Friday, March 15, 2013

A knife in the Dark - grateful for the end of long dark days

Spring days 
 A spring photo from last March!  My how my girl has grown.

In a book by one of my favorite authors, Laura Ingalls Wilder, called These Happy Golden Years, there is a chapter called "A Knife in the Dark".  In this chapter, a settler's wife, Mrs. Brewster, loses her mind in the dark cold days of winter and goes after her husband with a knife, all while teenage Laura sleeps on the other side of a curtain in the Brewster family home, which if it was built by standard log cabin measurements was smaller than most of our bedrooms.  Good times.

As a kid I was kinda freaked out by Mrs. Brewster's behavior, but after this long wet winter of sharing the car with Matt and being housebound and pregnant with just my two littles for company most days, I started to be able to relate.  Not that I'm ever going to or have ever gone after Matt with a knife, but the tedium and loneliness of these long dark days stuck at home have made it hard to stay cheerful. 

Today was the first time in a long time that the weather was warm and sunny and we got OUT of the house to spend time with friends.  Just talking and relating and connecting.   I am so grateful for that time.  It made all the difference in the world for my mood and how well I am able to parent.  Not in actions, but in my heart.  Often my actions and words are alright (barely), but my heart is angry, or sad, or fearful.  It's hard to do the right thing by these kiddos when I am acting out of that place.

The time change may have done a number on my sleep schedule, but it means the days feel longer and brighter and I'm grateful for that.

Saturday, March 02, 2013


Every day.  Every moment.  We hear this voice from inside us, from around us, telling us, "you were meant for more than this."  The eternal is calling.  Let it all go.  With enough faith, you can walk on water. 

And then the day comes.  And then the nights come. And someone needs a new diaper.  And someone wakes up scared of monsters and has to sleep in your bed.  And lack of sleep steals your joy.  And someone melts down over legos and you feel like you spend the day breaking up fights, putting small people in time out, wiping backsides and cleaning up endless messes and hunting for small socks for small feet and listening to someone cry over having to wear socks or having to share or having to not hit their brother.

And the eternal feels lost.  And the days go by in a haze of mediocre.  And the wrinkles and the gray hair are multiplying in the mirror.  And no one hears you sing except the walls in the shower and small ears at bedtime who want the same song every night, while they rest their head on your shoulder.  And this thankless job feels like letting go of anything that might be bigger.

But the words, the deeds, the kisses, the meals, the small hands, the songs, the lost boots, the found socks, the sand piles, the muddy hand prints all add up to you.  The world changer.

Long ago, before the gray hair, I heard the call to go unto all the world and preach the gospel and stood on the shores of foreign lands.  And waited for that moment when the soundtrack began playing and the montage of my world changing deeds began to roll.  Chariots of fire.  Me serving in some selfless way and showing Jesus to someone every day and winning the world for Christ.  But the reality was when I was there, I did what I do best.  Caring for a small one and singing songs in a tiny church.  And there I was.  The world changer.  I changed it for one girl.  She didn't live past the age for 4.  But I was there with her every day, every moment, every night.  Loving her in those small ways, for that stretch of time.

And here I am now.  With these two, soon to be three.  Every moment.  Every morning.  Every night.  Loving them in small ways.  In mediocre ways.  And the lie creeps in, "you were meant for more than this." and the truth is, I am already doing more than this.  The mediocre is profound. The meaningless is not meaningless.  Not for these small ones.  For them, I am the world changer.  And so are you.

This mediocre moment is just a snapshot of all of eternity that we don't yet have the eyes to see.

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