Last night was a tough night. Snapper had a swim meet, in which she did very well! Swimming has been such a perfect fit for her. I'll blog about that later, though. The swim meet ended at 7:30. I brought the kids home, and Matt headed up to the office to make phone calls. In case you're new(er) to my blog, Matt and I are missionaries with an organization that for privacy reasons, shall remain nameless. We are fully funded by concernced individuals who have a heart for seeing families stay together and succeed. Because we rely on support, Matt and I regularly have to work at raising more support to keep our paychecks stable. It is hard work, but it is also extremely rewarding. We have built some wonderful friendships with our dear supporters, and we love them so much. Anyhoo, our support has been a bit on the low side (actually, a lot on the low side) recently, so Matt had lots of calls to make.
When the kids and I arrived home, I got them into their jammies, gave them a snack, and tucked them into bed. I encountered three problems:
Problem #1: Matt is the king of bedtime in our house. He always puts the kids to bed.
Problem #2: The kids are sick. We are waiting on some test results to verify whether or not we have whooping cough here. There was such an improvement in both kids today that I think we just had really bad colds.
Problem #3: Last night was Pepper's second night alone in his new bedroom.
To make a long story short, I spent 2 hours trying to get Pepper to stop screaming, crying, and making excuses trying to stay up later. And for 2 hours Snapper did all she could to disrupt progress, including singing at the top of her lungs in her bed, getting several drinks of water, kicking the wall, and screaming about "monsters in the closet." Hello...monsters? Since when has she been afraid of monsters? Since never! So I found myself home alone and very tired with two feisty stinkers who did not want to go to bed. To add to the chaos, our kitties, Pixie and Zoe, were bound and determined to cause trouble. They were racing all over the house, streaking in and out of kids' bedrooms, clawing furniture, and pouncing on my feet every time I walked down the hall. CRAZY HOUSE!
I stood there in the hall feeling like I was going start pulling out my hair at any second, and then the phone rang. It was Matt. Every part of me wanted to tell him to come home now and deal with the (monsters) children. But then, like a lighbulb turning on, I had this amazing thought: What if all the chaos and frustration are satan trying to get Matt away from what God wants him to be doing? If I give in to the frustration now, Matt may miss out on an important conversation with someone, and satan will have gotten the upper hand.
No way, Jose!
I voiced that thought to Matt and asked him to pray for me. He spoke briefly with Snapper on the phone, and hung up. Then I got up, put on my big-girl panties, and went back to Pepper's room for Round 7 of bedtime routine. When he would not stop screaming, I gave him two firm spanks on his litle bottom. To my surprise, he instantly stopped crying and sweetly asked for a big blanket. I got a quilt from the hall closet and tucked him in. He said, "Goodnight, Mommy. I loves you" (He also said goodnight to the Jesus picture on the wall by his bed, and goodnight to the Jimmie Johnson poster on the wall at the foot of his bed. Then he rolled over and closed his eyes.
I went back to Snapper's room to tuck her in again. And there she was, little angel, peacefully snoring away in her bed. In the time it took me to walk to Snapper's room, to check on her, and to walk back to Pepper's room, he had fallen fast asleep, too. I went downstairs, baffled at the sudden turn of events. And there, on the living room floor, lay Pixie and Zoe, fast asleep.
When I sat down on the couch and listened to the quiet, I realized what had happened. I had recognized what was happening in our house. No one will ever be able to tell me that spiritual attack isn't real! It is real. I asked Matt to pray for me. He did, and he asked Snapper to pray for our home and family, too. She did.
And the sweet breath of God swept through our home, bringing peace and comfort. I can't properly describe the dramatic difference in the feel of our home. It happened in the blink of an eye. It went from psycho house to safe haven, just like that. I got down on my knees there in the living room and thanked God for His presence. For His care. For His peace and love. It was quite an awe-inspiring experience, and I just had to share it with you.