My head was just as much in a fog as my identical surroundings. I could no longer a foot past my windshield. I could no longer see the water I knew surrounded the bridge. It was gone, swallowed by the wholeness of the sky. Everything about this morning represented my feelings: confused, torn and worn.
Will God break through when I cannot see?
Does He see me when I feel I’m in this place of nothingness? Does He care about my problems enough to fix them? Does he run to the rescue of a daughter who feels alone?
Upon arrival, I got out of the car and walked, as I planned to. I wandered the grounds; I hoped to meet Jesus. Will He show up?
A tad discouraged, I kept knocking. I kept asking. God says he answers this type of seeker, that He opens things up for them (Mt. 7:7). We can always try.
Placing him on the top of our mind…
We can hope in the fact that Jesus is our hope…
And, with this, I realized something about perseverance, prayer and fog:
Prayer: Those who desperately press into God’s heart, always find it.
Perseverance: If we keep running, even when we can’t see, we begin to see by faith. It’s almost like we don’t have to see all the answers. We know a good God does. We know his ways are not like ours. We know, every time, eventually, the fog lifts.
Fog: It’s not all bad.
If we let God’s love fog our mind, we see what matters. We cloud out worries, heartache and endless thoughts. We recognize the futility of all those matters. We notice His complete wrapping, His unfolding. We see Him. Just us – and Him. There’s no pressure to be elsewhere, for we can’t see it. It doesn’t matter. And, what we see? It’s Him. What matters. And, somehow we know, now, we see just right.We’ve found what we’re searching for.
We all have our thing. Don’t tell me you don’t. It’s what you gravitate to in silence. It is what makes your heart nervous because, no matter how you strategize, you can’t figure out the puzzle. You can’t figure how you’ll be delivered to peaceful, serene. There are no answers. God hasn’t pulled through.
Moses was a little puzzled too.
God told Moses at the burning bush to lead the Israelites out of slavery.
Ummm? What??? ME!!???
“And I will make the Egyptians favorably disposed toward this people, so that when you leave you will not go empty-handed.” (Ex. 3:21)
Okay, God, maybe this is possible…you have my back.God will do this! I am bustin’ my people outta here!!!
I wonder if Moses was thinking the same? If excitement coursed through him, an eagerness to do God’s will?
In any case, Moses proceeds forward all obedient, faithful and bold. He approaches Pharoah and declares, (I imagine him standing all upright, strong and rock-solid, confident God will speak out of a local bush on his behalf if need-be), “Let my people go.”
Pharaoh’s response? “Make(s) the work harder for the people…” (Ex. 5:9)
What?!! The outcome was the opposite of the promise.
What gives, God???
Maybe you’re asking God that too. What gives, God???
Why did you call me to something huge, only to not make it happen?
Why did you lead me to respond in this way, when it is backfiring in my face?
Why did you promise and not deliver?
What gives, God???
God’s response to Moses, speaks profoundly to our very own questions. God says, “Now you will see what I will do to Pharaoh: Because of my mighty hand he will let them go; because of my mighty hand he will drive them out of his country.”
God also said to Moses, “I am the Lord….and I have remembered my covenant.” (Ex. 6:1-2, 5)
Here are 5 points we can take away from this:
1. God speaks to us similarly, saying “you will see…”
Oftentimes, the long wait is because God is preparing something great.
2. God is still Lord.
God might not do things like us, but then again, would we want him to? What God is working, will eventually amount to blessing.
3. God will do what he has promised to do.
He will “remember his covenant.” If God said it, He will see it through.
4. Often, we need to know our progress is because of God’s “mighty hand.” Twice God repeats this line to Moses.
Our wait might be because others need to see that God is great. When his light shines through the darkness of a long cavernous agony, it appears even brighter from the outside.
5. God responds to our pain as we call on his name.
God didn’t leave Moses at the burning bush to figure out captivity and release all by himself. He returned to Moses, he instructed him and he assured him. As we call out to God, God can’t help but approach our hearts with love and compassion. Because it is who he is and what he does.
