Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Advent: When Something's Gotta Give

When he quietly sneaks down the stairs at quarter 'til nine in the still of evening and crawls into my lap while I'm working away the dark hours and says right before he drifts off to sleep in my arms, "Mommy, I miss you," I know that something's gotta give.

When I ask my oldest son how his day is going, and he asks me if I'm done working for the day so I can really listen, my stomach jumps into my throat and sits there choking me up, and I pray that something's gonna give.

When the conversation turns from what we can do to make the load lighter {jobs and businesses and work} to who put the final straw on the camel's aching back, I find myself staring at the man with whom I yoked wondering what the difference is anyway, since we're both under the same weight and what's ultimately gonna give isn't going to be what we want to give if we just wait for something to break.

A few weeks back, a wise woman told me that sheep were never meant to bear loads.

They weren't made for it.

And neither were we.

I understand this now like I wouldn't have before.

And so we cry out --

we wait for the Shepherd to hear our cries

because something's gotta give.

****

Busy days turn into heavy weeks, and we pass into the season of Advent as easily as the days sneak into nights and back into days again. I am the spinning hand on the clock, and I go until one day when I come home from church and retire to my bedroom because I'm suddenly not feeling well, the third in my family to be out for the count in less than 24 hours.

I sleep the morning into afternoon and wake only to pull my weary body from bed and join the family on the couch for a few brief hours.

I have plans. There are things to do, action items screaming for my attention during the three days I'm down and out myself and the span during which my boys are all suffering, too. There are staff meetings and business meetings and preparations to make before our host child arrives in just mere days and business to manage and posts to tend to and people to feed and bodies to bathe and clothes to launder and food to prepare.

But it all halts on a Sunday, the second Sunday of Advent, where we talk in church that morning about the surprising way Love came down to meet us here on Earth in a nowhere town, inside a nowhere stable, through a bunch of nobody people after 400 years of everyone thinking, you know, something's gotta give.

My husband picks up the food ropes and the rest of what isn't urgent all sits dormant while the urgent keeps on spinning with the rest of the world … without me.

The boys and I exist in spaces between the bed and the couch for two whole days.

On the third day, I find myself trapped beneath a four year old's body nearly every hour of day, and I start giving some serious thought to what it means to break and what it means to give.

At first it doesn't seem like catching the flu is anything akin to catching a break but when you're at the point where you feel like you can't bend with the pressure anymore, it suddenly and surprisingly. It's the break you knew you needed but never expected.

The give isn't what we wanted or planned, but when I look and I really see, I see that the give wasn't the ability to bend a little more without snapping, the give was a gift unexpected of slowing down enough to remember that the sun rises and sets each day without our help, without my help.

And isn't that the break I've been begging for and the give I've been praying to see?

He gives me a break, He slows me steady into the season of Advent, the season of preparing my heart for what's been given

again, in the most surprising of ways.

4 comments:

  1. My husband said those exact words last night, something has got to give. But like you there isn't anywhere that he can cut back. I feel the same way but my give will be here soon in the form of quitting my job. I am praying that a "give" comes his way or that God shows him any loads he us carrying that he doesn't need to be.

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  2. My husband said those exact words last night, something has got to give. But like you there isn't anywhere that he can cut back. I feel the same way but my give will be here soon in the form of quitting my job. I am praying that a "give" comes his way or that God shows him any loads he us carrying that he doesn't need to be.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Love this. It's like blessings that come in rain drops and unexpected peace in the midst of chaos. Love you, Hy. I want you to know I'm praying for you.

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  4. Love this. It's like blessings that come in rain drops and unexpected peace in the midst of chaos. Love you, Hy. I want you to know I'm praying for you.

    ReplyDelete

There's nothing better than good conversation ... but not while talking to myself. Will you play a part in this discussion?

AND will you pretty please have your email linked to your account or leave it for me so I can respond?

Thanks for taking the time to make these thoughts into conversation.

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