Wednesday, July 26, 2017

A Mama's Pre-Reflection

What I will miss most when they're all grown up...
(I know that grandparents will tell me to just wait...but these babies are the only babies I am guaranteed)

The rummaging of legos in the basement

The surprise of waking up next to a child who crawled in my bed in the middle of the night without waking me.

The hundreds of papers with drawings of stick figures, L-I-B-B-Y, trees, flowers, scribbles...strewn all over the table tops, living room floor, dining room floor, bookshelves...oh my.

The sound of sweet children's t.v. while I cook.

Two brothers playing catch in the front yard.

Two brothers giggling in the late hours of the night.

The clipity-clop of my high heels being worn by little feet, and the swish of my knee high dress brushing the floor as it's modeled by the little mama holding her American Girl.

And I am sure there is more...but lastly for now...

I'll miss giggle boxes turned upside down, when all four of my children get along...for those brief moments...everything is right in our home.

That's what I'm going to miss. 

Thursday, July 13, 2017

Is it well with my soul?

There are times when I just want to crawl out of my skin. Times when, I look back on what just happened and see this totally different person in me than I ever expected to be.

It might happen when I've been careless, or quick to judge--or speak--or act on a whim of opinion. My brain is tiresome. My heart is heavy. And I just want a do-over. Peace can be fleeting or, let's get real--non-existent in these moments of reflection. I don't even remember the taste of calm, I can't recall the last breath of contentment. Moments like these are a storm of regret, and I find myself being mauled over by a tidal wave of shame.

My throat is thick and my heart is swimming in the bottom of my belly.

My soul is not well.

Sometimes, I am being foolish to think I need to wallow so severely. There's this gene in my family called Worry, and too often it dominates every other cell of my mind. Yes, too often, I trade life for this shackle.

But then, there are times when regret is valid, when it becomes this sharp pinch in my conscience and I realize I messed up.

My spaghetti brain (you know, the cutesy term for the female thought process) starts slithering about and knotting with all the circumstances I can recall in the near past--and sometimes the far past--and I am seriously bound for destruction...


In all my hopelessness, I crawl away from the jumble, and think outside myself. I reach for that untarnished place and it shines bright. It never fails me. The Truth of it suddenly shuts down every bit of activity--it freezes the storm and hollows me out.

Suddenly, I am not a vessel of regret. I am just a vessel. And I need filling. Only when I look to that untarnished place, and I pause, do I wonder in its fullness. I am emptied of every last thing, and realize I just want what that untarnished place has to fill me with.

That untarnished place ebbs and flows in size along my timeline. That untarnished place named Faith, is often cast out with the storm and left to sink deep in the sand, only to be discovered again when I am crawling on my hands and knees with the weight of the storm on my back. My desperate fingers graze the shell of that untarnished place and I wipe away just enough for a glimpse.

Sometimes, Faith is bobbing on the horizon, and I smile, nod, and rest assured that it's there--when I need it.

But, oh, I am quick to realize that it's not just a back-pocket kind of tool. I am knocked out of my senses way to quickly and severely to even reach for it in those moments.

Yet, it is faithfully waiting, even so.

How can just a look, or a listen, or a taste be so powerful to shutdown such a massive storm? Or was it even massive to begin with? In the light of that untarnished place, what is large seems so small--and insignificant.

There's just so much Greater next to my lesser. And that makes the storm seem like a splash. Sure, it leaves droplets of reminder--and I must wipe them away diligently--but, in the end, I can find a renewed calm that is not one bit like me, but all for me.

I made a mess outside me and inside me.

Even so, in light of the fullness, all is well with my soul.

Time and again, I lose my grip on all that is good and find myself stuck in the mire of consequence.

Even so, in Grace and forgiveness, my soul is renewed again.

Even so.