I sit down to write. The toddler whines from his crib. He needs to be changed and fed.
I grab the ingredients to make my morning smoothie. The preschooler calls for help from the bathroom. He needs to be washed and dressed.
I set up my yoga mat. The toddler crawls on top. Arms lifted, he wants to be held.
I wake early to read. The preschooler wakes also, enters my moment of solitude, and settles on my bed to talk.
Where can I go from your Spirit? Where can I flee from your presence? (Psalm 139:7)
Frustration sets in, so very quickly. I yearn for quiet, to be alone with my thoughts. There are so many things I want to accomplish. Dreams I want to pursue.
Seek the Lord your God with all your heart and soul. (1 Chronicles 22:19)
And then the little children appear. And my time becomes theirs. His needs become mine to carry. Everything else I was striving for, fades away. Like precious jewels dumped carelessly into an ocean. I will need to search for them later. In another lifetime perhaps.
The span between life as we intend it and life as we receive it is vast. Our true purpose is worked out in that gap. It is fashioned in the crucible of interruptions. – Mark Buchanan
I change the toddler. Slice the cheese for his snack. I snuggle with the preschooler on my bed, listen to the stories of his dreams. Clean the mess he has made in the bathroom.
Anyone who welcomes a little child like this in my name welcomes me. (Matthew 18:5)
And I try to breathe. I want to explode, give anger the permission to erupt, but instead I breathe. Inhale patience. Exhale love.
The Lord is compassionate and gracious, slow to anger, abounding in love. (Psalms 103:8)
Is this all my days are made for?
To clean mess after mess after mess. The servant to my children. The master of nothing.
What one calls the interruptions are precisely one’s real life – the life God is sending one day by day. – C.S. Lewis
The world rushes on, yet here I stay. Day after day in this house. With two little ones squirming, fighting, demanding, draining, endlessly talking. And I am to be the centre of it all. The calm. The eye of the storm.
Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things. (Colossians 3:2)
We need…a conviction in our bones that God is Lord of our days and years, and that his purposes and his presence often come disguised as detours, messes, defeats. – Mark Buchanan
Is this all you have for me? Surely there is something more I could be doing.
You are the children that God dearly loves. So be just like him. Lead a life of love, just as Christ did. He loved us. He gave himself up for us. He was a sweet-smelling offering and sacrifice to God. (Ephesians 5:1-2)
You are making me more like You, aren’t you?
When I listen with ears open to their troubles, is this not His heart for me? When I go to them in calmness, instilling a sense of peace, is this not how He calls to me? When I wrap my arms around them in love, am I not a reflection of Him?
As a [mother] has compassion on [her] children, so the Lord has compassion on those who fear him. (Psalms103:13; addition mine)
The more patience I give to my children, the more love I share, when I greet them with eyes and ears open, the deeper I understand the heart of the One who made me. I can stop striving. I have nothing to prove.
Only this: That He is pouring his love and grace over me, just as I pour over them. And the aroma of my life becomes sweeter. Like a lilac tree, begging to be inhaled.
I inhale all of Him.
Are you pleased with the offering of this mother’s life?
Be glad and rejoice with all your heart, O daughter of Jerusalem! …He will take delight in you with gladness. With his love, he will calm all your fears. He will rejoice over you with joyful songs. (Zephaniah 3:14-17)
To be continued…