The milk sits on the counter next to the coffee creamer. The bread is still out, next to the still-open jar of peach jelly. The blackberries are on the stove top and the washcloth is on the high-chair next to the soggy Cheerios. The table where I’m sitting with my laptop is covered in small sticky spots that are probably dried milk from breakfast.
The living room is wall-to-wall Little People. Legos and cars and scraps of paper from Natalie’s latest self-invented game cover every flat surface.
Home as metaphor. Life unfinished. A work in progress. Two steps forward, one step back. Messy. Active. Always on the go.
It’s my reality these days.
I love being a mom to four. That sounds a little trite, a little too easy. But it’s true. My heart soars everyday to see these sweet little face. (This despite the fact that I’m so tired, it feels like I wear exhaustion like a wet pair of jeans.)
Kieran is growing so fast. He’s sitting up solidly now (after a few weeks of sitting up and then randomly falling backwards and knocking his noggin). He’s got two toofers. He is starting to get up on all fours and rock (hold me), and he’s pretty good at scooting around the living room on his belly. (Evidence: Last night, I set him down in the middle of the room. Five minutes later, I found him near the Christmas tree with an ornament in his mouth, a pink foam creation I made when I was in kindergarten. If a disease wiped out in the mid-70s is rediscovered in our house next week, you’ll know why.)
And Teyla. Oh my goodness. She grows more Teyla-like every day. She walks around my house, all giggles and sass. She bosses the dog. (“Keh-nole Sami! Keh-nole!”). She bosses her Dad. (“No Dadee! I no want to wear dat. I want dis one!”) She bosses her siblings. (“Kids! Put on yowr shoes now!”) She bosses me. (“I not going to bed Mamma. I play witt my amials instead.”) Her little voice slays me, and her zest for life drives to me consume two cups of coffee a day, minimum.
Combine those two with their older siblings and a traveling husband and a winter that’s come early bearing gifts, and you probably sense why I’m unfinished. I just don’t have enough time. Enough energy. Enough me.
There was a time in my life when I would have been frustrated by this way of life. To wake up each morning brimming with stories and idea and never have a free minute to sit at the computer. To make dinner each night and have most of it get cold before I can eat it. To pick up all the toys after the kids go to bed only to have them scattered hither and yon again before 9:00 AM. To move the items on today’s To Do List to tomorrow and act like that’s the way it was supposed to be.
And yes, I can get annoyed. My inner control freak has been known to grumble at the chaos. I get itchy when the clutter gets thick. And there are days when I rush everyone into bed so I can sit on the couch and hear … nothing for just two seconds.
But most of the time, I don’t live frustrated. I live fulfilled. In the midst of the crazy, God’s glory shines. I see the gifts before me and my breath catches.
My heart’s palette has been retrained by the Holy Spirit to crave the soul-satisfaction of gratefulness. And like manna, that dish is best eaten today. Even in the chaos. Even in the mundane.
My life is unfinished. But God has given me today.
This is God's work.What grace.
We rub our eyes—we can hardly believe it!
This is the very day God acted—
let's celebrate and be festive!
Salvation now, God. Salvation now!
Oh yes, God—a free and full life!