being very frustrated, very resentful and not feeling very nice about the whole thing.
Have you ever been called to give something up? How difficult was it for you to just say ‘I resign’?
There are times in our life that this is the call and as hard as it can be I have learned that my world didn’t fall apart, AND that I have more peace in my heart because I gave it up. One less source of agitation between me and my husband, with less resentment brewing and stirring up all kinds of unpleasantries!
Remember Paul and the thorn in his side? You can read of it in 2 Corinthians 12:7-9 where Paul had to contend with a “thorn” in his flesh. Reminding me of a sliver one sometimes gets. It is not pleasant. And God’s reply to Paul was merely that “His grace is sufficient for you…”
In the long and short of it, peace in my home was worth finding through my giving up my desire to be more comfortable. If the juice gets spilled on the rug, then I am going to clean it up. And life will go on and we will enjoy many wonderful family meals even if we have to eat IN the living room. I have realized that time is short. Many memories are made when we engage around a cramped dining area and that really is what counts as important.
I didn’t lose the battle here…I gained, through the grace of God, a heart that is content with what I have.