The eyes snap open, and an overwhelming feeling like child lost in the tumultuous crashing of waves, blood churning, heart pounding, remembering yesterday’s failure and not wanting to repeat it.
I’m already arguing with myself–and it’s all in my head–I don’t say it out loud–the mind bends and whirls–what I will do first–which hat to take down, which to leave on the shelf?
Part of me gearing up, a loud, “Yes!”, the other half of me screaming, dreading, “No!” I pull the covers over my head, ignore the tiny footsteps pounding on pine floors, shrieks and squeals echoing off of morning sun splashed ceilings, slamming of doors–they are my shrill, body-bolting, repetitive alarm.
Can I handle it? Today’s driving demands, they harass me, their nails go deep, they keep pounding and my body feels the weight, and the overflow of adrenaline, all of the reserves–too much of it released, surges and seeps into every part of me.
The neck begins to tense, immediate pain shooting down the jugular veins, through my frail shoulders and the head aches, and I feel as though I will break, small and helpless.
I find strength to touch the floor with feet anyway. And some days, I just say, “Lord, help me,” as I gaze at curtain shrouded sky, wanting to really see, not having much to say, knowing my prayer reaches Him, but stilling myself for what comes next.
The little one has crawled out of her crib, and is running around chasing her sisters, and my nerves are at bursting pressure-point, and I know they will run ahead of me all day, and I will grasp at trying to keep up.
So we start the gentle rhythm of the day–as gently as a team of wild horses gone off course, and I’m the one that’s supposed to be steering–we go outside to do work and to teach and to learn, because stress can always melt in sunshine and those faces are more endearing.
And just as if there was never anything holding it all together in the first place, like dominoes all lined in a row, just waiting for that first, airy brush of a fingertip, all caves in.
I yell at a child to just stop screaming, and I rant at another child to never, ever, hit her sister with the broom again. Teeming with impatience, I am wanting some time alone to write, to let my mind rest, and I am intently focused on helping one child with schoolwork, thinking, “If we can just get this one page done.”
And I know the clothes await folding in the drier, mocking me with their very existence, crumbs and dirt tracked in the mud room collect and call out to me from their dark hiding places, and all has gone awry and I have not been the steer-er, gentle guide that I should be.
How exactly do I do this holistic living, this peaceful home, this joy-giving life, this gratefulness, the gospel mine to tell, Christ at the center always, and how do I live this out–all these responsibilities, all these gifts He’s placed in my hands, these precious ones–how do I make sure I mother them well?
And my soul-mate, the man that God has given me the power to make or break? Oh, what a sobering thing–how do I nurture respect, love and submissiveness–oh so much at stake here–how do I make sure to bring him good, and not harm, all the days of my life?
And Satan tries to pound and drive it into my skull–that I’m not good enough. He tries again and again to let it seep down deep. That I have failed them. I feel the weight of my sin creeping over me like a heavy cloak. I am an empty hull, a broken shell, crushed under his devouring mouth.
But that’s just the first verse. Then I remember the refrain.
There is more to this gospel story–this story that God has allowed me to be apart of–and I’m so grateful. Come back tomorrow for the ending?
For now, please watch the video for a taste of how powerful a mystery God has revealed to us through the law and the fulfillment of that law–his Son, Christ Jesus. The beginning of the song is very different–it will perplex you no doubt,
but please wait for the ending–you will not be disappointed–I promise!
#328 the damp coolness in the air when rain is coming
#329 Husband telling me he is proud of my work with the girls
#330 Ivy’s assessment: “C’mon, Everyone is good at something: Lorna is good at making people laugh, Daddy is good at art, Bella is good at smiling and dimples, Mama is good at reading, Lilly is good at being cute, and I’m good at eating and making messes!” and the spontaneous laughter of everyone at the table.
#331 Husband who knows just how to settle the raging storm within by being a strong, quiet anchor
#332 missing them as soon as they are fastened in Papa’s truck
#333 my little Lilly’s sweet pursing of lips into heart-shaped smile–eyes twinkling mischievously, so much life in her
#334 this post: my heart’s desire–and for Katie Davis, and for Husband and i reading together, me barely able to say the words through gut-wrenching emotion
#335 how God uses people thousands of miles away, unbeknown to them, to preach the gospel to us, just by their lives
#336 how we both get emotional reading together–how it hits at the very core of us
#337 this blog: how it slays me, how it just cuts right through the fat, all the unnecessary indulgences and whispers to me what is important: the gospel.
#338 a whole weekend of quiet while children are with grandparents and we nurture marriage, we go out, nap in hammock, cuddle and watch movies, talk and talk and talk, smiling into each other’s eyes like love-sick puppies
#339 that my favorite part of the whole weekend was us confessing what God has been doing in our hearts–an outpouring, a cleansing, a healing, hope and Husband’s leading
#340 friend who texts yes, they would love to–they have been looking forward to fellowship–friendships once broken and where forgiveness and reconciliation was humanly impossible, God restored, redeemed, fused together such a strong bond that none could break, and He called His creation good
#341 the fellowship of the body of Christ found through a friendship bonded through years of suffering and rejoicing together, found through the writings of missionaries and the supporting of those love-projects, found in the eyes of a widow, the smile of an orphan
#342 amazement at God’s great grace and favor upon me–me just a sinner–not just any sinner, but a wretched one, and the great hope of salvation and redemption
#343 this suffering that is the only way to true beauty
#344 for Ann, and her blog –one of the first posts I ever read that shook me to the core, faces hot and wet as Husband and i both read, her book, that set me on a journey that I never expected, how when they played this video in church service one morning, it would challenge my heart, and change the course of my life forever–thank you, Ann!