Offering Up MY Fish and Loaves
I had a really spectacular birthday this year.
The craziest part about it was that I had zero expectations.
Most other years I try to figure out exactly what I want to do FOR MY BIRTHDAY.
Like I have to make it the most perfect day ever or else I’ll feel like it was wasted.
Ain’t nobody got time for that at 33 years old!
This year it was time to chill out and roll with the punches, and I was totally blessed with an awesome extended birthday weekend.
As I mentioned Friday, I started celebrating my birthday two days early at my mom’s house.
Then Friday was a great day of fun with Andy and the girls and my sister and her boyfriend. Maybe a little too much fun that night if you know what I mean…that ice cold Pino Grigio was going down a little too easy. Oops.
We ended the night without a bon fire, but I enjoyed a great sushi dinner and laughs on the patio with some of my favorite people so all was not lost :)
Saturday morning began my gift from Andy this year…
A full package of spa treatments and the day off!
Holy wow was that a treat.
Hour long massage followed by a cup of green tea while I waited for my 45 minute facial and then two hour mani/pedi!
I don’t think I’ve been that relaxed EVER.
I had to peel myself off the massage table after the hour was up. I literally felt like my body was weighted down I was so relaxed.
After my spa treatments I got a quiet lunch alone and went to a local mall to leisurely browse for as long as I wanted.
Before heading home I bought a salad at the mall and quietly ate it without any interruptions. No potty breaks, no tantrums, no spoon-feeding a fully capable 3 year old. It was awesome.
But after being gone all day I was really missing my girls and my man, so I headed home to spend some time with them before bed time.
Yesterday we went to church, all took naps and spent the afternoon/evening at the splash pad with a church small group that we are trying out this summer.
Today was my first day back to the daily grind and it started when Avery woke up at 5:45am.
Welcome back to real life, eh?
I woke up feeling completely exhausted. I had trouble falling asleep last night so I probably didn’t even pass out till after midnight.
That is not enough sleep for me.
Not even close.
Having several days off from my normal “full-time mama mode” was really nice and relaxing but made me wake up today feeling rusty and overwhelmed.
How on earth was I going to have enough energy, stamina, joy, love and patience to face the WHOLE DAY with my two girls and my not-so-clean house. Piles of laundry, dinner to make, diapers to change.
How was I going to do it when I felt so empty?
I somehow stumbled through Avery’s morning feeding and Grace’s earlier-than-usual wake up time.
I popped a DVD in for Grace when Avery took her morning nap and I dozed while Grace watched Rapunzel for the umpteenth time.
My “Mother of the Year” award can be sent directly to my home address.
I was feeling totally off my game. Spent. Weary.
I hate feeling weak, but God has been showing me that when I am weak, HE is strong.
If I open myself up to receive His strength when I’m at the end of myself, He comes through for me every.single.time.
While I was going to the bathroom (hey, I get struck with lots of deep thoughts on the toilet….sorry if thats TMI) I remembered the story I read Grace last night before bed.
Maybe you’ve heard it before.
It’s the one where Jesus feeds 5000 tired, grumpy people with only 2 fish and 5 small loaves of bread.
Here’s the story from Mark chapter 6:
When Jesus landed on shore and saw a large crowd, he had compassion on them, because they were like sheep without a shepherd. So he began teaching them many things.
By this time it was late in the day, so his disciples came to him. “This is a remote place,” they said, “and it’s already very late. Send the people away so that they can go to the surrounding countryside and villages and buy themselves something to eat.”
But he answered,“You give them something to eat.” They said to him, “That would take more than half a year’s wages! Are we to go and spend that much on bread and give it to them to eat?”
“How many loaves do you have?” he asked. “Go and see.”
When they found out, they said, “Five—and two fish.”
Then Jesus directed them to have all the people sit down in groups on the green grass. So they sat down in groups of hundreds and fifties.
Taking the five loaves and the two fish and looking up to heaven, he gave thanks and broke the loaves. Then he gave them to his disciples to distribute to the people. He also divided the two fish among them all.
They all ate and were satisfied, and the disciples picked up twelve basketfuls of leftover broken pieces of bread and fish.
The number of the men who had eaten was five thousand.
I’ve read this story many times and didn’t think much about it when I was reading to Grace before bed last night, but when I was sitting in my bathroom feeling like I was standing empty-handed in front of 5000 hungry people, this story washed over me like a cool shower on a hot day.
Right then I prayed that God would take my tiny loaves and fish of energy, patience and love and that He would multiply them to feed the hungry 5000 which was my long, busy, stay-at-home-mama day.
I literally opened up my hands and trusted that He would take my pathetic offering and make it enough to feed my whole day and even have leftovers.
You know what?
He was faithful.
He is always faithful.
It’s only 3:19pm, but I can tell you that I have had baskets of loaves and fish to offer my girls, my home and my husband today.
Everyone is napping, but I don’t feel tired. I feel satisfied.
I feel peace and I feel joy.
And I know it’s not me.
My skimpy little energy, patience and love would hardly have gotten me past 9am today.
But my loving Heavenly Father is going to take me all the way to bedtime.
There are going to be leftovers today.
And because his mercies are new every morning (Lamentations 3:23) I know I can wake up tomorrow, offer my scraps to Him again and He will deliver.
That’s how much He loves us.
We need to remember it.