Usually I wait until the middle of a 3-child meltdown and call him to tell him to buy some hot tea and get over it.
Last night, as we got to our room (or rather, the “front” room of our suite) there was a plate full of fresh fruit, cheese, and chocolate-covered strawberries waiting for us, along with a bathroom full of spa soap and a view of a lake from the “back room.” As soon as we walked in, I told him I totally understood how hard life on the road was. Suffering for Jesus, that’s my baby.
For the record, if you have ever seen Selah in concert, you will know that what they do is NOT easy. They give more of themselves in a show than anyone I have ever seen, and will sit at a venue until they have talked to every single person who wants to talk to them. It isn’t part of “the show,” it’s part of who they are. But still. Seven months pregnant with 3 kids 5 and under. You pick a side.
We went to Joseph-Beth Bookstore this afternoon (my favorite!) and we had a great day reading and playing. I ended up in the baby book section and chose a photo album that I really loved and wanted to buy for Audrey. I held onto it and let my eyes (and heart) drift into the shelves of newborn baby books as I stood alongside a woman who looked about as far along as me. I could feel myself starting to crumble a little, but I couldn’t help but stare at all of the book spines and dream about how great it would be to worry about whether to put Audrey on organic food, or how to get her to sleep through the night. After a few minutes, I started to walk back to Todd and I took a last glance at the sweet photo album. That is when I realized that it wasn’t a photo album, but rather a baby book, designed to mark the milestones of your child’s first year. I threw it down on the bench. I felt like I couldn’t breathe, and I barely held it together until I could find Todd. There are dozens of these moments every week. Hurtful, longing, broken moments. I am at a point where I just let them come. I sit with my sorrow for as long as it feels like I need to, and then I pray for the strength to carry it a little longer. I have the propensity to obsess over things, and it takes a deliberate, conscious shift in thinking so that the pain doesn’t consume me. Lord, you gave me this heart, and you know just how to love me despite it…
He made Himself known in little ways throughout the rest of the day. I’m always glad He chooses the little things, because that’s where I often look for Him. It isn’t always in the ways we expect, though, and we have to be ready for that possibility. Along those lines…
I have to share this story with you all, because it was just one of those “kid moments.”
I often pray for God to reveal Himself in ways that give meaning to what I am going through, and help me to share those feelings with others. He has always been faithful to that, and tonight was no exception.
I stayed in the church with the girls for the first half of the concert, and then decided to take them back to the (amazing!) nursery to play for the second half. I didn’t want to push my luck, and I think that Kate singing (loudly and about 2 words behind whatever Selah was singing) was starting to be “not cute” to the people who paid good money to hear the original version. While we were playing with play-doh, Abby started to talk about Audrey. She opens up more when her hands are busy and her mind is distracted, so I listened intently, waiting for glory to drop in my lap.
“Mommy, I love Audrey more and more and more.”
“Honey, I know you do. So do I.” I watched her hands form a little heart with what was now a multi-colored heap of goo (don’t judge me for looking away for 20 seconds. You know you can’t keep that stuff separated either).
“But do you know who I love even more, mama?” I love her sweet, high little reflective voice.
“Jesus. I love Him even more and more and more. And do you know what else?” Her voice hushed to a whisper. I met her eyes and waited. She was clearly about to share something big. I leaned in closer, ready.
“I just tooted.”
She leaned back into her chair, satisfied that she had shared her heart.
I, in turn, had to leave the room because I was laughing so hard I thought she might think I was making fun of her. Sometimes, when you are looking for the deep, meaningful moment that will carry you through until the next day, God just gives you a chance to laugh at the world despite the fact that you don’t feel like laughing. I am so grateful to serve a God who knows our needs more than we know how to lay them before His feet.
I pray that this Palm Sunday finds you peaceful, reflective, and joyful. I pray that if you are taking painful steps today, you are reminded that the Lord has walked them ahead of you, knowing what waited for Him up ahead. Take courage and know that He walks as closely to you as He did to the crowds, 2000 years ago. Thank you for your wounds, Lord. I rest there tonight.
I am planning to update tomorrow night when we get home…we are taking a detour to pick up a little surprise that I can’t wait to share with you all.
See you then!