I've yelled at my daughter, but my anger does not burn so deep that I do not notice the bowed head, the nervous dancing of eyes, the chin tilted up slightly, strong, so that she doesn't cry. I let the moment pass quietly.
We all go out to the backyard, all of us swinging, Bella in my lap, I am like a child again, wind in my hair, and I look over at her next to me, wildly pushing, pumping the swing back and forth, and in the gentle rhythm of our afternoon, I say, "You know Mama always loves you, don't you, Ivy? I'm sorry for getting angry and yelling, but you know when Mama does that, I don't stop loving you, right?" She nods a silent yes, eyes big with wonder, her a sponge soaking up all of my words, my. every. word. my every nuance, my every expression. And here, flying in air, sun shining on my head, I am grounded.
They are all gone for a whole three days to their Papa and Meme's, and I am going crazy, here in this tall ceilinged, shiny pine-floored house. I don't know what to do, here all empty, and me all empty. If I talked, it would echo, but I don't murmur a word, because no one would hear. Husband gone to work, I feel lost in the quiet of this place, floating with no gravity in space. When they all finally rush in, eyes huge, searching for me, face flushed with excitement, I hug them fiercely, soft cold cheek pressed to mine--and there it is--I'm grounded right here in a place called now.
I am sitting at the computer writing, stacks of paper all around, flecks of dust floating in light streaming through window, and my little one comes to me, reaches her chubby arms up in the air, just wanting me. I pick her up, smile at her, her wet oval mischievous grin so contagious, her soft baby cheeks so inviting. I pull her close, smell her hair, kiss the golden halo of her. She holds me tightly, doesn't want to let go. She pulls back, her blue-orbed eyes staring at me, and awe-struck she touches my eye lashes, fingers my eyebrows, pets the hair framing my face. I marvel at her gentleness and meekness--how she harnesses all of that relentless energy toward the stillness of the moment. And she is too small to know this, but she grounds me.
I hear my eldest daughter yell at her little sister, and my skin crawls, and my heart aches. I tell her to go to the corner, and I tell her that she should not, even if she hears me yell, do the same to her sisters. I talk to Husband for a moment. "Did I explain that correctly?", me submissive to His leading. He glances at me as he is putting away the groceries. "Well, yeah, the best way that you can, I suppose." But conviction makes me go to her, and I'm pulled by this weight of responsibility God has given, these gifts. I ask her if she understands what she did wrong, and she nods yes, and I tell her that Mama messes up all the time too, and I yell, because of the sin in my heart, and that is why Jesus came as a sacrifice, and He makes all things right. I ask her if she wants to pray to Jesus about it. She looks at me, eyes so large and luminous like the moon outside, and says "Not right now." I nod, knowing that she is embarrassed. Oh, pride begins so young. I tell her that I need help too, so why don't we pray together. So she bows her head as I hold her in this redemptive embrace, Christ holding us in His shed blood , and God over it all, His soverign plan for me and my daughter playing out, here, in this place called now. And I doubt she will ever really know how this Mama is grounded.
I come in late after a run, and Bella hears me and gets up out of the bed, peeks around the corner at me, and I tell her to give me a hug and get back in bed. Littlest one hears my voice, and begins to cry out from her crib. Having been put to bed without me, I know that she won't quiet down and go to sleep without seeing me first. All I want to do is shower, eat and sit quietly with Husband for a few minutes before getting to bed, but I hear her cry for her mama, and I don't want to disappoint her. I know she needs me, so I take her up out of the crib, her reaching out little hands for me, and sit with her in the rocker, nuzzle her, and she snuggles close, and we rock in the dark. She relaxes into me and me into her. And because she needed me, I get this: just this quiet moment, this moment so priceless, this moment when I feel so grounded and so here in this place called now.
And I wonder if they will ever know how much they teach me.
#358 laundry piled high giving me plenty to do
#359 the way remembering the cross helps me serve my family
#360 me being able to sit at table and help girls with schoolwork--seeing God's gradual healing in my life, even in hard days
#361 a whole day spent with Husband, going to see Courageous, and how we choke out tears, a meal taken together, coffee, and browzing the Christian bookstore--a whole day! pure grace!
#362 how Christ made Himself nothing, even to the point of death on a cross, and if I'm made low, it really is okay because He's already done it. So can I.
#363 how we go shopping together, and he gets whatever I need for a holiday with the girls
#364 how when he calls me and says he has to work late, i reassure him that we are fine, we have already made the pumpkin spice bread, squash bowl dip and and other treats, and that the girls will have a good time dressing up and handing out candy and drinks to the neighborhood kids. how i serve my family and he doesn't have to feel guilty for not being there. for the grace pouring over me, just drowning me. it abounds.
my four yr old wanted to be a spider--we had plenty of webbing left over, so we decorated the entrance for the neighborhood trick-or-treaters--i loved seeing the girls serve with such joy each child that came to our home
If you are looking for the ending to "What Does My Faith Rest Upon?", it will be posted today or tomorrow. As Ann says, thank you for grace.
Please join me at Ann's for counting pure grace on this journey:
Also, linking up with Seedling In Stone for On, In and Around Mondays