I had forgotten how much I love being at home, just doing random, simple things that bring me pleasure.
But He hadn't.
And, apparently, neither had the enemy.
Which is probably why every time I would take time for myself when the kids were up and around, I would feel this pervasive sense of guilt.
Up until a few days ago, I would immediately assume I was being "selfish" or "inattentive" or a "bad mother." It's what I wore, though I tried to hide those filthy garments.
I also tried to prove...to whom?...that I was not those things. I pushed down my desires, forced myself to only enjoy those things that made me me in tiny boxes of time (mostly when the kids were sleeping), denied these desires were even present.
It squelched the guilt for a time. It also began to slowly kill the joy, the freedom, the life in me. So slowly I barely noticed. (I was the proverbial frog in the pot, the water cool at first, then warmed to boiling).
But it hadn't escaped God's attention.
And He finally helped me to see, really see, for the first time what was going on.
It began with my questions to Him about why I felt guilty and why my cloak of patience with the children was worn threadbare. I asked Him how I might be able to survive this summer when the intensity of having all four kids home would press hard. And I asked Him why I wanted to flee or hide and just be in solitude.
And He reminded me of how He made me.
In me He poured the need to recharge in solitude, to dance to the rhythm of the still hush silence. It's where I hear His heart beating in mine.
And do you think the evil one wants me to hear that beat? Absolutely not. Even now, writing this, I can feel my stomach clench with guilt, feel the enemy is trying to take back the territory he staked in me. But we are not to give him a foothold.
If the shape of the story feel familiar to you, perhaps you too are sitting in that pot (the one with the frog). Want to get out? Leave a comment with your email or email me and perhaps we can find a way to hop out together. A book that also helped me to see is "Waking the Dead" by John Eldredge, perhaps it will help you to see to.