“It does not do to leave a live dragon out of your calculations, if you live near him.”
― J.R.R. Tolkien, The Hobbit

I wake up some (most) mornings naively assuming how my day will go, what kind of behaviors from my children I expect, or even what things I will accomplish. When these mornings occur, I do all this while leaving out the obvious variables: Children with their own beautiful and strong-spirited pursuits (which are not always quite aligned with my own plans or expectaions),  potty-training annoyances, and just the ever-presence of a fallen world weasling in ways to try and make me lose my focus and steal my joy. So, when things occurs that were not a part of my original plan or expectation,  I slowly begin to lose my sanity.

Then, sometimes, another type of morning occurs. I wake up with a heart bent towards Him and give over my list of expectations and plans. I don’t try and handle everything on my own and I don’t let the unpleasant or unexpected variables cause me to fall into a full blown anxiety attack. My heart keeps rhythm and my patience seems to be taken up a few notches – I live completely through His sustaining grace.

On these days, I am more apt to notice and appreciate the little gifts that are given along the way:

Little snuggles from a busy boy while enjoying a lovely morning outdoors.

Excited discoveries from an inquisitive little girl who is fascinated with those things small, as well as those things grand.

Thoughtful drawings from a studious boy who loves expressing himself through a pencil and paper, while enjoying listening to his latest audiobook, The Green Ember.

These moments, they are organic and they are good. I find myself being able to soak them in and build on them, using them to breathe life, learning and love into my children. They are beautiful to me and my mother’s heart.

Are all moments of days like this beautiful and life-giving? Well, if you saw me scrub my favorite seat in the house with a cleaning agent, because of another potty-training mishap or if you saw the sticky face covered in peanut butter and jelly with a few bits of cheese stuck here and there, you would know that the day is not promised to be full of perfect and good moments. It is His promise to see me through these moments and more. When obedience is ever-challenged in the heart of my child? His grace is there to see me through so that I can patiently tend and direct through wisdom, rather than annoyance and frustration.

Before he became angry at me for cleaning all the stickiness up.

These kind of days, the dragon living near by is calculated into my day – because my day was given to the only One who is never taken by surprise by any matter or moment in life. He extends His grace, and sees me through it all. So to that I say, “Praise God, from Whom all blessings flow…”.




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