I come to the door of my room, and survey the house.
The kids fall silent in the midst of their play as they realize that because of them, mom is probably not happy with what she sees.
There's chips on the floor. Sticky juice puddles on the counter. Puzzle pieces, angry birds toys and stuffed animals lay strewn in the front room and the den.
It's only Monday. I should be full of spiritual health and vibrancy from yesterday, listening to a morning full of messages about God and His love for us, how to apply basic truths to our everyday life and being around picturesque families who have neatly dressed children with clean hands and faces.
Growing up, I heard time and time again how important it is to have that QUIET time in the early morning, without the noise and disturbances of usual life. "Put away life for one moment. Shut the door and close your ears against the demands of your home and listen for the voice of God. He can't speak into your heart if it is too busy trying to filter out His voice from your everyday life noise."
But as I stand at the door of my room, I know that I can't just close my bedroom door against my two beautiful children for myself, or to read my bible completely undisturbed without my little early bird girl waking up and wanting to crawl into our bed and chatter. Or that I need to minister and serve my husband breakfast and coffee before he leaves for a long day at work.
So what then? How does God walk with me and minister to my heart when I can't stop and have 5 minutes of quiet with my Bible? How does He help me grow in the ant-attracting puddles of juice and the stale chips on the floor?
It was in that moment that I felt like God spoke to my heart and said:
"It's here. It is right here, in these split seconds where you grow. How you respond to the situation I have placed before you is your chance to make a difference in the little lives that watch you, that learn from you, that love and adore you. How will you talk to them? How will you treat them when you clean up their little spills, their few chips that they dropped? Will you take this as a learning curve from Me? Will you love them like I love you?"
I breathe in and realize that my kids are still staring at me, waiting for my reaction. My son looks up at me and I hear him say hesitatingly: "Mom? Are you okay?"
I smile, reach out my hand and say "Come, my loves. Help mommy clean up the house."
And all is well, in my heart, in their eyes and in our little world where we learn and grow together.
In those split seconds.