It was a criss-cross evening. The children, exhausted from a long weekend filled with much food, much excitement and too little sleep, finally crashed into the wall of yuck. And so did their mama. Books were fought over, couches were not big enough for two, responsibilities were ignored, voices were oh-so-whiny, and tears spilled from more than one pair of eyes.
The immediate need, as the mama well knew, was rest. Fatigue can turn a house upside-down in no time. Though there were many other issues to address, the most crucial was to stop and sleep. The mama scooped up the little ones, holding flailing arms in an embrace that was firm but compassionate. She so understood the impulse to flail about, enumerating the injustices of the day!
But along with that rest, they all needed just one more thing. They needed peace. Thankfully, the mama had learned something from a dear friend. She had learned to keep her Bible open on the kitchen counter. Now, mamas spend a lot of time in the kitchen. So if a mama is putting away the Pyrex and happens to glance toward the Book, she'll be reminded of the important things. Things like, Let us not love with words or tongue but with actions and in truth (I John 3:18). Those words, read often enough, will stick in the mama's heart.
So when the mama's heart starts to feel that pull toward the wall of yuck, she'll have something even stronger pulling her back. She will hear the words of her Lord. She will remember the words that were shared from the pulpit that morning. The chorus of words will mingle in harmony. And she'll have a decision to make. It will be hard. She will have to fight. But she can do it. She can do it because she is born of God. And everyone born of God overcomes the world (I John 5:4).
That mama, born of God, can ascend the stairs and choose to pray with her children, even as they continue to resist slumber. That mama can pray for her own heart to be kind and gentle, even though she is feeling quite the opposite. Those children will hear that their mama is struggling, but asking her God for help. Those children will finally rest as their mama kisses each forehead, praying that the hurting ones would lie down and sleep in peace (Psalm 4:8). And that mama will witness the miraculous transformation of a criss-cross evening into a peace-filled night.