I'm, like, "in ministry" now.
I have a title.
I'm "on staff".
I actually get paid (it's not a lot but it's more than I was making as a full time wife, mom, cook, lauders, maid, etc. :)
It feels uncomfortable, at times.
I think, maybe, because I didn't grow up in this environment. I didn't seek this out. I wasn't educated in the many ways that churches can be run. I feel a bit like THE MOST AVID attender of Broadway just snuck behind the curtain and is seeing how the magic happens...........and sometimes it's not magic.
Just because it's work that revolves around God and His people doesn't make it any more special or different than the work I was doing before............and that was a weird thing to realize.
And in pursuing this life inside the church walls and inside the hearts and the minds of the people who are out doing God's work I find myself wondering....................does any of this matter?
Does my part matter?
Funnily? Weirdly? Unexpectedly?
I never doubted that my part mattered when I was at home surrounded by my little ones, kissing my husband hello or goodbye (ok......so maybe once a month I would remember to kiss him and greet my Joe as he LOVES when he comes home....so little to ask and yet, I selfishly stayed on the couch reading books to my kiddies or folding laundry or whatever seemingly important task I was doing.......oh my, this will be what haunts me when we are old and gray and I am wishing for one more day with my Joe...........) and keeping my home.
All those wonderings and questionings from stay at home moms?
I was probably annoying to many but I was convinced of my place in this world and in my life and I LOVED it.
Hmmmmm........not so convinced at times. It's scary. It's unsettling. I wonder what He thinks.
I fear that when I am absent from this screen and this space that I have listened so intently for His desires for others and for the spaces I speak into and the people I love and the things I am doing that I forget to just listen.
In the quiet moments.
In the still moments.
In the chaotic moments.
In the running moments.
In the spinning around and around moments.
Do I hear?
Or am I busy trying to figure things out on my own.
So much of my time is filled with the figuring out and the gathering of information and the pouring into that I wonder where that mom went with her hair pulled back, wearing an old stretched out sweatshirt and black "exercise" pants, playing with her kids with blocks and water and paint and mess who's mind would wander while her body was present.......and in those moments God spoke. He filled my mind with words and thoughts and pictures and HE SPOKE.
It seems crazy now.
That easy, hard, exhausting, resting time.
I don't miss it.
Lord, let me have ears that hear. Eyes that see. Let me still my body, my heart, my thoughts so that I have room for You.
Let me not be so busy working for You that I forget loving You and listening to You and knowing You and learning from You.
Thank you for loving me in every season.
I love you.
Saturday, June 7, 2014
Do you remember the first feeding, the first smile, the first word, the first step?
Do you remember all the firsts of your babies?
If it's not as clear as it once was and the names and the faces get mixed up as time goes on…..well, I certainly remember the awe and wonder. Even this mama, a self-proclaimed NOT LOVER OF THE BABY YEARS, remembers the wonder and the excitement.
IT SEEMED MONUMENTAL, these firsts.
I remember, too, thinking at some point that the firsts are over and babyhood is behind and the wonder is almost up. My last and craziest is four, almost five and acting older then the others did in many ways. We are done with naps and my boy just announced he was too old to cuddle and there is much more independent play and friends reign supreme in our house. The favorite person ranges from Steve (yes, our 60-some year old neighbor who calls to tell of baby birds hatching or will talk endless and patiently to a four year old) to Destiny to Stephen to Annie or, well, really any Mullins relation that happens to wonder over. Parents are no longer the end all be all of the world - the imaginary world or real, depending on the mood or the day.
I find there to be so much more wonder and awe in my world than before.
Surprising, isn't it?
It, to be honest, took me unaware. And maybe it's an eye-opening, heart-opening season for me - one that is teaching me that there is beauty in all ages and stages of life - even my children's lives.
It's happening more and more often that I stop and I stare and I sit and I pay attention or listen or look and I find that my babies are not babies but these real-life people with real-life thoughts and concerns and ideas and opinions. And I wonder how did we get from talking about letters and numbers and shapes and what would you like for snack and yes, you are wearing those socks and no, you can't do that and yes, it is SO YOUR BEDTIME and please, please let mama have a moment to………
THIS. Ahhhh, the magic of THIS time and THIS stage. This time when we stop dead in the middle of the day, in the front yard where we are pulling weeds because a question is asked and lo and behold an answer is given and it leads to this strangely grown up conversation. I want to take a step back and say wait, wait!! Let me get the camera! I want to record every moment of this, every word you are saying. Is this happening? Are we TALKING? It was the most incredible moment. And I know our yard looks like crap and the weeds are everywhere but listen, people, when you are laying down roots and watching them take hold you don't have time to mess with the earthly weeds. And so we stopped and we sat in the sun and we TALKED. It was glorious.
THIS occurs when you watch this HUGE boy-child at the dinner table scarfing down food and asking for more and proclaiming your food the best ever and can he have more. I can't tell you how many times I have stared at this boy and wonder WHEN DID HE GROW? But grow he did and can I tell you? He and I are allies in this house of sensitivity and seriousness. I will always allow that the others are better. They just are. They are more aware. They are better behaved. They, most likely, will never offend anyone. They know how to act and what the rules are and will never cause serious discomfort. They are the better people. My boy and I? Well, we say the wrong things………AND IT IS SO FUNNY…….if only to us. And my love keeps warning me that NOT EVERYONE WILL THINK IT'S FUNNY. And so I try to temper the silly with the serious but it's so hard when we get to laughing and their seriousness just makes it all the more funny.
THIS occurs when you are in the car and everyone is tired and there is much talk OVER and OVER about the same thing. My patience is wearing thin and I am about to lose it with the one in the back - that boy-child whose temper sometimes can boil over and WHAT IS THAT ALL ABOUT? My goodness. The issue? The I can't possibly every forgive you for this? He did not go to Safety City last year. MY WORD. SUE ME. WE ACTUALLY TOOK OUR KIDS TO IDLEWILD PARK AND SPLASH ZONE AND STORYBOOK FOREST. Apparently this is AWFUL because my boy did not get to ride a tricycle around a made up city in an unair-conditioned elementary school building for 2 hours last summer and IT HAS RUINED HIS WHOLE LIFE or so it seemed for those MANY, MANY minutes in the car. So just as mama was about to turn around and throttle her beloved child…………..her other beloved child, that last, unbelievably magical, always messy, always unpredictable one who is, indeed, going to Safety City this year? Well, she says in the most dead-panned of voices………."I'll take a picture for you." And such is the beauty of the last. Those birth order books have it right………oh my is she silly and always she makes us laugh……"I'll take a picture for you." We laughed out loud. The mood broken. Classic.
So I am learning, as I am sure most mamas do, that time is precious. ALL TIME. That being a mama is a forever job and a forever joy. And yes, it's not all good. It's not all perfect. As evidenced by the fact that I am happily sitting on my parent's porch writing this…….not tucking my precious ones into bed but tucking myself into a comfy chair and basking in the stillness. But oh my……..these glimpses, these moments, these firsts………..I treasure them.
I am reminded so often that there are many things that I love and am passionate about and am willing to sacrifice so much for but there is nothing that grounds me so much as my husband and my children. They are my glimpses of what God must feel when He views us. They are my peek into what Love is. They are my joy.