“What’s changed in you? What has made the difference?” my husband asked me.
Neither our heads had a chance to warm our pillows, nor the light bulbs had a chance to cool under the lamp shade as his question hung in the air.
“What do you mean? What caused me to not lose my cool and stress out?” I asked, attempting to clarify.
“Yeah, normally, when we have people over to the house, you stress out and get edgy about how the house looks. It’s like you can’t allow yourself to relax,” he continued, rolling on his side to face me. “But this time was different. What made the difference?”
Growing up, I don’t remember having too many friend birthday parties in our home. In fact, I don’t recall too many people coming over for any kind of party without a verbal assault from my father.
- The house was never clean enough.
- The food was never enough.
- We were never enough.
- I was never enough.
He exploded and spewed angry words then, and I still hear them now.
As I prepare for my friends and family to visit, I normally become an angry woman.
Dust magnifies itself.
Fingerprint smudges glare at me a hostile accusation.
Unkept bedrooms, toys scattered, and carpet stains all bellow at me, “What an atrocious housekeeper you are! Why would you ever think people would enjoy spending time in your house!”
Party-preparations trigger me into an out-of-control girl, internally preserving age-old rants rooted and linked to my identity.
No matter how tidy or clean, I still eye flaws throughout the party, distracting me from my company and stealing any kind of joy; my prep work is never enough.
I am never enough.
His question still lingered: “What made the difference?”
In the past, I have tried to quiet my anger through intense planning, dogmatic delegation, or unhealthy means of soothing. Placating the byproduct of a deeper issue rarely generates lasting change.
Deep wounds require root-level restoration.
The change, the difference rests in understanding how I trigger and trusting Jesus to be my Enough.
Knowing I am emotionally weak while preparing my home for others, this time I invited Him to strengthen me as I confronted and quickly addressed those areas that would “embarrass me” if left unattended.
Knowing I hear dad’s voice with each pulse as I clear the clutter and remove the rubbish, He whispered how I am beginning a new legacy by not spewing angry words at my family.
Knowing I focus on my flaws as a housekeeper, He filled my heart with love and joy and hospitality, and He aided me to engage in the moment with my company.
A couple times, I found myself apologizing to my friends and my husband for my limitations, but I heard my Lord speak softly, “It’s okay. I’m here.”
The same words I delight to speak over my fussy children to calm them. He, too, delights in me and desires to calm my heart, to heal the damage caused so long ago.
Today, I rejoice in the growth and healing He’s allowed me to experience through a four year-old birthday party.
I am enough in Jesus.
Rejoice with me:
Salvation belongs to our God
who sits on the throne
And to the Lamb.
Praise and glory
and wisdom and thanks and honor and power and strength
Be to our God
Forever and ever
Amen! (Rev. 7:10, 12).
What’s your next step?
Think about the past week or so. When have you noticed growth or healing? It could be in how you handled a situation, how you controlled your emotions or how you recognized a trouble spot in your life. Rejoice in the growth, no matter how small. Invite the Lord to reveal additional areas of growth.
Surely I have composed and quieted my soul;
Like a weaned child rests against his mother,
My soul is like a weaned child within me.
O Israel, hope in the Lord
From this time forth and forever (Ps. 131.2,3).