So, what gives? God is giving you something better. He is giving you a chance to get to know his nature. He is giving you a chance to see something miraculous. He giving you deeper faith. That’s what gives.
I’m stumped. My heart is far from God. Problem is, I don’t know how to pull it close again. It runs off. It’s a stray dog, trying to smell it’s own pee, rather than the roses of God. It gets antsy. Pushy.
The fact of the matter is it’s a determined, distracted, annoying little thing. It tries, but, I fear, it gets it all wrong.
How do we really love God more?
We love because he first loved us. 1 Jo. 4:19
This verse teaches me, we so often have it backward. We run out to love, with nothing. What love can we give, if our love compartment is empty? What gifts can we bring, if we allowed God to wrap and deliver none within us? What can we share, when we feel empty.
God’s love in us is paramount to his love flowing out from within us. We must let in, what he desires to send out. We must open the confines of our comforts, to allow his voice, truth and life to console us first.
How? We draw up next to God.
Not like a stray dog, but like a close companion. We stay right next to his heart, because we want to hear his words, his tender mercy, and his uplifting charges. We naturally pull in tight. It only makes sense.
We do it in these 5 ways:
Get alone with God. Meet him in your place of refreshment: a walk, painting, journaling, singing, dancing, being alone.
In every situation, choose not to work hard, not to do more, but simply, to love God. Posture your heart towards him.
Imagine him delighting in you. Imagine him smiling down upon you as you invite him into the hiccups, hurdles and the down moments of your day
Seek his guidance and leading in the little decisions, the words you speak and even your thoughts. Keep returning in need and he’ll feed you with his wisdom.
Let God’s heart become yours. Do your work, do your life, allowing his goal to be yours. Let the outcome of love, rule your intentions. Let the pursuit of peace be your ultimate cause.
The more we do this, the more we realize, the story of the prodigal father, is not just a story for a wayward believer. It is a story for all of us. Each day, we stray. Each day, we go our own way. Each day, we fall away. And, each day, God waits, arms wide open waiting for us to run to him. He stands there, I believe, hoping we’ll sprint like a bullet into the fullness of his all-consuming love that eats away at what’s eating us.
His love heals our love-empty heart. His love reworks our capacity to love. His love placates our wandering soul. His love draws us home. His love sets a table for us. His love welcomes us to eat. His love sends us out into the world – full.
I wouldn’t admit this in church, but there’s one verse that continually ticks me off. It’s this: In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths. Prov. 3:6
I guess you could say I have multiple issues with it:
In all ways acknowledge God. When you acknowledge someone it’s as if you’re offering a late gesture. Like, they did something for you, and you can’t forget to bring them up, lest you feel guilty that you didn’t pay them back well enough. I mean, you certainly don’t want them to feel slighted or, even worse, to punish you afterward. “Acknowledge” plays out like an after-thought. I did all this stuff…oh, shoot, can’t forget – I’ve got to acknowledge so-and-so. It lacks authenticity.
Make straight your path. I imagine someone walking down the sidewalk, picket-in-hand, yelling in my face, “You better acknowledge God, or else! You better let him make straight your path – or you’re a goner!” This thought entirely stresses me out. It burns my insides with the fear that no matter how good of a daughter I think I am, I’m going to burn in hell one day. It somehow makes me feel like there is no good that is good enough for God. Why try?
Sitting today, just me and this verse, I decided to decode it. If I’ve learned anything it is this: If God’s Word doesn’t give you more vision, it’s probably because you’re looking at it through the wrong glasses.
God, give me new lenses to see. What does acknowledge really mean?
Yada. That’s the Hebrew word for it. It means to “come to know someone by observing, reflecting and experiencing.”
Now this makes sense.
I can almost hear God saying, “In all your ways, come to know me by observing me, by reflecting on me and experiencing me…”
And, I want to. I need to. Because to acknowledge God is to hang a welcome sign on your heart. It is to open your heart to his movement, rather than to demand your mouth to give him due credit. It is being a hostess rather than a hopeless speaker of things, even you aren’t even sure if you yet believe.
