Monday, June 22, 2015


Sometimes you cry because so many people you love and so many you don't even know are hurting. 

And sometimes you lie on your living floor wetting a letter the dad wrote from prison with your tears, while four of his babies sleep in your house... On Father's Day.

The heart break is sometimes too big for tears when you think about the damage done in making orphans and the pain of loving them. 

And sometimes you have too many sisters with too many heartaches to know how to do anything more than keep showing up.

Sometimes you regret buying tissues from Aldi's because they can't handle adult tears.

And sometimes the parking lot to Panera Bread is just the right spot to sit in your van and cry before going in to buy your bagel. 

And sometimes you just don't want to wear the adorable pumpkin suit...

And sometimes your mind just spins at how you could possibly make a difference when every house on every street of this enormous city is full of hurt... And there's just so. many. cities on this globe...

And sometimes you fight with strength not your own to cling to words that aren't your voice saying "keep opening your door... keep sharing your food... Keep saying "hello" when you pass... Keep hugging... Keep inviting... Keep destroying your normal... Keep praying... Refuse to stop hoping."

... And keep crying... Because sometime is coming when your Savior will take enough time with His hand on your cheek to brush away each tear that has fallen here...

Thursday, June 18, 2015

Dear Mother Martyr

Dear Kim...
Commit not to be deceived here. There are martyrs in this world, but for today, you are not one of them. You, my lovely self, are a mother... And there is a big difference. 

You are surrounded by life. The messes, the noise, the fullness, the constant. These are just what young life feels like. 

It is hard. It always has been. It is a job. Work hard. 

It is fun. There can be laughter. Memories are forged here. Play on purpose... Especially when you lack the energy to do so.

This is your stage... You have a small, select audience. Show up. Speak life.

This is your calling... Don't compare. God never ceases being good in His sovereignty. He wants you here.

This is a home... Not a jail. Stop coveting the freedom of "leaving". Your husband is going to work... It is not as glorious as you are imagining. This is simply a passing season.

This is the day the Lord has made. It is not the same as yesterday. Choose expectation. He will not disappoint. 

You are not alone... Those feelings are strong, but not true. You work beside a world of other life-givers. Cherish the moments your paths walk together. 

You are not failing... It's a fast from the god of accomplishment you've sacrificed to for far too much of your life. You just need to believe real, true world-changing, Kingdom work is being done in the diapers and dishes. Faith (perfected faith) is what He's after.

You are seen. Your faithfulness is in the attitude with which you meet this sticky repetition. You don't have to conjure up hope, Jesus walks with you and gives freely. He is the forgiveness you need for all the temper tantrums (your own and your children's). He's the strength and the song in the exhaustion. 

Death is nearer than the repetition of the everyday will allow you to see. "We are all just walking each other home" after all. Some will arrive there in this moment. Some will approach it so slow and steady the change from infancy to adulthood will seem strange and startling. 

This is just what it feels like. Don't lie down in drama. Choose a smile. Cry your tears. It's life. Give and maybe you'll just be astounded at what measure He pours out from this little self of mine. 

You are a mother, don't act like a martyr. 


Death by Repetition

We don't see them grow... That's the problem. We know they grow, but they look the same every (early) morning. 
So does our to-do list. 
So does our mess. 
The same activities making the same mess requiring the same (stinky) work. 

There's no deadline to motivate procrastinators. There's no clock out time to count down to. There's no measurable outcomes to mark off... 

Just a juggling routine on a tight rope with no audience. 

What's the right balance between no schedule chaos and over scheduled exhaustion? What's the sweet spot of alone play and being an active mom who makes memories? When is the right moment to intervene in sibling arguments? How much work outside the home verses in the home? What's the right schooling option for this family? How much responsibility is enough for all their ages?

What is the answer? We're all just making this up as we go...

The sheer amount of things that need done combines with the knowledge that you're just going to have to do them all over again, further fueled by the feeling that no one cares if it even gets done can make it very easy to spiral into parental depression... Losing sight of the vision of a unit of life and settling for surviving until the next benchmark. 

They are growing... We just can't see it. 

The repetition of our daily existence leads us to look at our ability to arrive somewhere on time as the utmost in success. That's something we can accomplish. That's something we have a goal and a plan and a deadline to meet. Except we just canNOT actually achieve this. We can not get all the socks and all the shoes on all the feet with all the zippers zipped all the way up with all the last minute poops taken with all the things packed in all the bags and all the bottoms in all the right seats with all the buckles clicked and all the traffic planned for to meet the deadline with success. Never. It doesn't happen. So we regularly feel like failures... As if the messes and bickerments and lost tempers weren't already chanting loudly enough in our ears... 

We don't see the big picture unless we fight to see the big picture. 

We need to heed the awed exclamation of the survivors of toddler years, and grade school growers, and teenage phase warriors... "It goes so fast". 

We need to battle to grasp the truth that the repetition tries to hide... They are growing... We just can't see it. 

We need to find a strength beyond our own to enable us to repeat the same action, and correction, and conversation, and instructions over and over and over with grace... Knowing that it's not lasting forever. 

We need to seek a rest in our weariness instead of seeking to avoid that which leads to weariness and forgiveness for all the times we fall... 

For if we do not fight these fights, we will have many years of repetitive longing... Longing for a moment to return to the repetition that we feel so very trapped in this moment... Longing for the benchmarks we wish to arrive now to have taken some more time... Regretting...

Instead, let's be so present, so real, so engaged in this time that we can let it pass with more peace. Not because we do it perfectly, but because we parent deeply. 

They are growing. This is changing. This is hard. But it's so very worth the repetitive battle to dwell presently in this time. This hard, sticky, trying, emotional, time... Believing what we aren't clearly seeing. 

Press on warriors. We are parents. And they are growing...

"Come to Me, all of you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. 
Take up My yoke and learn from Me, because I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light." Matthew 11:28-30