Between the lines… what really happens? More than I can write about. I want these writings to be something my children can look back on and see… love… laugh… learn… remember. This month has been full to the brim with adventures, excitement, ordinary happenings and trying ordeals. Some days have felt full. Others have felt more like everything has broken all around me and what was once beautiful is being spilled onto the floor and wasted. But more on that later.
Sometimes I feel like I’m looking in a mirror when I glance up at this girl. She’s eye-level with me now. When did this happen?
Sometimes I am looking in the mirror. Yes, I was rather grossed out to see there was enough dried-on toothpaste flung onto our bathroom mirror for someone to play tic-tac-toe on it. Yes, I took a picture. Because I know this aberration will not be seen when these kids have flown the coop and I have all day long to polish my bathroom mirrors. That is what I’ll be doing, right?
This guy’s blue eyes fill a special place in my heart. They are the first to open in the morning. They are tender with tears when he misses his little sister visiting Grandma.
Way back on January 5th, we were woken up with rustling feet and excited voices. Big sister pulled everyone’s signatures and proudly presented this card to us. Then littlest sister proceeded to eat the breakfast I was served in bed. It was a special morning, marking eleven years married to the love of my life.
Before the leg was hurt, everyone enjoyed watching Daddy crank out some moves on his blades.
Don’t be fooled by the princess helmet, polka-dot pants and Mary Jane shoes underneath those plastic fisher price wheels.
This girl can bust out some moves of her own!
Sometimes I have helpers in the kitchen. Sometimes an egg beater covered in vanilla pudding is the trick to stopping the evening-blues that tend to hit sweet two-year-old girls.
Often there are hand stands, flips, break-dances, and other movements thumping the floor.
After our December journeys, our van really did look that bad. Not a speck of shine. Since we had exactly enough money for a car-wash, we treated our van to a little pampering. I’m not sure who was more excited: the kids or I. Betty was in awe and when we exited the wash and kept saying, Again! Again!
Five days a week, there is school. I relish the one-on-one times. Jack is like an airplane who has stopped its taxi only to get faster until its airborne. He is flying over obstacles, and getting better and better at sticking to a hard task until it’s finished. The new camouflage overalls given to him recently have been a huge hit.
Other spaces in my day find more messes. More brokenness. More being spilled out. Sometimes I react like Jesus’ disciples did to the woman who broke a very expensive jar of perfume with which to anoint Jesus’ head: Why this waste, Lord? The time spent cleaning up, making beautiful, or saving for something special. Then, disaster, messiness, shattered glass. What’s the point?
I hear Jesus speak in return to my disgust, my wondering, my anger. You have done a good work for me… You have done what you could.
Jesus never wastes trials. Our perspective is so temporal. It sees the shards. He sees the end.
The ultimate brokenness was for you and for me. He hung, perfect and sinless, bleeding and broken on a wooden cross. More pain than shattered glass or ruined hopes. In His brokenness, He crushed through the worst barrier separating us from God: sin. While his mother wept and wondered at this loss, this waste of a perfect life… God saw the end. He saw what we get to see now! Resurrection power poured out on all who believe. Forgiveness of sins. Eternal life. All because of brokenness.
Nothing we are going through is a waste. He redeems, sweeps up broken pieces, restores, heals, forgives, and makes beautiful that which we thought was defective. He turns what we think is worthless into something of unimaginable value.
So I will keep on doing what is before me. What I can do. I will give Him my best, my cracked, empty self. Jesus says when we do this, we have done a beautiful thing for Him. (Mark 14:6)