The National Day Of Prayer

…was Thursday, and I had planned on taking the kids downtown to a prayer gathering on the square that morning. It would be fun to ride the carousel first, since I thought I’d park across from it, then walk up to the square. Later we’d have Bright Lights, so this would turn out to be a busy day!
Luke and I had talked, too, about going away for a couple of days as a family to visit Indian Mounds. We have this ‘passport’ which lists many different historical sites in Ohio, and figured on taking a few days to go around to the several earthworks that are in the same general area in southern Ohio- Fort Ancient, Serpent Mound, and Adena. We wanted to go soon, but it would be tough to pick a weekend where we didn’t have any other commitments, be it homeschool conventions, swimming lessons for the older four on Saturday mornings, VBS, and so on. He called me one day last week and decided we should go away this weekend; he’d take off work Thursday and Friday. In our relief that the older four could still make it to their first swimming lesson, I forgot all that I had hoped to do on Thursday- we would leave in the morning, missing the prayer gathering and Bright Lights. And the carousel. Oh, well, family time trumps everything else, and I was glad to make us available to Luke.
It was a good day, too- until the end when we were attempting to settle down in our hotel room following one fun-filled adventure after another. The kids were understandably rowdy and Luke didn’t seem to be bothered by the potential of 10 rowdy kids in a hotel room to get kicked out of a hotel room. I was pretty tired at that point and this put me past my limits. I blew up.
Eventually everyone was in bed and quieting down, and I felt really bad for losing my temper. What did I expect, really, from them, after such a day and the excitement of staying in a hotel room?! I thought about it a lot, and realized it was all about my limits. My limits were just not far enough when it came to loving my children that night. How timely came the verses I read then as I lay in bed:
And this is my prayer: that your love may abound more and more in knowledge and depth of insight, so that you may be able to discern what is best and my be pure and blameless until the day of Christ, filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ- to the glory and praise of God. Philippians 1:9-11
That is what I need! To abound. More and More. In love. Push past my limits. Stretch those muscles. So, when there is a testing of just how much I can handle, there isn’t a break, a loss. Only strength and confidence.
The National Day of Prayer was to be a grand adventure. I had one in mind that might have stretched my limits in some ways (walk ten children up a sidewalk in downtown Mansfield? Scary.), but God must have wanted me to see my need to stretch in other ways (Get ten children to bed in a hotel room after a really fun day? Really scary.) I hope that the next time the test comes, I am ready to be pushed and pulled out of shape until I look more like Him.