One of the Scripture verses I claimed for 2012 was Psalm 51:10: Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me.
In January, God worked extensively in my heart, and I prayed “create in me in a pure heart, O God” over and over and over. It was an anthem I said at 3 a.m. treks to the nursery, in the shower, in the car, at work, at home in the madness of cooking/eating/bathing, and putting kids to bed. My heart is far from pure, but God and I are working on it and making progress, and I’m still praying part one of that verse almost every day.
Now, it’s the second part, the “b” part of this verse, that’s haunting me. I need a steadfast spirit. My spirit fluctuates depending upon my mood, my family’s moods, my schedule, my family’s schedule, and what feels like a hundred other variables.
Renew a steadfast spirit within me.
I’m a pretty stable person; although my husband may disagreeJ I’m fairly consistent and dependable. I’m easy to read, and if you know me, it’s pretty easy to guess my reactions. My in-laws used to complain that I was too reserved. (Maybe they still do, and I just don’t know.)
But I’m struggling to have a steadfast spirit. I’m tired. Then, adrenaline kicks in, and I’m in the moment, and things are going great…and then I crash.
Saturday morning my son was at my parents’ after a sleepover, and my husband took our daughter out for work errands. I made a list of everything I was going to do while they were gone; alone time like this is a rare gift, and I intended to accomplish lots: finally pack up the lingering Christmas decorations (yes, really), wash the dishes, fold the clean laundry, clip coupons, peruse grocery store sales, make the grocery list, scrub the master bath that never gets cleaned, make Valentine’s gifts, take down the Christmas lights on the front porch to help out my husband, take a shower, start cooking homemade spaghetti sauce. Like most moms, I overestimate how much I can get done in a finite about of time.
Then they left. The internal list in my head that runs NONSTOP, ALL DAY, EVERY DAY of what I need to do just stopped. I sat in a recliner and didn’t move for a while. Then, I went to the kitchen to retrieve the two items I can always count on—Tostitos and salsa. I put on Julie & Julia (or is it Julia & Julie; I’m too lazy to look it up). I went into a vegetative state. The last time I remember entering that level of relaxation was on college holidays. I didn’t think or move, except to move my lower arm from the bag to my mouth; repeat.
Then I started feeling anxious; I was wasting time, and I’d never get it back; there was so much to do! I got up and ran to get cleaned up. I glanced at the Blu-Ray player; I was 35 minutes into my movie. 35 minutes. In college, I could’ve continued in that vegetative state for at least 3 hours. Now, 35 minutes seems to be the max I can allow myself to shutdown.
I’m not exactly sure what all the above indicates, but I feel like it’s related to my plea to God to renew a steadfast spirit within me.
I also pray this prayer for my husband. He has worked something like 25 straight days without a day off. He’s not the workaholic type. He’s the type who enjoys people, ideas, process, and conversation. His job is bustling right now, and he’s enjoying it. But this cannot go on much longer. My attempts to get him away for a day or two have been hindered at almost every turn. I’ve got two days booked in March…a month away…but the inability to find childcare is threatening that already.
Renew a steadfast spirit within me.
Renew a steadfast spirit within him.
Last night threw us another curveball. When I arrived home after work to prepare dinner for the kids and change into my Valentine’s date attire, I came home to a baby girl with bright red cheeks. She had a 103 fever, and she just wanted her Momma. I wanted to hold my baby girl; I also really wanted a night out with my husband. But, of course we cancelled the date and stayed home. For the first time in 15 years, my husband had a Valentine who wasn’t me.
And, that feverish baby girl fell asleep at 6 p.m. and slept propped up on Mom or Dad until 5:30 a.m. That’s the most she’s ever slept at once, and it granted us sleep, too. I have a suspicion that rest and steadfast spirits have quite a lot in common.
Renew a steadfast spirit within us.