Monday, October 10, 2016

Beauty-Full

"Mommy, mommy, wake up!" she says running into my bedroom, eyes wide with wonder. 

It's 6:40 a.m., and normally this kind of wake-up call frustrates me and leaves me fighting to respond kindly. 

Honestly, I've been feeling quite stuck in my irritation regarding the wake-up calls. 

This morning, though, mercy is new, and it plays out into reality when the Spirit whispers to pay attention to the wonder spread across her face ... that it's worth the loss of sleep. 

Somehow I manage responding, "Good morning, pumpkin. What is it?"

"You want see something sooo bootiful?" she asks excitedly, in all her four-year-old giddyness.

"Yes," I muster with as much genuine excitement as I can for 6:41 a.m.

"In my room!! Look out my window!" she says leading me there with my hand in her. 

We pull back the curtains and soft lovely wisps of pink and orange spread across the sky just above our garage. We can't see the whole thing but we see just enough to understand the lovely of it.

"Wow," I say. " That is pretty!"

I ponder for a moment a crossroads of choice as it enters my head; I could thank her for sharing with me and go back to bed, grateful to have seen just a glimpse of lovely .... or I could put in a little more extra effort and see if there's something more to glimpse by climbing to the top floor and glimpsing out the full-view windows.

 "I have an idea," I say. "Let's look from upstairs so we can see the whole sky."

"Ok!" 

We venture upstairs, soft golden glows of sun light on our path and as we walk over to the window; it's even more full of beauty than we could have imagined; it's beauty-full, if ever there was a working definition. 


We marvel at the sky together for a moment, and I thank her for sharing this with me. 

Her eyes shine and her smile beams. I silently thank God for prompting me to respond differently from my normal response this morning.

In my spirit, I know there are so many times I choose to stay stuck in the same places not ever choosing to get out of bed because it seems like too much work or choosing to do just the bare minimum and being happy enough with little glimmers of lovely, forgoing the bigger picture of beauty-full because I'm happy with the little bits of beauty. 

But, I don't want to cheat myself or the worthy hearts in this house of shared beauty because I'm stuck. And the longer I sit in that understanding or stuckness, the more I know that we weren't meant for stuckness and just the little bits of beauty we can manage to glimpse from our anchored position; we were meant for beautiful -- beauty-full. 

Today, let's move.

Let's choose the fullness. 


Thursday, September 15, 2016

When You Can't Make One More Adult Decision (Where are the Adults Around Here Anyway?)

Overwhelmed and in over my head don't quite explain how I feel most days. 

The baby years have faded mostly into big kid years with only one lone preschooler lingering in every ounce of her four years old, and we now have the privilege of parenting teens, too.

I thought I would be less tired at this point now because most of our five children sleep through the night at least the majority of nights during the week, and truthfully I am much more physically rested than the days of mothering babies and toddlers.

But emotionally and mentally the exhaustion of this phase of motherhood is as real as the physical fatigue of the first days of motherhood because the older our loves grow the more complex life becomes and the more the decisions become ones that boast bigger outcomes. 

Most often lately, the circumstances with our kiddos have been so complex, so filled with the grays of life, so completely huge and life altering, I called my husband completely overwhelmed one morning and blurted out, "Where are all the adults around here anyway? I keep looking around for the adults so I can go tell them what's going on and they can fix it ... How on Earth is that we are the adults here?"

He laughed. I laughed. And yet the decisions still sat on our shoulders by conversation end. They still remained. 

That same morning after my desperate phone call, I drove reluctantly to our first Mothers of Preschoolers (because I still have one!) get together at church and on a morning where I desperately wanted to not make one more stinkin' decision ... I was faced with a decision to put a ticket in one of seven or eight giveaway buckets. Seems like #nobigdeal mixed with a little #firstworldproblems, I know, but when you are in the midst of making life-altering decisions for everyone in the family, sometimes you just can't make one more.

So I put my ticket in the only bucket that seemed to make sense:


And then I won.

It was like God Himself was like, so maybe you need to laugh a little more because I see you. I see you and your white flag waving. I see you and your want to just hand off the daily decisions -- major and minor -- to someone else. So hand them off to me.

And that's the truth of it: I don't feel like I can adult most days because most days I feel like there's not enough of me to handle the heavy that comes at our kids and our family.

But I don't have to do it alone, empty and shaking. 

Later that very afternoon, God reminded me of two things:

Fear not.

and

Seek first the kingdom.

These are two calls to truth Jesus casts out to hearts entrenched in worry and fear. First He tells us not to fear and then He tells us how to refocus our attention:

Seek first the kingdom.

As a mom who is feeling increasingly pulled toward creating a place of community and life within these four walls, that means I'm intent on building the kingdom in our home and in the hearts of our children and each other through love and kindness, patience and truth. 

So my most important decision daily is the one that seeks first the King to feed my own spirit and allow Him the space to refresh my own soul so that I can build the kingdom in our home and in our hearts through the overflow of my own heart. 
"I thought again about how ministry and the need to help another, soothe a child, confront sin, share wisdom from scripture never happens at convenient moments. It happens amidst the craziness of life. And whenever we are squeezed, what we have stored within will come out." -Sally Clarkson
I haven't yet used my new cup, but I have intentionally left it living on the counter so that every time I feel overwhelmed by adulting I can remember that I don't need to do it all alone. As I seek to make best decisions, seek the Kingdom, I can first seek the King. 

I don't have to adult out of empty. I can adult out of the overflow.

I just need to stop long enough to let the Him refresh, refill, restore and be renewed enough so it can all spill over. 


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