Exorcism or Happy Meals
It has been a tough week with our four year old. Something is stirring in his soul and his is more than mean. We have also had some sickness in our home and I am more than stretched. It is indeed a bad combination, I’ll own my part for sure. However you look at it, 7:20 yesterday evening looked rough and it had been looking rough since 7:20 that morning with him and I. I have a group of gals I text for immediate prayer, encouragement and sometimes comfort food. It had been a while since they had received a text … until last night.
Text Sent: Please pray for our four year old. It has been a rough week, please pray for what is unsettling his heart. Or for an exorcism. Kidding. Kind of.
When you are in the midst of the rough you attempt to think of every reason that he could be acting the way he is … weather change? caseworker visit? missing mom? just plain four year old? and so many other crazy thoughts. Remember when your newborn was crying and you tried the magical three: eat, burp, change diaper and none of those worked. You racked your brain as to what will pacify this little one. We do the same thing … all. the. time. but with trauma and worry and wondering. Some days I would welcome a fickle newborn.
As I dropped him off at school this morning, he asked if I would come eat lunch with him. (confession: i haven’t been all year to eat with him. um. i only went once last year. judge me or join me … i really am okay with my lunch decisions. I choose grown ups.). I didn’t want to go. But something (ahem, God and ALL His wisdom) prodded me to commit. I figured a Happy Meal at 10:45 (aka PK brunch) would be way easier than above mentioned exorcism.
And so far, it is. Someday I will remember (in a more timely manner) … relationships matter. They matter to everyone involved. Checklists, token texts and doing what is expected are really good, but often short term. Taking time to intentionally invest in a relationship has longevity, but doesn’t take as long as we think. Sitting at PreK lunch, being a part of his world and him knowing he is important to me was important. It was time well invested. I think I began to view myself as more of a babysitter than a mother. And well, a babysitter is short term, a mother is not. So, how can I begin to change my thought process of thinking long term in relationships? It’s not the big crazy commitment that we think. It’s the little things that will change the course of things. It’s the impromptu lunch that might just make bed time a little more peaceful. (Of course, I write this before bed time … so we won’t know if the heads are going to spin … but I have hope … and he has a happy meal, so something was better today.)
Lots Of Hands
I drove right past a young boy walking down the road on a very very cold day with no jacket. The irony was, I almost didn’t see him because I was thinking … no brewing … on the most recent social vs state debate. I was so frustrated with people talking over each other about how to serve and protect people, that I almost missed an opportunity to serve and protect a young man. Thank you Lord for opening the eyes of my heart.
I caught myself standing with my heart wide open as we joined with a dozen families to celebrate the adoption of a wonderful young lady. Out of the dozen families, six had adopted or were fostering kiddos. Each of the families in that home had been vital support system in some way for each other. It left me speechless. When problems of the world seemed so stinking overwhelming, near impossible to conquer, I was given a glimpse of people making a difference in their own little quiet corner of the world. A big difference. Thank you Lord for opening the hearts of your people.
As I was sharing about our youngest guy’s hard week, the school office receptionist said they had seen a lot of heart struggles this week. She went on to explain that some kiddos act out before the holidays because they grow anxious about being home that much. Because home is not good. Be still my heart. I am still having a hard time shaking those words. It is hard for me to fathom that home is not good as I close the white picket fence behind me. I find it hard to balance or reconcile in my soul the haves and have nots. I have a lot of listening to do on the subject … and I know from experience the Lord will have some mighty good things to tell me. Thank you Lord for teaching us in so many ways.
On one hand, I regret the years that I let a list drive my actions and my days. But on the other hand, I am so very grateful to still have a lot of years with less on my list so I can do more.
On one hand, I hate seeing what is in the world … freezing young men, children that are hurting deeply, families being torn apart. But on the other hand, I am grateful to be in this world, led by Jesus, to help others … if even just a little.
On one hand, I can’t stop thinking about the little girl with the black eye and hurt face and eyes that let you see into her sadness and wonder what her story is. And on the other hand, I can’t imagine what life would be like if she and her family had different circumstances.
Dang it. That’s a lot of hands. We all have a lot more hands than we think. So let’s use them. Let’s look up from our lists and our phones and our own lives and look at the simple ways placed in our paths to serve. I am realizing that we (I) probably actually trip over the opportunities and still don’t notice. It is pretty cool to recognize how easy and convenient helping others actually can be. If we look close enough we will see God actually makes it easy for us. So let’s make it a bit easier for someone else today.
I used to be busy. Super busy. I could do more before noon than some people could do in a week. I didn’t realize I could do that … until I couldn’t anymore. It wasn’t physical ailment that slowed me down. I didn’t sign up for more committees or jobs. Sure, we did some significant “clearing of the schedule” but we also added two kids and a few extra meetings to our load. (even trade). Even with the slower schedule, I still find my days full. Note that I said full, not busy. I am still running kids places a few nights a week. Robert and I often still text instead of talk while we pass. By no means am I sitting around eating bon bons and reading in the hammock. But I am seeing that the things that fill my day matter. There is a lot that happens in a day. There is a lot that happens in all of our lives. (you are only reading this because you are ignoring all that could be done right now).
But you know what? I am enjoying it way more. Because I am beginning to plan and see my days differently. My days are full. Not busy.
Full of hard and good and meaningful conversations. Full of problem solving and celebrations. Full of tears and laughter and a few cuss words. Full of hearts that are worth investing in. Full of a perspective that I sure wish I had years ago. Full of moments that you can’t get back, but somewhere in the hustle and bustle you capture them in your heart. Full of things that matter. When you clear your priorities and projects up a tad bit, you clear your heart and mind up also. And in those spaces that have been cleared out … you can see life differently. You can see your life be full.
*disclaimer: i am no fool (except that i actually am). the busy of the holidays and stress of life very well could consume me (again) and i want to put these above words right here, just in case i need to remind myself, all the goodness the Lord has taught me.