When Kris and I Skyped about me joining the team at Grace Table, we couldn’t believe how much our hearts had already been aligned. It was as though we were old friends who had been searching for the other and found home in each other’s stories. I’m so grateful and honored that I get to share the space she created and to have my first post be up today.
We go down this path a million times a day, and it takes me all those times for me to see beyond my anger, his disobedience, and what’s fair. For a heaven-sent second, everything slows down. His screaming quiets in my head, and I finally perceive what is good and profound through the loud fog of disciplining him. The generosity of his arms reaching out to me first, the relentless desire to reconnect – it’s the gospel, the hospitality of reconciliation.
Autumn has her animal friends tucked in with her, and Peter has his thumb in his mouth. Everyone is snuggled under their muslin blankets, and I hope against hope they’ll fall asleep soon. Sooner than later please. I close the door, let my shoulders droop with relief- we made it.
I keep hearing my friend’s voice in my head- It does get easier. Promise. She texted it to me over the weekend, and I don’t know what convinced me, but for the first time I started to believe it could be true. Maybe it’s because she has four of her own or because the toddler years were hard for her too, but her text felt as though she were reaching across the table, squeezing my hand, and telling me she gets it. She’s been there. She’s known the unseen hardships, she’s made it out alive, and now she’s telling me that I will too.
But some days it’s hard to believe I’ll make it- not through toddlerhood but through the day. When both kids are teething and the whining and needing are incessant, it doesn’t feel like I’ll make it. When they have to sit close and nestle into my body after they’ve already climbed all over me, when both are screaming so loudly and at a pitch so high my eardrums hurt, it doesn’t feel like I’ll make it. The clock seems to be mocking me, the hours feel twice as long, and I wish someone would come watch the kids so I can just take a nap.
But then there are those magical moments when sibling love reigns and my heart fills to the brim. Or when browsing through old photos makes me mourn over how much they’ve grown. My heart aches for time to stop. I want them to be little forever, to fit in my arms forever. I wish I could bottle up that ache and feel it every time I think I won’t make it through the day. I want to remember how inconsiderate time really is and treasure these years when they need me and want me to be with them.
At the end of our text, my friend wrote this-
Know you will get time to yourself to do what you want- it may not be right now, but it will come and you will wish you had those distractions that come from your littles wanting you to be with them.
I get what she’s saying. It may not be easy now, but this, right now, is brief. It will pass sooner than I think, and it will get easier.
The sun was waking up just as the kids were. Pink seeped through the blinds, and I got up in a rush. There was magic happening outside, and I didn’t want them to miss it. When I told them we needed to hurry to go see the pink sky, Autumn gasped out of excitement although her face looked confused from disbelief.
We still had our pajamas on, but we put on our shoes and stepped outside anyway. There’s no time to change clothes when you’re trying to catch the sun in its new-day glory.
A perfect breeze kissed our faces, and we quickly walked around to the other side of the neighborhood to get a better view. The stormy clouds reflected the beauty of the sun before we could even see it over the horizon.
Glory. How could the rising sun not make me sing? It was as if God and I were sharing a sweet moment, just the two of us, as if He were letting me glimpse at His beauty as no one else had ever seen it before.
It’s been a week of catching the sun rise and set, but yesterday’s beauty was too wonderful for words.
It made me ache with longing for something as other-worldly as this beauty was. It made me stand still and behold it. And it made me wonder if this is what it’ll be like when I see Him face to face one day. So much beauty and glory- it will probably be overwhelming but only in the best way. The one thing missing will be the ache because the thing I’m longing for now is what I’ll gain once I’m standing in His presence for real.