She picks pieces of clover and sits while I talk. Her wordless tears had told me that all she wanted was to stand at the fence next to the goats. So I set her there and turn over a water bucket and sit down. As she chews grass I pour out my full, raw heart. Earlier today, when I looked at the calendar my heart started to panic. I’m not prone to panic. Or worry. But it feels like suddenly two thirds of summer is gone and I don’t know what happened. Well, I do. June happened – septic pump failure/back up, ruined floors, repairs and the week at a motel and so on. Life happened.
There are so many moving parts and so much love and much talking and bursting LIFE in this home. Every day. And the sum total of laundry and hungry tummies and shoes left everywhere, its staggering some days. But those are superficial, really. It’s the deeper things that I’m spilling out with quiet tears on the lawn next to the pasture at dusk. It’s a quiet prayer for peace. It’s a plea for wisdom for hard choices. It’s a tender request that says please take care of my heart.
New things are on the horizon for our homeschool plans and schedule for fall. And there are areas of life that aren’t working well and need a course correction. But new is hard. With a half a dozen kids in the mix, two of whom have required great lengths of attention this past year, it is easy to feel daunted. Even for me who usually feels courageous and optimistic.
I say it all out loud again, as she plays in the grass. She watches a bumble bee and reaches toward it as it escapes her chubby, too-slow fingers. She fingers the clover again and does what she does most of the time…
She smiles at me while holding my leg. Her life is simple and marvelous and her every need is met. She abides in love, she is covered with love from every angle. All the time. And my heart catches a bit just thinking about it. The sibling issues and family challenges, I could probably sum up a good deal of the root of them in that one thought. Not abiding in love for one another. And the sting that comes quickly is, I see my part in it. My weary heart that’s stood up under much heartache and struggle this past year. A heart that hasn’t always been able to abide in love the way I’d like. The mama sets the tone for the home, at least for the bulk of the days when most of our day together is spent with me at the helm.
No matter how far we get, we aren’t “there”. No matter how much we grow and change, we’re not done. Thank goodness. But in certain seasons, it can feel discouraging. I read this tonight on the front porch in the dark and said out loud “YES” as it resonates so deeply as to the bigger picture at hand:
Thank God for everything up to this point, but do not stop here. Press on into the deep things of God. Insist upon tasting the profounder mysteries of redemption. Keep your feet on the ground, but let your heart soar as high as it will. Refuse to be average or to surrender to the chill of your spiritual environment. – A. W. Tozer “The Root of the Righteous”
I’ve struggled to welcome the God I love into this imperfect and sometimes chaotic place this year. I’ve wanted to come in an orderly fashion, quiet and early with perfectly brewed coffee and a warm blanket. The season hasn’t been very orderly and certainly not quiet. There has been much coffee but not sipped slowly during prayer, gulped instead before it was cold so that I could see straight enough to make breakfast.
God doesn’t want orderly. He just wants everything. He wants all of my heart. It’s okay if I come with hair that’s still in yesterdays’ pony tail, teeth that aren’t brushed and a to-do list twenty things long and a heart that feels defeated or not enough. He wants me to remember this truth in the darkest, longest day:
Not since Adam first stood up on the earth has God failed a single man or woman who trusted him. -A. W. Tozer “The Root of the Righteous”
He hasn’t. And I know this. So when I wonder how to move forward, when I ask what can give so I can gain a little bit of margin in my life, when I dare to hope for breatkthrough in the places I need it desperately and wonder how we’ll all fare at something new this year…He wants me to remember.
He has never failed me. He is always (more than) enough.