Mama’s Peace

Her fingers clicked across the keyboard as she typed a few words.  Then, just as many times, she tapped the delete key.  How to pull some kind of coherent thought from the fragmented bits that swirled incessantly in her head?

Lists.  She could make lengthy, detailed lists of all the things she needed to do.  She could bullet the bills, errands, library books, phone calls, emails, notes to teachers, and plans to arrange.  Grocery lists, menu lists, and birthday gift lists.  She could jot forever the undone tasks that haunt her mind at night, keep her from focusing at work, and steal her miniscule lunch break time.

Laments.  She could wax poetic about her stress and shortcomings.  She could write long complaints about the way things are, and paint wistful pictures of how she wishes they were.  She could give in to the longing sob that lurks in the back of her throat at every thought of her mother, father, sister or brother.  She could explain why everyone should cooperate with her plans, and expound on the misery that results when they don’t.  She could compose a heartbreaking account of betrayal and brokenness, nearly drowning in the sorrow of it all.

Laugh.  She could throw up her hands and laugh at her ineptness.  She could give in to the cheshire cat smile that would make anyone wonder what she’s up to.  She could let out the giggle that erupts instantly at the sight of her two year old boy.  She could snort with her ten year old son at words like “fart” and let herself thoroughly enjoy that his presidential candidate choice is based on that candidate’s opinion of McDonald’s.  She could roll her eyes with her soon-to-be fifteen year old daughter and enjoy the inside jokes just the two of them share.  She could send her husband a steamy, silly text message and wait with baited breath for his reaction.

Love.  She could let herself feel the painful tidal wave of love that threatens to burst her heart each time she kisses her children goodnight or good morning or goodbye.  She could plan an unforgettable birthday celebration for the husband whose love overtook her life.  She could try… just try to love that someone she just can’t stand.  She could bake something, write something, give something to try to show her adoration for those friends that see her through the best and worst.  She could mail something to her mom and dad, Fedex something to her sister, fix up the guest room for when her brother comes to stay.  She could forget the remark, overlook the mistake, let go of the offense.  She could remember a name, remember to hug, remember to look an old person in the eye.  She could let the tears fall because she knows no way to contain her affection for a God who loved her first.

Her chest heaved a sigh and she did the thing she hadn’t yet dared to consider…

She let go.   She let go of it all and let it fade with the daylight.  She loosened her grip and let the load she’s carrying settle into a pile that will still be waiting for her in the morning.  She dropped the notion of perfection and propped her feet up on the ottoman of “good enough.”  She popped the top of something cold and slipped into a tub of something warm.  She kicked back and let Jesus take the storm of wife, and mother, and professional, and writer, and sister, and daughter, and friend, and citizen, and believer, and somehow bring about….

Peace

Night moon

 

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Black Coffee

So I’ll get right to the bottom of things.  It’s been a scary summer.  Right as my big kids left for Florida for the summer, my husband got sick.  Really sick.

It’s been weeks of guessing, wondering, steps forward and then as many steps back.  Things are looking up now, and I’m pretty sure we are on the last stretch of the road to recovery. Looking back over the summer, I’ve hardly known how or what to pray.  Even a seasoned believer like me who likes to think she’s experienced God a time or two…no idea what to pray for.  Of course, I told God what I wanted:  A happy, healthy husband.  But the questions in my mind continued to swirl.  I lost one marriage already in a painful end, and after finding Dwayne and daring to love again, after all the joy I’ve found with him, the idea of losing him is more than I can entertain.  I have really been wrestling with what to say because the last several years of my life have taught me that God may say yes to my request but he also may say no.  And what does that mean to me and my faith?

A few months ago I noticed a friend’s post on Facebook.  She said something like: “God is so good.  We were in a car wreck and none of us were hurt.”  My knee-jerk reaction was to comment: “So if you had all been hurt or killed then God would be bad?”  I know that’s not what she meant, but so often I find myself popping off a similar phrase, that churchy talk that was once such a part of my daily allotment of verbage.  I can’t settle for that anymore.

If there’s anything I know without a shadow of doubt it’s that God IS good.  His love is everlasting.  He is enough.  He’s good when I get what I want, and He’s good when I my worst fears are realized.  It’s in my worst moments of suffering and frustration that I’ve found God to be most faithful, most trustworthy, and most loving.  It’s on the bottom that I’ve committed to trust Him no matter what happens.

If God is as big and as real as I need Him to be, then there absolutely MUST be more to everything than what I see and know.  There MUST be something He can see, something He has planned that will set all to right, that will make it all worthwhile in the end.  I’m finding, though, that it takes a bit more faith to pray and tell God what I want, knowing He is capable of granting my request, and being confident that He hears me, daring to hope that He’ll say yes and yet choosing to trust that He’s still right if He says no.

Not so bad if you’re praying for a new car, but a little more challenging if you’re praying not to lose your husband.  Do I even dare to pray for something I want and need so much, risking the pain I’ll feel if I let myself hope for a yes and then I get a no?  Is it worth it to keep hoping and praying when there are no guarantees?

The answer for me is “Yes.”  Yes because there ARE, after all, SOME guarantees.  God’s presence and His love.  His mercy and His grace.  Heaven for me as a believer is a guarantee.  When it’s all said and done, what more do I have, and what more do I need in light of forever?  So yes, I’ll tell God what I want.  Yes, I’ll dare to hope He gives it to me.  I’ll risk that openness with God, and I’ll somehow wrap my brain around the idea that if He says “no” to my request, He hasn’t said “no” to me personally.  I think I’m learning how to let God seep down into the deepest darkest crevices of my being.  I’m learning how to share with Him the deepest, most desperate wants and rest in the guarantee of His love instead of conjuring up a guarantee that He’ll do what I hope he will for me right now.  I’m learning how to walk with God and let Him show me how to enjoy today rather than wondering what I’ll do if my fears come true tomorrow.

These thoughts might be considered a black, black cup of strong coffee since they are being poured out here.  But I have a feeling there are a few out there who enjoy a good cup of black coffee like I do, and aren’t scared to sip on these ideas with me and offer feedback as well.

 

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