One Day at a Time: How to Battle the Enemy Like a Boss
We didn’t exactly evacuate from the Houston area because of Hurricane Harvey, we were leaving for the weekend anyway. We were returning to the Abilene area, from which we moved recently, which you can read about here, for a couple of reasons. Harvey just added to our list of “to-do’s.” It is strange to be a visitor in your hometown. But the best place to rest is the MCM Elegante Suites because you can fit a passel of folks in one suite. Still, it is not the very best night’s sleep. Sophie, our teen, is the lucky one. She gets the fold out couch. Justin slept with Sam, our five-year-old in one full size “luxury bed” and I slept with Charlie, the three-year-old in the other.
It was a rough couple of nights. I may have permanent kidney damage from the constant kicks and jabs. Charlie punches, steals pillows, and REPEATEDLY falls out of bed, taking the “1000 Thread Count Eygtians Cotton Sheets” with him. Twice I woke to find him inside my night gown, that I was still wearing. Once, I woke wearing nothing but my underwear and found he had fashioned a turban for himself out of my pajamas. Another time I woke to find him, all the pillows and blankets at the foot of the bed – he was sound asleep with my iPhone illuminated on his belly running an app, “Deep Sleep Meditations: How to Conquer Your Dreams and Out Live Your 401K.” I would note, this is an app I did not install. If he wasn’t thrashing and snoring, I’d wake to find him playing with my hair, eating peanut butter crackers and whispering things in my ear, things I vaguely remember as slightly inappropriate. When I did sleep, I had intense dreams that I was in a serious relationship with Chris Farley.
And this morning I need to head back to the Houston area. I haven’t looked at the weather. Like each of you, I have a billion things on my list of things to do. And, like you, I am tired. Let me rephrase, I am exhausted. Most of the women I talk to are just dead dog tired. And as my book launch revs up, I was texting with my launch manager Anna LeBaron, author of the brilliant book, The Polygamist’s Daughter, and as I inadvertently showed her my neuroses she texted, “Girl, you are off the rails, call me.” And although it isn’t in her job description, she talked me back on the proverbial rails.
In the midst of that and a weird slow dance scene where Chris Farley and I had just been named prom king and queen and were celebrating in the spotlight to White Snake’s Is This Love, I had an epiphany. I had been warned, repeatedly that prior or during the launch of my book, there would be a season of colossal butt kicking from Beelzebub. I may have aided in this process, I take full responsibility for this, by moving in a 72-hour window after 25 years in one location. But that is not the point. A few authors emailed me and just said, “Heads up girly, the dark one won’t like your message, be battle ready.”
I think emailed back, “LOL! Got my butt kickin’ boots on! Thanks for the heads up! Love ya! Jj”
I did not have the appropriate attire on for this battle. I wish I had the blessed assurance that everyone who is reading this has seen the movie Tommy Boy where David Spade hits Chris Farley in the face with the 2×4. That’s me. I’m Chris Farley.
Knocked smooth across my face with one thing after another, after another. And there is a chapter in Stolen Jesus about the real enemy. No, I don’t want to give him too much credit, but more than that, I won’t ever pretend he isn’t an issue.
He is a legit butthead.
He is real.
However, this is what I missed the last few weeks. This is the place where I ran stagnant, where I have struggled and fallen short of peace. He may be a 2×4 to the face, but he is conquered. Unfortunately, I was given a piece of scriptural advice that I ran with, and it basically was used by the enemy to further my defeat. In essence, it is the idea that God doesn’t interact with our daily prayer lives. I know, I should know better. But with the not so metaphorical butt kicking, I was taking, I started down a path of defeat, and I started processing, “Yeah, I know God loves me, but certainly He can’t be this involved in the entirety of my life… can He?”
And the wicked one was waiting in the wings whispering, “No way, there is no way… you are all alone – it is just you and me.”
Ugh. I just hate the devil. He’s a creep and a pain in the butt, He has hot garlic breath and the lingering smell of gas station burritos. Still, I let him overstay. And this morning on little to no sleep after another night in a little bed with a sweaty and fidgety toddler – who I suspect ordered room service at 1:30 am, I am pumped up and battle ready. It dawned on me, so many times I have seen or known that the enemy has sought to destroy and I have succumbed, “Oh man, that sucks.” As if God left me here helpless to the madness of the world, when no, He conquered the world. So then, when the enemy comes to terrorize, kill, mangle, and cause confusion, I have this one super powerful word. One word… the word – it is the opposite of terror, it is life, not death, it is ordered, it is clarity and peace. In this one word, I am brought utter solace in complete terror. In this one word, where truth became flesh I find victory and I will send my tormentor to worship at the foot of the Cross.
This is the day.
I have had no sleep. I have miles to go. The storm may be picking up speed. I may fail, I may fall… but this is the day. This is my whole Truth.
And so to the dark one I say what I wish I had said weeks ago… Bring on the monkeys fool… I am battle ready.
May your floors be sticky and your calling ordained. Love, Jami
This is the day the Lord has made let us rejoice! Psalm 118:24
You might also like, How to Hold On Without Letting Go
And you can find Anna LeBaron’s book here: