I was enjoying lunch at my favorite wrap place on Saturday with my family, when my blog came up in conversation with the girls. My youngest looked at me and said, "You should write about my hair." My youngest has beautiful, blond, curly hair. She really does have the kind of curly hair that most of us with straight hair have always wanted. It hangs in gorgeous, loose spiral curls all over her head. However, I had no idea how writing about her hair would fit with this blog.
"Why should I write about your hair," I asked.
"Well, my hair gets tangled all the time," she said. This is true. Curly hair comes with a price, and that price is tangles. Combing and styling her hair takes patience and care not to hurt her tender head. Yet, I was still missing whatever connection she was trying to make to the blog.
"And we should get tangled up with God," my youngest finished.
As I sat in stunned silence that my 8-year-old daughter could come up with such a great analogy, I realized that, in seconds, she had grasped a concept that I have been struggling to come to terms with for weeks.
The past few weeks, I've been struggling with all the demands of mommyhood. My kids are in a phase where they seem to think I am a maid, playmate and chauffeur, available at a moment's notice for their convenience. We've spent a lot of time together in confined spaces in the past month with two long car trips. My parents were out of town and had company for the past three weeks, making mommy breaks hard to come by.
To tell you the truth, I haven't really wanted to be a mom lately. I've felt underappreciated, overwhelmed and just plain grumpy. I apparently didn't hide it well, either. My best friend took me out for ice cream the other day, simply to find out if she had done something to upset me.
To top it all off, besides writing this blog, I've been struggling to find any time to spend getting tangled up with God. My youngest daughter is an early riser and after a day of working, dealing with my kids and filling whatever other commitments we have, I'm ready to go to bed by 9 p.m. Summer makes it hard to find a few moments to myself during the day. I feel like I did when my kids were toddlers. I just want 10 minutes to myself.
I can tell you that all of these things have combined to make me a less-than-pleasant person lately, but they are just symptoms of the problem. The problem is that when I'm not rooted in God's word and spending time with Him, the little annoyances and frustrations in my life add up and leave me sounding and acting like a shrew.
Colossians 2:6-7 tells us "So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live your lives in him, rooted and built up in him, strengthened in the faith as you were taught, and overflowing with thankfulness."
That verse does not describe my life lately. When you look at the roots of a tree, they often resemble my daughter's tangled hair. The roots are tangled with the dirt, which holds the tree firmly upright. When a root gets chopped or dies, it weakens the tree. If the dirt is lacking nutrients or water, it weakens the tree. A weakened tree won't stand up to a storm.
We're just like a tree. If we don't sink our roots into Christ's love and God's word, then we walk through the storms of life like a weakened tree. It's easy to push us over.
When we are rooted in Christ's love and God's word, it shows in our lives. Our lives reflect the fruits of the spirit -- love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness and self-control.
I know that these qualities have been sorely lacking in my life lately, especially joy and patience. So, this week I'm going to focus on getting my roots tangled back up with God. And, every morning when I comb the tangles out of my 8-year-old's hair, I'll have the perfect reminder to do so. I hope you'll join me.