Here, there is no pressure, but peace.
No self-demands, just connection with the love of your life.
No hard work, but an easy yoke.
Less striving, more relaxing.
I feel content with the answer to my gripe #1. But what about #2?
What about the path?
God, do you yell in my face, “make straight your path, girl…or else!?
And, where God focuses my eyes, is here, on this very verse: “He leads me beside still waters. He restores my soul. He leads me in paths of righteousness for his name’s sake.” Ps. 23:2-3
When we “acknowledge” or “experience” God, He sets us on a path of refreshment, restoration and righteousness. Where we are, the path is so straight, we get more of a glimpse of him at the end of our every road. Our vision, even more, focuses, targeted and clear. We know what we are running after. We see the end goal. We pursue eternity.
God is right before us. And, all we want is more. We’ve found our straight road.
Someone sitting on a couch of complacency, who now grabs a remote more than the Word of God, whose heart feels let down by God – needs to hear this. It is why I am dedicating this blog post to this very person.
Get back up again.
You have not been forgotten. You’ve not been left behind. Just because you’ve pulled away, does not mean that God is pulling away from you. He’s not. He’s pulling even closer. He’s chasing you down, pursuing you, on this very blog page. He’s letting you know that he sees. He sees your tightly clenched jaw. He sees the way you’re shying away from talking to him. He sees your insides that ache. He sees your loss. Your grief. Your shame. He sees your feelings that say – I cannot continue.
He knows when you lay down or when you get up. He’s got every single move, all your thoughts, all your ways and all your actions in his hands. He’s deeply familiar with you (Ps. 139:1-2).
You are not outside His vision. You have not journeyed to wild places where God doesn’t exist, lost friend. That’s impossible! It’s simply impossible to go where he isn’t. He’s everywhere.
I look behind me and you’re there,
then up ahead and you’re there, too— your reassuring presence, coming and going. Ps. 139
It’s about here, you say: But, Kelly, it’s my shame that keeps me from him. I feel too embarrassed. I’ve gone too far away now, you say.
I say, no one is ever too far for God. We were far, but now are close. Jesus dropped from the paradise of heaven to hit the grime- and stink-laden earth. Why? He came close so we don’t have to live far forever. He took our shame and owned it, to annihilate forever shame. His body broke, so ours could be repaired, restored and renewed according to his glorious riches. He felt agony, so we could learn peace. Jesus cried out so one day we will cry no more, our every tear will be wiped away by Him.
My friend, when you’re in Him, you’re in righteousness – not temporary, but permanent; not moody, but consistent; not dependent on you, but independent of you. He is in you. Period.
Remind yourself of these 3 things:
1. It is done.
2. It is finished.
3. I am secure today and tomorrow, in this minute and the next, in this situation or the next.
When we remember Jesus won our security, we can, once again, get up in victory.
Then Jesus said to him,
“Get up! Pick up your mat and walk.” Jo. 5:8
Friend, pick yourself up and walk. You’re not as incapacitated as you’ve told yourself. You’re not as sick as you want to believe. You’re not as ruined as circumstances say. You’re not as done as the enemy says. Forget all that…
Walk, I say! Walk, He says!
Enough is enough, because God is enough. What He gives is enough.
And, time is awastin’, days are a progressin’ yet, better said, God’s love endures forever. It is behind you, with you and moving for you. Go with it. Head to the great places He’s prepared in advance for you. Don’t miss the chance! Step in! Grab Jesus. You’ll come alive in ways you’ve never experienced on your safety mat. Get up!
***Bloggers…When I wrote this, I felt sure there was someone who desperately needed this message. Perhaps it is one of your readers. I pray we reach that person so their heart can be restored in truth, love and security. May your heart feel blessed too. Much love to you all!
