What’s Pulling on Your Apron Strings?
That might sound like a strange title to the message I want to share with you today, but perhaps by the time you finish reading this letter, you’ll have an idea and perhaps realize some things you’ve been wanting to take care of for some time.
So, what’s pulling on your apron strings? You know… the thing or things that nag at you or that seem to be pulling at you from one direction or many. You may be attempting to work around your home and keep having interruptions or distractions that prevent you from accomplishing what’s really needful. You may have plans or schedules, or wish you had plans or schedules, and yet every day something, or many things pull on your apron strings and prevent you from meaningful or notable accomplishment.
I know I have these same feelings or experiences from time to time –sort of as if nothing seems to go right or nothing measurable ever seems to get done. It’s as if at the end of each week I have relatively little to show for my efforts and certainly none for the fatigue I might be feeling. Yet, my apron’s dirty and the strings are raveled at the end.
Over the years I had great ambition for great things. I wanted to spend time individually with each of the children each day; I wanted to spend time reading aloud, fixing their hair, assisting them with schoolwork, chores and prayers. I had lofty aspirations that we would do projects, tell and record stories: that I would pass on valuable stories, life-lessons and a rich heritage…
But then, many days –most days– I would come to my bedside and realize that, once again, yet another day where I’d failed to reach my glorious ambitions. Instead, we had just spent another day –another hum-drum day. Together.
Pulling at my apron strings were all the wouldda, shouldda, couldda’s and few of the atta-girl’s, way-to-go’s and wahoo’s of life. At the point I realized that all those marvelous and coveted accolades were simply unrealistic, I also realized I truly was getting all those atta-girl’s, way-to-go’s and wahoo’s of life. I truly had them… I just wasn’t seeing them, that’s all. I wasn’t seeing the “atta-girl” in my son’s: “Mom, will you fix this for me? I can’t do it.” Or, in my daughter’s: “Mama, you’ve got to write down these recipes for me or I will not ever be able to cook like you!” Or, “O, my mom will do it for you, she’s right here!” Or, probably the sweetest gift of all I just received and it was contained in a letter, reading: “Mama… You are the best friend I’ve ever had.”
See, I missed the blessings by being concerned about the unimportant things or on my failings instead of what really was important for the day.
Often, pulling on my apron strings are all the things I’ve done wrong as a mother, wife or friend. Pulling on my apron strings are the things I don’t do well or the things I don’t have (as compared with my friends) or all the ways in which my children don’t *seem* to measure up (again, compared to others’ or compared with a high ideal or whatever).
Everyday, nagging thoughts creep in and occasionally pull me here and pull me there… and even get me all tied in knots sometimes over the silliest things – all tied up over things only the LORD can take care of or only the LORD knows about. Sometimes all tied up over things I *imagine* to be so. And then, I stop and think: wait a minute… should these things be pulling at my apron strings, pulling me down in despair? Should I be letting those thoughts come in and flood my mind, or should I take those thoughts captive to the obedience of Christ.
I know this to be a truth: I have never given to the LORD –any thought, desire, motive, whatever that was then rejected by Him.
He has never yet, will never, can never: fail me. So then, I consider at thought or a pulling on my apron strings and I ask: is this of You, LORD? Or I say, I know this is not of You, LORD, and I ask You to take this thought, desire, fear (or whatever), from me and I ask You to guide my thoughts, guard my heart and mind and help me to see only You. Please hide me behind Your Cross, LORD.
O, sure, other women are going to have bigger, better, more than you or I; and sure, other families are going to have newer, brighter, more attractive homes, children, lives, accomplishments, etc., etc., than you or I. But you know what? They don’t get to be you—they don’t get to be me. You’re uniquely you created by God, saved by Him unto faith and good works. He loves you with an everlasting love and underneath you are His everlasting arms and in you is His eternal Spirit and surrounding you is His eternal joy of salvation in Christ Jesus. Wow. Now those are some pretty wonderful things. Did you know you had all those treasures tucked in the pockets of your apron?
So, next time something starts pulling on your apron strings and you know it’s not simply one of the little blessings the LORD has given you, you just reach in your pocket and pull out one of the Truths of God’s Word and His love for you.
The LORD hath appeared of old unto me, saying, Yea, I have loved thee with an everlasting love: therefore with lovingkindness have I drawn thee. Jeremiah 31.3
For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war after the flesh: (For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds;) Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ; And having in a readiness to revenge all disobedience, when your obedience is fulfilled.” 2Corinthians 10.3-6
I pray the LORD will just bless you and bless you over and over and that you will be assured of His great love for you and that He will guide your steps and guard your thoughts.
always in His hands,
from “Letters to my Sisters”