Hi All! My name is Kim Rayfield. I am a wife of just over 3 years to a Navy Supply Officer on the USS Pennsylvania, a submarine, and mother to two precious littles that keep me ON. MY. TOES. Jacob is 2 ½ years and Gracelyn 7 ½ months.
Recently I have been up to my eyeballs in diapers, potty training, rocking to sleep, re-rocking to sleep, boo-boo kissing, and toy picking up—only to pick them up again 20 minutes later. (Why-oh-why do I persist in continually picking them up then?!) The words that primarily come out of my mouth these days are:
“No SIR, sister is NOT for hitting.”
“That’s 3; take a timeout.”
“Dude, put your pants BACK ON…people are coming over!!”
If you’re a mother or have worked with little ones, I’m sure you can imagine how busy home life can be. Quiet time with God has been difficult, even rare, over the past three years. It’s just been recently that I realized how truly dry I’ve become and how much I am craving the Living Water. Many times I’ve struggled to connect with God in the same way that I did as a single woman in ministry. Do you ever question how to connect with God in the midst of life’s chaos? I SURE have over the past three years. I used to have built-in spiritual retreat days and times AT WORK for quiet time with God. I spent every day in my Bible. Now I’m lucky to read it once a week. And I’ve wondered if God and I can EVER have the kind of connection we once had.
In reading over 1 Peter, verses 1:6-7a just kept hitting me between the eyes over and over, “So be TRULY GLAD. There is wonderful joy ahead, even though you have to endure many trials for a little while. These trials will show that your faith is genuine. It is being tested as fire tests and purifies gold – though your faith is FAR MORE PRECIOUS than mere gold” (NLT).
Be Truly Glad.
Be TRULY GLAD.
These past three years have certainly tested my faith and my ability to be “truly glad.” I left full-time ministry, got married and got pregnant over the course of less than a year. During our 3 years of marriage, we moved to Charleston, SC; Pensacola, FL; Newport, RI; spent a year apart while my husband did school and I waited out my pregnancy in Martinsville, IN; and now to Washington state where we’ve spent the last several months trying to re-integrate as a family. I’ve attended several churches, but never long enough to “plug-in.”
I could go on and on but let me get to the point. My attitude has slipped to full on WHINY-HEINEY over the past few years. I’ve blamed God for our deteriorated relationship and not allowed the daily trials of my life to “show that my faith is genuine.” Consequently, I’ve felt worn out and insignificant, and not sure what to do about it.
My son has a children’s Bible that we read at breakfast almost daily. And if I forget…it won’t be long before Jacob is saying, “Mama, mama: GOD BOOK!” The writer of the Jesus Storybook Bible is continually referring to God’s “Never stopping, never giving up, unbreaking, always and forever love.” Seriously, throughout the entire Old and New Testament the writer refers to God’s love for his children in this way. One day, while reading God Book to Jacob it hit me: God is no less present in my life as I wipe bottoms, tears, and yucky hands, as He was when I had the luxury of sitting quietly in a room reading His word and talking with Him. Our relationship looks DIFFERENT, but it’s no less significant. I may not be able to spend hours in His word but I can invite and welcome Him into every moment of my every day.
Okay, so “be truly glad.” I want a heart adjustment. I LONG for one, and I believe that a heart adjustment is the key for me to connect with God more deeply. God promises in 1 Peter 1:6-7a that wonderful joy awaits, that the trials will not last for long and that the things I go through will purify my faith. I will cling to these promises in the chaos…in the mundane…in the every day. I may not be able to spend hours in God’s word…but as I tell Jacob and Gracie about his never stopping love, I can ask God to firmly plant that into my own heart. I can recognize His presence in every moment and be thankful for it!
For more information on the Jesus Storybook Bible, visit their website here. Kim was formerly a Children's Pastor and has a good eye for usable and fun materials!