I sat in the group. I remember it clear as day. She thinks I’m a know it all, a God-goody two shoes, a high and mighty bible thumper.
My shoulders tucked under, my eyes looked down, I almost immediately clammed up, turning into myself and away from them.
There’s no use in being me because being me – is far too much for them. I am coming across too strong, so I need to appear more weak. Appear weak, and they’ll like you. They’ll want you. You won’t intimidate them or throw them off because of your intensity, strength or willingness. You’ll pacify everyone and then you can go and eat that brownie after the group, hungry for it. But, hollow and empty on the inside.
Do you ever hide yourself to appease others? Restrain who you are to make sure others aren’t put off?
It happened again to me yesterday. She’s going to be jealous when she hears about this. Should I not do it? Brush it under the carpet and pretend it isn’t happening? Out of guilt, respond to her with some sort of sundae-with-a-cherry-on-top offering that will make her smile again?
Do you ever confuse serving others with taking care of them because of your own guilt?
Guilt makes a woman do all sorts of nasty stuff, things that God never assigned her to do. She gives up a part of herself. She gets involved in the constant cycle of thinking about others emotions. She signs away her dreams to makes sure others pick up theirs. She forgets about God’s heart to care for others and thinks she’s the Good Shepherd.
God is the only Good Shepherd. He calls us to care for people from a place of love, not guilt. Why?
Because actions out of obligation lead to destruction:
How do you know if you’re operating from a place of guilt and not love? If you’re leaving behind God’s calling to remediate someone else’s, you’re on the wrong path. If you’re trying to fix someone’s problems to make your own heart feel happy again, you’re on the wrong path. If you’re coming to the rescue of people who feel insecure, and your changing your identity to meet them, you’re on the wrong path. This is a guilt-offering, not a God offering, nor a good offering.
Love instead, works like this:
God, in his timing and in his way, will take care of them.
He’ll instruct me on the way I should go.
I am not the manager, fixer or orchestrator of others’ feelings.
Often the best way to love is to make space for God to swoop in with his rescuing love.
Not everyone was happy with Jesus, even when he did God’s will, not everyone will be happy with me.K
Sometimes the higher calling is the low road, where discomfort is.
God leaves behind no one and he won’t leave me behind as I am true to who he’s created me to be.
I can follow through on God’s callings, no matter what others think, say or do.
I can say no.
I can be true to who God created me to be.
I can go my own way, have my own opinion and stand firm.
I can relax and love as God calls me to, rather than how my insides demand I do.
What would our life look like if we were unhinged from having to tie up everyone’s shoelaces? Would we then allow ourselves the ability to look up and see God’s unique callings?
How might we thrive? How might we minister rather than manipulate? How might love grow within us then bloom so that many can be changed by its beauty?
A few weeks ago, I told you about a flower that got pulled out by the bulb. I replanted it.
I also told you how, I believe, the enemy wants nothing greater than to pluck out the bulb of our faith. Deep truth in fertile soil only survives.
We talked about this…we pondered those beautiful flowers.
So, everything was fine and dandy, until, snow got in the forecast. Until, my beautiful budding beauties were about to clobbered by a mega snowstorm.
Then, my heart started up again. Worrying like I do. About – flowers?!
What?! While most worry about finances, pension funds, and pilgrimages to far away lands, here I am – worrying about flowers!? While other people are fretting about unsaved folk, disaster planning due to health catastrophes and pleading coverage for substance abuse therapy – here I am worrying about petals – yet, again?!
Normally, I’d silently call myself stupid! and call it a day. But, not today.
Today, I’ve learned to create space for what God is speaking. The Spirit is always working, ever-counseling and constantly grabbing for the attention of our hearts and mind. Will I listen? Will you?
No matter what they all think? No matter how stupid we look or feel?
By not listening, just think of all we miss: How much we deny ourselves. How we look past what God is doing, because we feel we have to be on this hamster wheel of progress, schedule and monotony. How we think we are running after the right stuff, only to find out chasing urgent is all wrong.
