I haven’t been writing lately. Not because the desire has left me but because I knew what came out would be messy. Quite honestly, lately, life has been messy. All of the broken and jagged pieces I’d thought time had smoothed, surfaced with force, cutting through my clay heart and thin skin. What remained was a tattered, worn, version of me. I guess it’s true when the scripture says to be careful when you think you stand because you will fall. I am, once again, a living example of this principle. You’re welcome.
Maybe there’s extra grace there, somewhere in the rubble. There’s this extra measure of assurance that if we can get through so many ups and downs and He hasn’t failed us yet, maybe it’s true that He won’t fail. Maybe we will fail, as we so often do, but in the end, there’s a beauty in the mess if we can only take the risk of embracing it.
You see, I don’t have to prove myself. I don’t have to be clean to come to the one who washes me. I don’t have to have it all together before I come to the one who knit me together in my mother’s womb. I don’t have to have it all figured out to lean in close and hear His wisdom. I don’t have to play all the right notes before I listen to the song He sings over me. And there again is the beauty…that in the midst of the mess, He’s still singing. He never stopped singing. So maybe I should sing too.
So with reckless abandon, I choose today, to sing wildly. I jump to my feet, dodging the obstacles, and dance. The mess probably won’t go away anytime today or maybe even tomorrow, but piece by piece, I know He will rebuild me. I am more than the messes. I am a victor. My messy heart will sing in wonder, not because of who I am, but because of who He is and how vast His love is for me. What more could anyone ask for?
Though Angels’ tongues could escape my lips and sentiment sweet should flow
When grace extends my patience thin
When arms become empty, hearts heavy, feet ready for escape, eyes drifting, head aching, song quiet, candles huffed to cooled wax, all seems lost around me, I remember.
Greater love has no man than he who lays down his life for a friend.
Perfect love casts out fear
Love suffers long and is kind
Love thinks no evil, bears all things, believes all things.
Love never fails.
Love is not about what I can get.
For love, I empty myself
I give all
I prefer another
I am fulfilled
Blurs are often ended with the bluntness of a break. A single straw that interrupts the momentum long enough for sanity to creep in and remind me that I am more than this.
In the quest for perfection, I lost sight of the adventure. In the race towards better, I steadily slipped into worse. In the pursuit of holiness, I forgot to trust in grace. Somewhere in between it all, I stopped breathing. I lost myself when I quit looking.
Today, I’m thankful for the straw. Small fractals of light that shine through offense, wake me from my hypnotism. Freedom often comes when I least expect it. Thank you straw man! Lord, please block my path when I get stuck on auto-pilot.
PHOTOGRAPH BY LIONEL BROWN, GETTY IMAGES
You’re like lightning. You come in flashes that light the whole world with beauty. With each strike, you rejuvenate and enrich the soil. You bring with you hope and the promise of rain. But in the end, I know you’ll hurt me if i get too close.
It’s all been a whirlwind. I’m sure you’ve been there, when life creeps in and steals…well, the life right out of you. Then suddenly I realize in the midst of the grind, the day to day, the chaos, that I don’t have to allow it all to get the best of me. I can choose to stop even when the madness doesn’t. I get the privilege of deciding what warrants immediate attention and what can wait. I get to decide that I’m important too.
I think mothers are so easily susceptible to what I’ll call the squishing. The systematic pressing down of oneself in favor of those you love and/or those who scream the loudest. Then suddenly, the music stops, the writing ceases in lieu of more pressing priorities. All that was placed in you by the creator is shelved for another time…a seemingly mythic day when there’s quiet, though you know the heart will cry when quiet comes because they have grown and you may have missed something.
I think at the end of the day, we can have it all. We can treasure the moments of motherhood, maintain some measure of order and cleanliness, actually shower, and still be us. I know, I know, sounds too good to be true. I still believe that God placed treasure in earthen vessels and that He never gives us a load too difficult for us to bear. We may need to exercise our faith muscles. We may need to work diligently to find balance. We may need to learn to say no or ask for help but it may be worth it.
Today, I’m making a resolution that I will make myself make time. I will read. I will write. I will sing. I will play. Yes, I’ll still clean and nurse and nurture and teach but I will make the time to be me. The world will be a better place and I will be a better version of myself. Today, I’m determined.
Though I’ve been missing in action for a while, I’m coming back to life, one decision at a time and I shouldn’t have to miss me much longer.
The day draws close to an end and I feel pulled to page to open up the release valve and let it all go. Lately, I’ve filled the well with other things and stopped the flow of words. The difference in me is palpable. Tonight I’ve decided to dig. The sound of shovel moving earth resonates hope to my dry heart. I’ve been hiding under there too long.
Seasons pass swift and furious without effort and I often leave myself behind sucking dust. Life isn’t found in the motions but rather in the movement. Spirit and soul drawn into deep breath moving me from who I’ve been to who I am. The lioness awakening, drinking deep.
Tonight, as the earth moves, I’m closer to the spring from which the water begins to rise. Tonight, I’m a little closer to living and maybe that’s what matters.
Rest, weary eyes, I’ll keep watch
Breathe in deep while I listen
Among the noise, tune into the sound of my voice, carrying you high above the chaos to a place of freedom
Too mired you’ve been in the temporal
Mud sticking to your shoes reminding you who you were, ash formed into beauty
I see you lovely.
Awake among the leaves and learn to fly