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Thankful... For a Hammer

Amid the chaos of hosting family, cooking turkeys, and dragging Christmas decorations out of the basement, I’ve tried to take some time this holiday season to count my blessings and be thankful. I’m particularly thankful for my husband and his tenderness to the Holy Spirit, even when it includes a hammer. Allow me to explain. A few Fridays ago, the entire family was able to get tickets to the Carolina game in Chapel Hill. I left work a little early, so we could all drive down to watch the game. There’s nothing like watching a game in the Dean Dome! Joe and I sat a few rows away from the kids. I had a great time, reveling in my nostalgic memories and chanting all of my favorite Carolina cheers! Go Heels! My children, however, were not on their best behavior. Barely 5 minutes into the game, one of my boys spilled a 32-ounce drink all over our section. His sister had to go get and an usher and a mop. By half time, they were trying to kill each other!!! So, Joe had to go sit between the kids for the second half, and I took one of the boys to sit with me. We had planned to spend the night in Chapel Hill, but by the end of the game, Joe was at the end of his rope. We sacrificed the room reservations and drove back to Charlotte in painful silence. The kids were banned from speaking or even looking at each other. You get the picture. About an hour into the drive home, Joe and I took the opportunity to talk about what God has been speaking in our lives and about how we need to be seeking godly wisdom for parenting our brood (of vipers, at that point). He said he wanted to have a family meeting. The next day, he called all the family out to the deck. He shared with them that over the last several weeks God had been clearly telling him three things. First, he needed to intentionally pursue his wife. Second, he needed to pray for his children. And third, he needed to dig deeper into the Word. He then went on to say that he felt he had become distracted with many things that pull him away from those three callings. And, his greatest distraction was his iPad. Without warning, he pulled his brand new iPad from behind him, laid it on the ottoman in front of him and smashed it with a hammer!

The expression on my children’s faces was priceless. They gasped and sat wide-eyed for a few moments. Joe then explained to them that anything that was a distraction in their lives keeping them from what God was calling him to do needed to be removed as well. That event has been a game-changer in our home. Not surprisingly, no one is obsessed with asking for electronics. A week before we went to that game, I had taken possession of my boys’ iPads and did not plan to return them until the new year. (Now, they are scared to ask for them!) During the time we may have been mindlessly screen hopping, we are re-committing to praying for one another corporately and individually. We spent 30 minutes last night gathered around the den ottoman, on our knees, praying for each other. Every family member prayed for each other one. It was beautiful, tearful, and sweet. We have also just decided that since we have seven people living in our house (the Teagues plus our Au Pair), each day of the week we will focus on praying for one family member. If it’s your day, you will be smothered in prayer! I don’t know what God has in store for our family. But, I do know He has a plan and purpose bigger and better than any of us can imagine. It just took shattering some things to be ready to see it. May you take a hammer to your distractions as well!

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