Mommy keeps getting up, Mommy never sits do-own, Elsie is singing in her little sing-song voice, as I make pancakes, flip pancakes, and feed ravenous children. Feels true most days. That girl is pretty perceptive. She is also reading whole books. She is what I call an accidental learner. Didn’t really try to teach her, but somehow it happened. All of a sudden she went from cat and dot, to Funny funny Jane went down with her yellow boat… or something like that.
I’m what I like to call an accidental gardener. I tend to toss seeds in the ground, convince myself I’ll remember what I planted, and promptly forget. I also re-potted some zucchini… or yellow squash… not sure which. Guess we’ll find out in a couple of months! Into the ground they went. The tee-pee village is planted with beans, or peas, or something that climbs! I just forget which is where. I think I’ve mentioned before that I like surprises!
Some surprises I don’t like in particular are those of the check-engine-light variety. This week we’ve been stuck at home while the van was in the shop. Then we were given the word we really expected to receive years ago: Your van is not worth fixing. It just might crumble if they fix the list of things that need attention. It wasn’t really a surprise, I guess. It’s like thinking spring will never come, just because it feels like winter will never end. Yet spring surprises us every year. So even though it felt like our van would never die, its retirement was guaranteed. Sixteen years old, almost 240,000 miles… it’s seen the birth of three kids and experienced the growth of five… traveled cross-country, up north, south, and west many times, and in general gets good use. We couldn’t be more thankful. We shopped for it when we lived in Honduras, and prayed for no one to buy it when we found it online. Awesome story of how God provided it. He obviously had it marked out specially for us. And He can do that again.
After writing all of the above, life happened! Not wanting to be known as the mommy who never sits down, today I sat down. Not mindlessly, and not to give in to the melancholy that was swiftly setting in from anxious thoughts rising to the forefront of my mind. I sat in the sunshine, red mug in hand, Bible open.
Yes, I had a chattering shadow, but I’m learning how “quiet time” in my heart doesn’t necessarily mean it’s quiet all around me. My eyes fell to the page, heart aching to be filled. Hungry, like it’s been awhile since a good meal. Colossians 3:15 filled me up: Let the peace of God rule in your hearts…and be thankful. A two-fold, sturdy step for my anxious heart to take hold. First, I had to ask myself: What else is ruling? Myself? Worry? Anger? Usually what’s in charge is the first thing that is evident to those around you and to yourself. I knew peace was not ruling. It felt a little bit more like uncertainty and a swiftly beating heart was ruling, every time I looked out the window at our sad, sad van. Saying He will provide, to others, is much easier than telling it to myself.
Let the peace of God rule. Allow it, invite it to permeate every inch of my heart. Spread it around like flower seeds and watch it grow. It will produce more peace every time.
Be thankful. Oy, that’s a hard one, when all I want to do is complain, compare, and covet. It’s non-negotiable, though. As any grammar freak knows, this is not a question, nor a statement, nor an exclamation, but a command. With all commands, we can choose to obey or not. The consequences of not obeying result in all the things we fight against: complaining, comparing, and coveting. Thankfulness brings Christ right into focus, fading out what doesn’t matter.
So, as we step into the unknown, I am reminded: my God is the God-Who-Provides. He is never accidental in what He does.