I rolled over in bed, and tried to pretend I was sleepy.
After all, it was 4:30 AM.
We play tricks on ourselves, we pregnant mommies.
But the clock ticked loudly,
and my toddler sighed heavily in her sleep from her crib in the corner.
My husband slumbered away next to me, and I gently turned onto my other side. The tiny little one inside me tumbled and flailed on,
and my fingertips wished they had eyes to see through the layers of skin and muscle…
Finally I gave up.
Today is a big day, with multiple house projects and long awaited things to do. “Why waste time in bed when I can get a head start on the day?” I whispered to myself. But before I padded downstairs, I sat on the top step and let yesterday replay in my mind.
Seasons change, and we change.
My oldest has been facing a lot of changes lately, and his almost eight year old mind has a lot to grasp right now. He is caught between two worlds, one of carefree childhood, where life is best swaying at the top of the poplar tree or tearing through the yard with his puppy nipping at his heels.
And then there is this tedious, intriguing world of adults, and comprehension of much bigger ideas and realities larger than he ever dreamed of before, of eternity, and the choices he makes today and how they affect everything.
I pray for this child.
I beg for forgiveness in how I have failed him,
failed to understand his heart, and chose frustration in his maturing process. Being a mother has laid my heart bare so many times.
I saw in my son’s eyes yesterday the tears of disappointment.
They stung my eyes too. Salty.
Painful, this thing of life.
We are called to a high calling, to be holy, to live life here on earth as Jesus did.
I find myself with a foot in two worlds, just like my son.
The seesaw, a pile of dirty dishes contrasting with the warm cuddles of my children and sweetness of God’s word. The wanting to do the best I can.
The slap of failure and enveloping discouragement when I fall.
It can be so tumultuous, this thing called life.
Mountaintops abruptly followed by deep valleys, and labor and childbirth followed hard by the ecstasy of holding a new and breathing life.
How can the human heart take it all in,
and keep breathing?
I long for some brilliant revelation to help me grasp how to better walk today.
How to say the right thing each time.
How to have a heart that genuinely honors God, and those around me.
And the answer comes in meager and small words.
In the small things.
In the little moments.
I am amazed that Jesus celebrates the journey, and not just the arrival.
How, oh how I have wished that this journey of life could be traded today for the reality of eternity. I remember standing on the edge of the river that only hours before had taken my brother from me, and heaven felt so close.
So alluring, so real, so near.
It was as if I would only jump in, then I, too, would burst through eternity’s dazzling gates. But I stood landlocked in the blistering sun,
so close, yet so far.
God knows how impatient I am.
I want eternity’s fingerprint all over my heart, now.
I want to be made like Jesus, now.
I want to be the perfect wife, friend, mother, now.
I look in the mirror and study the person looking back at me.
She is on a journey.
A long one.
And today, Jesus doesn’t expect me to sing in heaven’s tongue perfectly.
He looks at where I am today, and smiles.
And he invites me into his presence that changes and purifies me,
as I sort the smelly laundry and listen to childish squabbles.
Here, on the unswept floor of my kitchen, badly needing to be mopped,
it is here, that Jesus invites me into his presence.
Here, in my messes and needs, is the best place for me to be made into his image.
In the little steps today, I will receive from him.
And in the receiving, I will be able to give my children what they need.
Not because I have it all, but because I too am being carried, and taught.
Tears sting my eyes again, but this time tears of gratitude.
When we see we are loved in our need, we see how deep this love really is.
Love that reaches past my failures and loves me anyway – this is what changes me.