“Psalm 139 for Moms” by Marilyn Janke

Psalm 139 for Moms
1-O Lord, Thou hast searched me, and known me.  It is good that You don’t have to search for me, Lord—some days I feel like I can’t even find myself, much less my kids.

2-Thou knowest my downsitting and mine uprising;  Lord, if there are any more up-risings around here today, there are going to be several down-sittings, and it won’t be me! (Though, I wouldn’t mind a little down-sitting time myself…)

Thou understandest my thoughts afar off.  Some days I think that, if I were able to collect my thoughts, I wouldn’t remember where I put them.  I can’t even seem to put two coherent words together (especially when I get to have an adult conversation!), but You understand what I’m trying to say.  You know my motivations as well, Lord.  (I don’t even like to think about that, because they are rather ugly sometimes, aren’t they?)

3-Thou compassest my path and my lying down,  Lying down?  Did someone mention lying down?

And art acquainted with all my ways.  Even the wash-wipe-fold-open-close-put away of daily routines, and, still, You are interested in what I do.  (And, You do not just put “  marks under my name for the repeated chores on Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday…)

4-For there is not a word in my tongue, but, lo, O Lord, Thou knowest it altogether.  Oops—did I just say that to my husband/kids, Lord?  (I know that You saw that coming from way off…).  My tongue runs away from me like a dog off a leash.  I definitely need some work in this area!

5-Thou hast beset me behind and before,  I don’t feel claustrophobic at all when I think about You hemming me in on all sides. And, though this is probably not what the Psalmist had in mind when he wrote this, here’s my request:  since there’s a little more to beset now, Lord (more behind than before…).  I’d be grateful for whatever help you can give me in the weight department.

And laid Thine hand upon me.  Help me to feel the pressure of Your hand on me, out-weighing all of my other daily stresses, yet not smothering me.

6-Such knowledge is too wonderful for me; it is high, I cannot attain unto it.  Even higher, Lord, than the stuff I put on the top shelves out of my kids’ reach.

7- Whither shall I go from Thy Spirit?  Or whither shall I flee from Thy presence?  Why would I ever do that, Lord?  I cling to you, pleading, “Don’t leave me alone here with these kids!”  Yet, the next minute, I’m off running down the sidewalk of my own way, and You are patiently calling me back to Yourself.  (You’d think I’d get it, Lord, after all the times I’ve chased after kids in the grocery store alone!)  I can’t even flee from my family (the bathroom is the first place they look), yet I manage to scramble from your care with little effort.

8- If I ascend up into heaven, Thou art there:  When You call me home, Lord, You’ll be the first one I’ll see (I won’t even have to clean the house before I go!).

If I make my bed in hell, behold, Thou art there…You are everywhere between those two poles, Lord (and I know I have enough beds to make right here).

"Thy right hand shall hold me..."

9- If I take the wings of the morning, and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea,  Well, Lord, I’m often up at dawn.  Thank you for being there first.  As for the “wings of the morning”, I think I’m probably still clumping down the hall in slippers, sloshing my first cup of coffee.

10- Even there shall Thy hand lead me, and Thy right hand shall hold me.  Even if I had to move away from here, Lord—away from family and friends?  How much closer can you get—leading and holding me!

11-If I say, Surely the darkness shall cover me; even the night shall be light about me.  You are even brighter than the nightlight in the hallway.

12-Yea, the darkness hideth not from Thee; but the night shineth as the day: the darkness and the light are both alike to Thee.  How many times have we been up late together in the dark, while family sleeps, doing…doing.  I seem to get so much more done then, even though sometimes I’m asleep on my feet.  But You’re not waiting as I would, looking at Your watch, tapping Your foot.  And when I do fall into bed, You are there again, waiting for me in the dawn.

13-For Thou has possessed my reins; Thou hast covered me in my mother’s womb.  What mom doesn’t constantly think about the child she is carrying—yet You were controlling me then.

14- I will praise Thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; marvelous are Thy works; and that my soul knoweth right well.  Lord, I complain a lot about this “earthly temple.  Sometimes, looking in the mirror (especially first thing in the morning), the word “fearfully” comes to mind before the word “wonderfully”.  However, You loved me before I knew You existed, and You have a purpose for me here.  Help me to take care of myself so I can serve and honor You.

15-My substance was not hid from Thee when I was made in secret, and curiously wrought in the lowest parts of the earth.  Mom always said that tall frames really do need big feet, Lord, so I’ll have to thank you for them.  Can You imagine if You had given each girl a catalogue of hair color, faces, shapes, and said, “Here, chose what you want to look like.”  Some of us would still be deciding, or asking for a second choice.

16-Thine eyes did see my substance, yet being unperfect; and in Thy book all my members were written, which in continuance were fashioned, when as yet there was none of them.  It’s a good thing I had no say in the matter, Lord, because I’m sure I would have put in a request to change some of those “members”.

17- How precious also are Thy thoughts unto me, O God!  How great is the sum of them! If you put that much thought into forming me before birth, how much time You must spend thinking of me now.  Do my thoughts of You even come close?  (I suppose my thoughts could fit into a manila envelope, while yours require an entire city of boxes full of envelopes!)

18- If I should count them, they are more in number than the sand: Even more than the sand I’m dumping out of my kids’ shoes and pockets?  I think you’d better count, Lord—I’d quickly lose track.

When I awake, I am still with Thee. I’ll have to admit, Lord, that my first waking thought is not always of You.  In those few minutes ( or seconds) before I high-jump into the day, help me to remember that promise:  You are there, and You are not leaving.

19-Surely thou wilt slay the wicked, O God: depart from me therefore, ye bloody men.  With my daily thoughts, actions, or advice to others, how do I align myself with those who hate you, Lord?

20- For they speak against Thee wickedly, and Thine enemies take Thy name in vain. How do I react to those words that I hear from others?  Help them to always slice like a knife across my heart.

21- Do not I hate them, O Lord, that hate Thee?  And am not I grieved with those that rise up against Thee?  Do I remember that my kids are hearing those words, and watching me?  I need to teach them to be grieved, too, Lord.

22- I hate them with perfect hatred:  I count them mine enemies.  Perfect hatred is the only kind I can have; but even in this politically correct society, I must have it.

23- Search me, O God, and know my heart: try me, and know my thoughts:  I have never liked tests, Lord.  Here I am, though, asking you to daily search me and try me.

24- And see if there be any wicked way in me,  Unfortunately, I know the answer to that question.  It’s like staring at yourself in a gigantic lighted make-up mirror.

And lead me in the way everlasting.  Thank you for leading and not pushing, Lord, and for not abandoning me along the way. And, Your way leads right to Heaven.  There’s no way I can get lost.

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