Do not deceive yourselves. If any of you think you are wise by the standards of this age, you should become “fools” so that you may become wise. 1 Cor. 3:18
I consider those flowers in the snow. And, when it is snowing, I give them a second glance on the way to the car.
Their little yellow noses pop up from under the white blanket of freezing. I smile at them.
Then, I think, what God wants me to see. It comes: They are closed.
Before, when they were in light and warmth the petals were open. Picture-ready flowers.
Yet, now, while being battered by ice, snow and wind they are closed. Closed and shuttered for a non-tropical hurricane. There’s no getting in.
I hold on to the message given to me, as if it is a clue for Kelly Balarie as she traverses this dangerous world. It’s this: When the high winds of the world come (and they will!), close your shutters and pull in close to God.
He will cover you with his feathers, and under his wings you will find refuge; his faithfulness will be your shield and rampart. Ps. 91:4
It works like this:
When you feel frazzled because you aren’t dazzling the world,
shut out the show and slow things down.
When people are speaking at you from five different sides,
shut off the voices and find His voice of peace.
When life keeps telling you, you’re no good,
shut off the messages and read God’s Word.
When social media reminds you you’re a step short,
shut off the computer’s power and rest in His power.
When you feel as weak as a woman one day short of death,
shut down, be still and know that He is God.
When everything and then everything goes wrong,
shut off negativity and ask for God’s objectivity.
When you feel stupid for doing something,
shut off your inner-voice to see if God’s voice is calling you deeper still.
When you remember all them laughing,
slam shut the memory and open up truth:
you can do exceedingly abundantly more than you ask or imagine.
When you’re afraid you’ll fail, shut out doubt.
Just as God feeds the birds, He’ll feed us. Just as God protects the flowers, He makes way for us to protect our hearts.
A wise old owl lived in an oak The more he saw the less he spoke The less he spoke the more he heard. Why can’t we all be like that wise old bird?
– Edward Hersey Richards
His big, dense, coal eyes looked at me. And, I looked at him.
What does he see – in me?
In him? I saw wisdom: Eyes in no rush to move. A being okay with being. A head made up of regal feathers of grey and white.
He was caged, contained, but still, somehow, he appeared content. Our gaze connected us, yes, but what bothered me was – he seemed to know something. In all his wisdom, was he on to something I could not see?
I walked away from his cage, but in the end, all I wanted to do was return. When I did, his branch was empty and while I peered through the fence for him, he wasn’t so easy to spot.
There he is! The owl of wisdom. He’s in the back of the cage.
But almost as soon as I found him, I realized something I’d missed all along. There was another owl, right next to him. I hadn’t seen him, not even one bit.
I gazed deeper now, wondering if my eyes were still betraying me…
I love those who love me, and those who seek me find me. Prov. 8:17
The harder I looked, the more I saw: There was a 3rd owl, right next to the first two.
Blessed are those who listen to me, watching daily at my doors, waiting at my doorway. For those who find me find life and receive favor from the Lord.
Could there be more? Should I keep looking? Search harder? I did: another one, a 4th one was right before my very eyes!
How are my eyes deceiving me?
How much more do I miss in life?
Often wisdom is right before our eyes, but we can’t see it.
We think wisdom is much like everything else in this world. We think it will just show up like a boxed up UPS deliver on our doorstep. But, guess what? It doesn’t work like that.
Wisdom isn’t something we trip over. It’s something we’ll miss if we don’t seek it. It is something we’ll step past if don’t pursue it. It is something we won’t find if we don’t hunt for it.
Wisdom, we must pursue.
Because, often wisdom is camouflaged in our environment, in the environment of the world. Just as I couldn’t see the owls, often we can’t see wisdom because we are: too distracted, too worried, too rushed, too preoccupied, too concerned about people, too critical or too annoyed.
But those who fail to find me harm themselves; all who hate me love death. Prov. 8:36
And, with this, as far as I can see, I believe we have two paths – a way of wisdom or a way of destruction. We have a way of seeking or a way of delusion. We have a way of wonder or a way of wreckage.
