Sitting in Baby J's rocking chair this morning, 5:30am, still dark outside, hot feverish baby curled up in my lap sound asleep. I was grateful for the quiet. Grateful to be awake. Grateful to be listening to him breathe. Grateful that six years ago we bought a really comfortable rocker.
Moments rocking Jameson have been fewer and farther between than they were with Marshall and Eliza - the product of necessity. For my own sanity, I had him sleep-trained early. On a schedule, sleeping on his own without being held, rocked or nursed. It allowed me to sleep and to keep up with the older two kiddos in this home. As a result, Jameson likes to sleep with lots of space, in his crib, sprawled out, free to kick, curl up, roll all over, toss pacifiers . . .
As I soaked in every moment this morning though, a dark cloud jumped out at me from nowhere. Sometimes in quiet moments, when I'm minding my own business, regret can rear its ugly head. Satan whispers my faults, my shortcomings, the what-ifs and the if-onlys. This morning I was bombarded with guilt over my lacking prayer life. Oh, how I wish I could say that I pray daily, consistently and intentionally for Eric and each of my children. My thoughts headed down a path of condemnation. About my laziness, my lack of self-discipline, my tendency to not rise before my family, and my tendency to waste time -- especially on things like Facebook, Pinterest, and blog-reading. Regret over lost time and wasted minutes.
But for some reason, by God's grace, my thoughts stopped in their tracks. I realized the audacity of what I was doing. Hiding from the Lord in my thoughts. Condemning myself for my lack of a prayer life, when I have full access to pray to the God I was hiding from. (Hebrews 4:16). A high priest who sympathizes completely with my struggle and with my sin. (Hebrews 4:15). A God who created me to be this jar of clay, complete with cracks. (2 Cor. 4:7). A God who is willing to shine through those cracks by giving me mercy and grace to help me in my time of need. (Hebrews 4:16)
So instead of hiding from Him, I started talking to Him. Telling Him about my regret, my if onlys, and my shame.
And the most amazing thing happened. As I ran to the Lord instead of hiding from Him, my heart turned to praise. My eyes were off of me and my sin. He came into focus. It became about Him, not about me. He moved me out of contrition and wallowing in my sorrow and self-condemnation. He moved me forward to true repentance - conversion, turning from sin and turning to Him.
Sitting there in Jameson's rocker this morning I left my sin at the foot of the cross. Trusting that Jesus' blood was sufficient to pay the price for all of my sin - including my laziness and lack of self-discipline. Trusting that His blood leaves me free to move forward without the burden of that sin. And to move forward without fear of the consequences of my sin. He will even take the consequences of my own sin and work them for my good. Beauty for ashes. More than I deserve.