Friday, March 17, 2017

These Days

Other than book reviews, I'm not blogging much these days. I'm thinking a lot, but my fingers stall on the keys.

Not much is happening, yet so much is happening. I told my mama-friend the other day how odd it is when someone asks how I've been. To the outside eye, every day is simply the same-- staying at home with my daughter, the diapers and food and naps and such. Yet every day feels like a roller coaster internally with all the physical, mental and emotional energy the day commands. Especially the emotional. No one told me that motherhood would take me to the end of myself and mirror back to me not only the best of myself and my strength, but also the ugly parts and the weakness.

But there's this nagging fear that maybe I'm the only one who thinks this is hard. Maybe she has family that lives nearby to help. Maybe her husband has different work hours. Maybe my perfectionist personality brings on my own hardships. Maybe it's just me.

Then there's this nagging guilt that this is everything I've ever dreamed of, this life of home and hearth and husband and babies. Guilt for the friends' who want this so desperately. The friends whose left fingers are empty of a ring, or whose wombs are empty of a heartbeat. I know. I remember. So I feel guilty when having those things now feels hard. 

Sure, there are the days when music is playing and dinner is cooking and the baby is smiling and my soul is soaring. There can be nothing greater than this, I think, my heart fairly bursting with gratitude and joy in this season of my life. My husband is romantic and charming, my baby is gorgeous and endearing, myself productive and accomplished and enjoying a good hair day (ha! rarely for that last one!). The sun shines and I cannot think of a better way to spend my life.

This swinging of the pendulum drives me crazy. Why am I so fickle? Why cannot I not be steadfast in the mountains and the valleys? Why cannot I not remember the joys in the hard times? Why cannot I see the grace in the the distasteful moments? Why cannot I not "count it all joy" (James 1:2)?

We're coming out of a week of teething, tummy bugs, respiratory bugs, and freezing temperatures and snow. I'd like to say I handled it all with saintly wisdom and grace and patience, but instead I feel bedraggled and, well, dragged through it. The lack of sleep and the constant body fluids wore me down.

But there's the tiniest light inside me that says all is not hopeless within me. That even though I don't like what I see in myself, God sees more. That even though I might have trudged more than I danced through it, I still did it. I showed up and offered up and begged for grace. I saw the places where I need His healing and molding and cleansing. Isn't that what Lent is all about? Perhaps this is all the point. God is at work, but it is a process. And for someone like me, that's difficult. I want so badly to "do things right" from the start but God simply wants me to do them and give them to Him, letting go of the outcome....and maybe sometimes not even to do, but just be.

My delusion is often that since motherhood is my vocation, I must do it well (and dare I say perfect?) all of the time and from the very beginning. Yet I forget that because motherhood is my vocation, God is going to use it to make me into the woman He desires and created me to be-- which will not happen instantly but rather over a lifetime. And wouldn't it make sense that the very vocation that will shine light on the dark and broken places for healing to occur will be a little messy (or a lot!) at times? I know when I'm cleaning out a closet, it gets messier before it gets cleaner!

I'm broken, friends. And that's hard. But it's also hopeful! We serve a God who mends the broken places and makes beautiful mosaics from them...and then shines through them.

"We're all broken...that's how the light gets in." -Ernest Hemingway

Maybe it's time I start focusing on the Light instead of the broken.

Come, Lord Jesus, Light of the World, and shine through us this day, even and especially through the broken places.

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