God doesn’t make it hard for us to seek wisdom, to find it under the cover of our world, to glean it out of our places of uncertainty, he simply says to ask him for it…
“If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you.” Ja. 1:5
Pop Quiz: What is a very small thing in size that has a gigantic impact regarding the direction of your life?
Clue: It moves, kind of flippantly, up and down.
Got it yet?
This should help: “Look at the ships also: though they are so large and are driven by strong winds, they are guided by a very small rudder wherever the will of the pilot directs. So also the tongue is a small member, yet it boasts of great things. How great a forest is set ablaze by such a small fire! And the tongue is a fire, a world of unrighteousness. The tongue is set among our members, staining the whole body, setting on fire the entire course of life, and set on fire by hell.” James 3:3-6
It can speak liberty or captivity that sinks a heart.
It can speak faith or fear that you’ll always live in the basement and never get anywhere in life.
It can tell you you’ll be stuck in that dead-end job with a boss you hate or
it can profess glory, glory, glory and holy, holy, holy!
It can rip a person apart and spit them out like day old coffee or
it can savor the goodness of others and remind them of it with an intentional word of kindness.
It can blabber about a person who never should have taken your parking space like that,
a family member who is so wrong, an insensitive and unthoughtful husband,
or it can cut through the tension and speak aloud every virtue of God.
It can send you into high places, with high people to confess high things of importance,
or it can keep stuck in the gutter, speaking a whole litany of unholy words that keep you unhappy.
It can halt its movement and literally change the density of another’s heart,
moving a person from defensive to receptive in an instant.
How do you use your tongue?
I can almost hear you all glaring back at me, saying, “Well, Kelly, how do you use your tongue?”
Not so well, friends. This lesson, and every lesson I write, really, is for me because, much more than dwelling on the immensity of God, I taste and swallow negativity. I constantly internally talk about the ways I’m failing to make good meals, spend enough time with the kids before bedtime and open up the door to my husband when he arrives home with a smile and thoughtful motives, like not bombarding him with the daily happenings at first sight of his brown hair. I, then, throw out words, like daggers, because I feel bad about myself.
It’s not easy.
The problem is, my tongue likes to go. My mouth wants to speak, incessantly. My complaints, grievances and objections are many. It is very hard to shut the trap when it wants to catch something wrong, and, golly day, and fix it with my words.
But, fault-pointing words usually fix nothing. And, all they end up trapping is me – in dejection, demotivation and frustration. Get me out of here – I’m stuck!!!
“Death and life are in the power of the tongue, and those who love it will eat its fruits.” Prov. 18:21
By looking deep into this verse, it appears, just as much as my words can get me stuck in a rut – or kill me, they can also lift me out of ruts, and feed me. I like that. I like the idea my words can literally provide me sustenance, food and energy. I like that by changing the course of my words, I can change the course of my life. I can move into into go-mode, into vision and into purpose that surpasses my own thoughts, limitations and plans.
5 Ways to Use Your Tongue to Change the Course of Your Life (for the better):
Constantly speak what is excellent, true, pure, good, right, honorable, admirable, praiseworthy (Phil. 4:8). If it doesn’t fall in one of those categories, carry it on over to the trash can and dispose of it. It should be taken to the dump instead of coming out of your mouth like a stinky mess bound to hurt you and leave you overwhelmingly frustrated that your life doesn’t look better.
Let Praise Be Your Chatter. If you lift God up with your tongue, you’ll lift your mind up too. It is natural. You can’t be acknowledging the magnificence and the righteousness of God and still be stuck in a hole. He grabs you and pulls you up to heavenly perspectives when you do some fine-tuning.
