Hey Chica Mamas. Here is a preview of the book I am working on. It was an idea that came to life while at CCWC!
God’s name: EL Roi
Meaning: The God Who Sees Me.
Where it can be found: Genesis 16:11-14; Psalm 139:7-12.
“Elijah, Cheyenne, pick up your toys. It’s time to come in!”, I hollered from the stoop of our front porch while balancing my Tori on my hip as she clapped her hands and drooled. The children paused for a second as if they weren’t quite sure they heard someone and then continued playing.
“Hey! It’s time to come in, pick up your toys.” I yelled a little louder, exasperated. They still ignored my directions. I threw my husband an irritated look as he came around the corner from the garage. He then called to our oldest two. They looked back from where they were playing and came running to Daddy with their toys in tow. Great, I thought to myself, just great! They seem to only have ears for Dad and I’m the one who carried them in my body for nine months!”
It hit me full force one evening after a long day being in the trenches of mothering with my children when I realized that I’m invisible. My family didn’t thank me for the clean floors, the socks being paired and put away in drawers, nor did they notice that I had slaved in the kitchen all afternoon to come up with something tasty for dinner that everyone liked. In my house coming up with a universal meal is a major feat considering that Elijah hated vegetables, Cheyenne hated meat and my husband didn’t think it was a meal unless steak and potatoes were involved. After getting the kids into bed, I wearily began straightening the living room as a safety precaution so I wouldn’t step on a toy, lose my balance and nearly break my neck in the middle of the night, and that's when a frumpy figure caught my eye. I couldn’t believe who I saw in the mirror! The woman I saw in front of me was a faded version of the vibrant Heather that I remembered. I wanted to cry. I hated this curvier body that I acquired after the birth of my third child. Neither did I appreciate the short ‘budget friendly, too busy to fix it’ haircut I also acquired during my pregnancy. I hardly had the extra cash for indulging in good make-up other than the Wal-mart brand and haven’t bought new clothes in over a year. I couldn’t even remember when I went into the salon for highlights, and I didn't even want to think about my eyebrows! Wanting to be a good mom, I had put my children and their needs first before my own and little by little I had let myself fall apart. I used to see other women in the stores wearing shabby worn out T-shirts, sleep deprived, no make up, and pushing their carts down the aisle while attempting to keep their children from throwing another tantrum.‘I’ll never let myself look like that, I will be best Mommy Diva this town as ever seen. It’s a piece of cake!’, I used think to myself before I became pregnant with my third child and that’s because there was an unintended eight year gap between my first two children. I was in for a rude awakening after my last baby was born. Now looking in the mirror, I almost regretted it and wondered how I had managed to become a faded, invisible version of myself. Not only had my needs become invisible, my job of running the home and nurturing my children had become invisible to my family. They were the people that mattered most to me.
Still sullen and miserable from what I saw in the mirror, I opened my prayer journal, trying to push my ‘poor me’ thoughts away. God then gently reminded me of who He is and that I’m not invisible to Him. My eyes came to rest on notes about the woman Hagar from the bible. In Genesis 16:11-14, Hagar had run away from her master because Sarai began to mistreat her. Sarai was resentful and jealous that Hagar was able to conceive a child for her husband. It was not uncommon in those days for an infertile woman to start a family using her servants according to the ancient Assyrian marriage laws. Feeling trapped, alone, and unwanted, Hagar ran away thinking her chances were better under the scroching sun in the desert. While sitting alone, tired, and feeling invisible, an angel of the Lord appeared to her. "Hagar, where have you come from and where are you going?"
"I'm running away from Sarai, my owner."
The angel then said, "Go back to Sarai and be her slave. I will give you a son, who will be called Ismael, because I have heard your cry for help. And later I will give you so many descendents that no one will be able to count them all. But your son will live far from his relatives; he will be like a wild donkey, fighting everyone, and everyone fighting him."
Hagar thought, "Have I really seen God and lived to tell about it?" So from then on she called him, "The God Who Sees Me". (Genesis 16:7-14) The God Who Sees Me is translated as EL Roi (EL raw EE) and it is the only time God is called EL Roi in the bible. Even though Hagar was alone in the wilderness sitting next to a well, God was aware of her hurts, her thoughts, and her needs.He already had a plan in place for her! What peace she must have had to be able to go back to submit to her master.
God gently reminded me that I'm not unlike Hagar. He sees me too. He knows the number of hairs on my head, He knows my thoughts, and when I wake up and lie down. I'm not invisible to Him. As a matter of fact, He cares about everything I do and promises to walk side by side as I press on to take care of my family. It's part of His plan and part of my minstry to my family. There are many moments in motherhood that we feel alone, desolate, and locked within the four walls we call home. Mothering is hard work. I can’t think of any other career that has an expectancy of at least eighteen years and being on the job twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week. The end achievement is that we survive our children’s antics and launch our children into the world to be successful and to love God. It’s amazing to think the God of the universe cares about me folding socks and watches all I do. He loves you too and wants to tell you so. Take a moment to thank God for his ever-watchful eye, and pray that He increases your awareness of His presence. You’ll be glad you did!