Out of the fire and hit with the frying pan

I had a dream last night. It was long and vivid…and now that I know what it means, I feel like I have been punched in the gut. While there was no sense of urgency in my dream- there is a very real sense of urgency for me today.

The dream:

We were all sleeping snuggled up in our beds when I woke up to realize that our house was on fire. The fire was in the basement- so for some reason…in my mind…we had a little time to spare. My first impulse was to save our family photos. We keep them in a large flat plastic storage box under our bed so they were easily accessible. I pulled the small aluminum latches on the screen in the bedroom window and pushed the screen out. Then, I lifted the large plastic box of photos up and pushed them out onto the deck in the rear of our home. By this time, hubby was awake. I told him that we needed clothing and he grabbed a duffel bag and began to toss some clothes in. After all, we would need clothes when we left this house and so would the kids. Running back and forth around the house we began to collect things that we wanted to salvage…the diamond necklace he had given me…my wedding rings…a picture of our son feeding his newborn sister…and other items that had intrinsic value. We grabbed the kids and went outside. We had to get the car out of the garage before the fire spread that far. We tossed everything in and pulled the car out to the road. By that time the firemen were all there and the Fire Marshal was not too pleased with us. “This fire started small and could have easily been extinguished if you hadn’t been running around doing all of that other stuff!”, the Fire Marshal snipped. “…and furthermore, you should never remain in a burning building!”, he shouted as he turned to finish his work.

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The frying-pan moment:

You’ve heard the phrase “out of the frying pan and into the fire” before…this time I came out of the fire to be HIT with a frying pan. God has been leading me away from women’s studies and ministry and onto focusing on family ministry in the past month or so. In following His prompting, I have revisited the study called “The Power of a Positive Mom”. I have purchased the 8 session series and am considering a study/play group here in our home over the summer. Yesterday, I decided to incorporate “30 Days of Encouraging Your Husband” and “The Love Dare for Parents” into my morning Bible study time…again shifting the focus to God’s desire for me to minister to my family. Today, I opened up the “Love Dare” and my heart sank. I have already been very aware that we needed to slow down and take more time to recreate and be together as a family. We need more FUN! But, today when I read the first day of the Love Dare and the challenge I realized how far off the mark I am when it comes to our son. His “love language” is quality time and physical touch. He’s a snuggler who needs dedicated time. I know this about him because I am the same way. But, what I didn’t realize is that I have not been speaking his language at all lately. I have been so wrapped up in dinners, laundry, shuttling us from here to there, ladies Bible study and church activities…that we have not had much time together. As a matter of fact, when he comes home from school- he plays with his sister while I cook dinner. He and his sister are two peas in a pod…but, our relationship is suffering. While I say “I love you” all the time…it’s possible that he may not be experiencing that love.

Then I read…

When love is the fertile soil, truth becomes a more fruitful seed. By working together, truth and love build deep trust between you and your child In contrast, when parents force truth into a relationship that is poisoned with anger, bitterness, insecurity or emotional isolation, those truths tend to become twisted or rejected over time. Pain and misunderstanding become silent weeds that can choke out what you are trying to communicate. Even when you speak clearly, your wise words may fall on toxic soil. That is why past hurts must always be uncovered and dealt with compassionately to gain a child’s heart and ear again. (From The Love Dare for Parents by Stephen & Alex Kendrick)

Our communication has been lacking lately…his listening ears have been busted and I my frustration has been increasing. Could it be that not speaking his “love language” is causing the soil to turn? Are weeds growing?

Oh my…the frying pan just hit my head. And it hurt.

I called my hubby and told him about the dream and what I had read. When I woke up this morning I had no idea what that dream was about or what it meant. Yet, God placed all of this together in the span of less than 4 hours.

Our house was on fire and I was spending my time preserving photos and gathering clothing instead of putting out the fire!

I am now fully aware of the danger here in our home and how it could affect our children and our family in the future. I have to put this fire out while it’s small – to avoid further damage. It’s time to apply the brakes and carve out quality time…not just for our children, but for my hubby and I and more importantly ALL of us as a family unit. I am going to have to rearrange some things: do more housework and tend to the lawn and garden more during the week. But, if it frees up the weekends for family fun, then it’s worth it. If we have to stay up thirty minutes passed bedtime to snuggle and read…so be it.

As I was hanging up the phone with hubby he said something that is going on my list of blessings in big bold letters…praise the Lord for hearing ears and discernment. I am so thankful to have a thriving relationship with God…one in which He leads and I follow. And praise the Lord for frying-pan moments that result in awareness and awakening.

Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit.

Galatians 5:25

Is there a fire in your home or life that needs to be extinguished? Are you paying attention- would you hear the warnings if the alarm was sounded? Or are you too busy running around (chasing the wind) to take the warning seriously? It’s easy to get wrapped up in the tasks that accompany motherhood that we forget the “mothering” part. It’s equally as easy to become so wrapped up in serving, that you neglect the relationship with the God whom you serve.

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