Say thanks. Thank you that you have great plans for me, God. Thank you, husband, you are so thoughtful. Thank you, children, you are listening so well. Thank you, self, you are giving your whole heart to speaking carefully and intentionally. Thank you, world, I have such a great opportunity not to react, but to reach out to you and share Jesus
Speak humility. Best said, this means letting the voice of Jesus go before you. It means letting his heart be your words. It means letting his holy verses take flight so they come shooting out of your mouth before your own perceptions or intentions rule you (I know, not easy!). But, it is possible. We have the mind of Christ, which means, it should change us to speak with the mouth of Christ.
Don’t use it: don’t open your mouth, don’t utter a word, don’t speak a sigh, don’t offer a grunt, don’t release a criticism, don’t give flight to judgement. There are times, when the best speech you can give is silence. The best course of treatment you can give is dead air. Why? Because it is often in the lack of words, that God pours out the abundance of grace that changes a person’s heart from contemptuous to contrite.
This very small part has the ability to lead people to Christ, to change demeanors, to open eyes, to counsel the needy through disasters, to promote love, to inflict compassion and to listen. It’s amazing.
Let’s choose to use it as it was intended to be: a weapon of goodness that cuts through people’s hearts using the sword of the spirit, God’s Word. This is effective speech:
Parlaying his majesty into the day that lays ahead of you.
Speaking his glory into the places where you feel hurt.
Highlighting truth in the midst of emotions that are as wild as a bucking bronco.
Correcting another (or yourself) with the tone of compassion, grace and mercy.
Singing wonder about all that He has created.
Recounting the many times – God’s shown up in your life and how he remains consistent. Reflecting on the limitless nature of His power and being okay with it sitting on you.
Declaring his faithfulness, returning to this truth once again.
Demonstrating his humility, speaking less and listening more.
Let it out. Be not ashamed. Be not restrained. Be forthcoming. Be powerful. Change your life and change theirs.
Moms know what I am talking about here. It’s that time when you are T-minus 5 minutes until junior’s lights out. It’s that time you know you’re about to be set free. It’s that time things need to move ahead with military precision. Demands and dictates must be followed and executed. Perfectly, even. Orders run like a military checklist…
Prayers: Contrite and consolidated. Check!
Kid: 1 sip, 1 question, 1 hug. Then, they must get snug as a rapid-fire bug in a rug. Check!
Door shuts: Only a confident “Good Night” is permissible with no grain of guilt allowed (lest the kid should pop his head back out again). Check!
Final Declaration of Victory: A sigh against the side of the wall you are slumped against.
War Plunder: A piece of dark chocolate on the couch to soothe away residual anxiety.
You made it!!!
I live my life like this and I feel like a barbarian for it. Sure, I know it is wrong. Yet, after you spend nearly 14 hours being the living slave to the kid you love beyond the smallest inkling of your wildest imagination, and after giving your best and then giving a spoonful more – your somehow on your last leg.
Many days, I hope by morning, everyone will forget how I acted like a jerk. How I spoke words I should have kept in my mouth. How I snapped about people not moving fast enough. How I nitpicked about the kitchen not being clean enough. How I grunted at mistakes.
Honestly, it is often easier to run away than to run straight into confession. It is easier to run fast than to slow down. It is easier to do than to be.
And, so, the insanity continues! I go through the motions. Repeat.
Yet, one night, things changed. He went to sleep. Peacefully.
Hmm…no sound. He was all quiet, all sweet. And here I was – outside the door. I couldn’t help but notice how far, far away I felt.
What if real peace isn’t chocolate?
What if success isn’t determined by a stopwatch?
I opened the door and went inside, I climbed up to the top of his bunk bed. Shocked, his head peeped out.
I sang a long song. Gently, his hand stretched around my neck. I felt its tight grip.
I relished the moment.
He whispered, “I love you.”
There is nowhere else I would rather be.
What have you been rushing to? Often our best moment is in the process of slowing down.
How many times have we missed it? How many times have we rushed to something better, more relaxing, when what we really want- is right before us?
When we slow down to let in a moment, we get a chance to receive it.
When we reach out with no demands, we find people reach in, towards us.
When we choose love we experience it.
I am learning – slowing down is paramount to receiving love.