I consider things for which I want to be remembered in life. Obviously, as a believer, I want to be remembered as a godly woman, I want to be remembered as a faithful wife and a loving mother. I most want this to be observed by my husband and family — from my bathrobe behaviour to my apron work behaviour to my garden clothes behaviour to my dress and jacket behaviour. Regardless my outward adornment, my activity or accomplishment or present company, I desire to be in behaviour that from the heart becomes godliness.
That’s my prayer, my aim, my path.
A natural result or expression of godliness is graciousness. I want to be remembered as gracious — Proverbs 11.16 says, “A gracious woman retains honour…”
Though graciousness is demonstrated in many ways, one of the ways I want most to develop and improve graciousness is in my response to interruptions. I’ve been thinking about this quite a bit as it’s an area I’ve needed to continually revisit, revise and improve through the years. I’ve come to conclude that if there’s one thing a mother needs to learn, it is the skill of being gracious while being interrupted — retaining honour in the midst of an interruption.
Not until I was a mother did I realize how selfish I am/could be — it wasn’t until tasks were interrupted or put off, sleep was interrupted or until health or strength waned did I realize I was so self-centered. It was, ironically, a wake up call for me. Then came all the other changes and experiences that life brings. Along the way I would come to understand biblical submission, more of motherhood and serving others. Interruptions. Interruptions. Interruptions.
Through a series of events, I would come to understand the importance of flexibility, of scheduling, of forbearance, of service and, ultimately, graciousness. Training came in unlikely forms for me: the late nights, accidents, sickness, soccer practice, piano lessons and reminders to practice, lost jackets and torn seams. These would serve to prepare me for unexpected car troubles, financial strains, hospital emergencies, deaths and other life experiences and inevitable surprises. I’ve come to see that everyone goes through most or all of these same “interruptions” — difference is, do they go through them graciously? Do I?
Interestingly, I’ve found that emergencies don’t feel like interruptions — at. the. time. — because they are, after all, emergencies. Sort of like getting hit broadside in an intersection. A heart attack. A call from the hospital: “hurry and meet me here.” You don’t plan for it or anticipate it — so it doesn’t really interrupt you. At the time. In those sorts of scenarios, you don’t stop and think: this sure is an interruption — and many of those sorts of things, we never look back and call them an interruption.
It’s most often little things… that’s what I’m referring to: the little, insignificant interruptions to your day, schedule or plans.
You make dinner and either everyone’s late or no one comes home or everyone’s home and a few bring friends… you planned for a few and now you have many. You’re planning a day of housekeeping and mending — suddenly someone needs something you consider to be insignificant — but it’s not insignificant to them — your plans are thwarted. A wonderful book, a Bible, a study, an article beckons to be read, a squabble upstairs interrupts your thoughts. You sweep, mop and wax the floor… muddy shoes mar the shine. Small things. You have time to react… time to think. You finish all the laundry… only to discover a few loads’ worth in various and sundry places. Empty milk jug in the fridge. One more blog to read. Empty tissue roll on the dispenser. One more dish to wash. You’re exhausted, your teen needs to talk. You’re on your way to the Sunday meeting, the car won’t start. You’ve just bathed, towels on the floor, none clean on the shelf.
You have time to react… time to think.
One after another, interruptions seem to flow through the river of your life… is your response gracious? Is the Lord apparently at the helm? Is the day bathed in promises and covered in prayer?
It’s in the little things… it’s in the big things… it’s in the emergencies… it’s in the mundane: I want to be found to be graciously interrupted.
3 thoughts on “Graciously interrupted”
Jerene, Thank you for your very encouraging note — how I rejoice with you regarding the *many* ways the LORD is directing you, guiding your steps and providing for you. And, though things may not always be smooth or seem to be going perfectly well, don’t despair, God is not negligent concerning His promises toward you. He will guide you, He is so merciful with us, His children, that no matter how oft we fail, He is only faithful and just and will forgive, cleanse, equip and send us on again. How loving He is! Keep reading, praying, singing praises, learning, growing in grace… He will give you the grace you desire to fill your life. with love, pamela
Jerene — (beautiful name!)
Thank you for your encouraging letter. How good and gracious the Lord is to you — and I’m thinking, to us all… to carry us past our sinful selves and to work faith and trust in us! Thank you for your testimony of God’s faithfulness — see, He is doing a new thing! And, He is! only faithful. O, that we would all echo your sentiment: “I am willing to learn. I am willing!” I am so inspired by that! It’s only by His grace that we move past the past and instead of repeating it! God bless you more and more! with love, pamela
Thank You Pamela. I know exactly what you are talking about. We started off our family not walking with the Lord. Our marriage suffered, our parenthood and our children suffered. Finally we recommitted our lives to the Lord 6 yrs ago. Here we stand with the damage we have created with our own hands and words. We’d made the decision from the beginning of our marriage that I would stay home with the children. I found it very hard as a self-centered survivor to be a good mother. I resisted, I avoided, I did all I could except give into the calling of motherhood. Finally, I did surrender this area to the Lord (after an Above Rubies Retreat). I am actually finding enjoyment and satisfaction in areas that used to wear me down. It isn’t always rosey. Especially when all of us still have harmful, destructive bad habits of hurting each through words and unforgiveness. The interruptions from the children (throughout the day) were a real stumbling block for me. But as the Lord works with me, I am learning to serve Him by serving them. I’ve very recently came to realize, through prayer, that as I grow in the Lord in areas of love, forgiveness, patience and many others, Jesus’ love through me will help heal my childrens’ hearts. Graciousness, would have never been used to describe me, I hope and pray that the Lord, in His own graciousness, will guide through this area. I want to honor Jesus, my husband and my children more than anything now. I am willing to learn. I am willing!
Thank you for your website I’ve been very encouraged by it. God bless your New Year.