MaryBeth Eberhard shares a reminder to invite Jesus into the good times in our lives as well as the challenging ones.
I sat in wonder as we gathered for dinner. Everyone was home and the table was filled. Conversation flowed quickly. Everyone sharing bits and pieces of his or her day as food was passed around the table and plates were filled. (It’s often the simple meals that get the most accolades in our home.) My husband had taken a meeting while grilling the meat for dinner. I finished up a spelling lesson with two younger kids while making the rice and throwing some veggies in the microwave. Two of my children had walked by and seen Dad grilling with his headphones on, mom teaching and cooking, and jumped in to set the table. So, dinner was a team effort, and the atmosphere was filled with laughter and love.
I watched as two of my kids scooped food for each other, teased each other, encouraged one another if someone shared a hard moment, and then listened as my husband shared some current events. Discussion and opinions became heated and even my youngest (age 9) raised her hand to ask a question and was rewarded with a compliment form an older brother on her thinking. I sat back and spoke with Jesus in this moment. “Do you see this?” I asked Him. “Thank you. Help me hold this close when they argue, when I’m tired, when I don’t want to make a meal. Help me be grateful.” Sitting back, I felt the Lord speak to my heart. “This is good, my child. This makes me happy too. This is worth so much. I see your effort in all of this.” His words gave me pause and inspired me to press into this moment.
After dinner, the younger kids took the grass clippings and, by laying them in lines, made a soccer field border in our front yard. We live in the country, and it is always interesting to me how my kids spend their creative energy coming up with games and activities. As I finished up dinner, my husband and kids had started a soccer game and it was all hands-on deck as they dribbled to the goal. Laughter, sportsmanship, competition, and family all mixed in one. Again, I stopped and invited Jesus in. “I see you here too. Thank you.”
After the game, we grabbed drinks and headed for showers and the bedtime routine for the smalls. Teeth brushed, showers taken, pajamas on and stories read, we said prayers and tucked into bed. As I shooed brothers out of their sister’s rooms with snapping towels and grabbed tutus off the dogs running through the cacophony, I watched as my husband blessed each one as he tucked them in. “Bless this man as he leads us, I asked the Lord.” “I see him.” The Lord spoke to me. There is such peace in these conversations. Staying in conversation with Jesus through my days brings me balance. I wish they were longer, and sometimes they are, but often I’m on the move as parenting these kids takes keeps me on the move.
I walked down the stairs singing my Ave to the kids as a final goodnight. My oldest son sat on the couch. He looked up from his phone and smiled. Reached out, gave me a hug, and told me he loved me a lot. I sat with him for a moment and listened and then went to tuck myself in. My bed corner was pulled down as I walked in my room, a silent gesture from my husband to say he was thinking of me as he went to bed. The light was still on: I see he tried to wait up, but sleep won out as he gives so much through our days. I felt the urge to kneel by my bed and say a prayer of gratitude for the love He has grown in this marriage, family, and home.
This glimpse into my family life seems ideal and, in that moment, indeed it was. But the reality is that there is deep suffering, daily arguments, long hours, and hard work that also fill our days. The depth of it can seem overbearing at times. We call on Jesus then too. From the depths and from the heights He is with us and wants to be part of our lives. Inviting Him in to the hard, and celebrating the good, strengthens the friendship we are building with the Lord. This week, take a moment to invite the Lord into your hard moments and look for glimpses of good to share. He is with us always.
Copyright 2021 MaryBeth Eberhard
Images: Canva Pro
About the Author
MaryBeth Eberhard spends most of her time laughing as she and her husband parent and school their eight children. She has both a biological son and an adopted daughter who have a rare neuromuscular condition called arthrogryposis and writes frequently about the life experiences of a large family and special needs. Read more of her work at MaryBethEberhard.com.