Ten weeks ago I had a baby. Ten weeks ago I was entrusted with a gift. That gift likes to cry. This mama…she likes to cry too.
I write about grief, about loss, and how we find grace, find Jesus in the emptiness. But what about the fullness? What about a life bursting at the seams with…life? Things like…crying babies, a three-year-old that poops on the floor, cavities (four of them!), and being the new kid at school. Things like…two soccer leagues (what were we thinking?) clogged milk ducts, mounds of laundry and putrid smells you cannot locate no matter how hard you try…cannot. Things like…hurt feelings, a broken refrigerator and did I mention the crying baby?
Life is full, full of life, and I am searching for Jesus in this season as well.
This is a time to simplify, not complicate. This is a season to remember whose I am and who He is and what that means for me, and not try to climb a faith mountain.
Singing Jesus Loves Me for the hundredth time in a baby’s ear to coax sleep is not just a lullaby- it is worship. It is a simple truth to swaddle myself in- a lullaby my restless heart needs, coaxing frantic feelings to find rest in Him. Jesus.
Fighting boys, a screaming toddler, a wailing baby and beeping toys all at once- the Kelty symphony. It is a sensory overload that causes me to LOSE it, adding my own noise to the cacophony. I see their faces, the scared look in their eyes, the hurt I caused. Later when it’s quiet, I fall to my knees in regret, in confession, in need. I stand up once again in forgiveness and in grace- a fresh start every time. Jesus.
And oh how they need me- the waitress, the chef, the house keeper, the counselor, the chauffeur, the secretary, the baby whisperer. It’s overwhelming. Sometimes I hide in the bathroom. I grumble under my breath with a scowl…Oh how they need me. In the bathroom, I call out His name. I repeat it a few times. I take a deep breath in, taking in peace and this time I whisper it slow, with a smile…Oh how they need me. Gratitude wins the fight against grumbling. There was a day when no one needed me. Life wasn’t demanding at all and I wept in the silence. And then a deeper thought comes- I am needy. All the time, and He never tires of me. God never hides in the bathroom. Gratitude charges deeper in my weary heart and I open the bathroom door to re-enter the noise with perspective, with joy. Jesus.
The two youngest have just fallen asleep for an afternoon nap. It’s simultaneous. It’s a miracle. I nearly trip running down the stairs, sprinting to this rare break. I find my bible in the clutter. I open to anything. I read a line. I take a sip of the living water. Another verse. Another sip. And then I hear it- the crying. Maybe I’m imagining it, I hope to myself. I look at the monitor and all lights are flashing. I feel a moment of anger rise- a moment of pure frustration. Go back to sleep, Go back to sleep, I chant. I NEED this time to myself…NEED this time with Jesus. The crying gets louder. I toss my bible on the couch and huff and puff as I climb the stairs. Half way up, I stop. I pray. And then it occurs to me (is given to me), Jesus isn’t a sentence. He isn’t a “quiet time” or a “devotional.” My God is a person and He is alive and He is with me on the stairs. I shut my eyes and am awakened to His presence. I invite His spirit to come flood my house. I pick up the baby and I meditate on the words I’ve just read. The two sips become a full glass- I chug. I am satiated as I bounce and rock and pat and shush and sway. Jesus.
In this season, the one bursting with life and sucking me dry, the well, the living water I am so desperate for is everywhere I turn. It’s not the perfect moment. It’s not a hot cup of tea or a freshly marked page in my journal or my favorite pen to underline and circle the Word. It’s so much more than that. It’s so much less contained and calculated. It’s all encompassing and it’s pervasive…if I allow it to be. He is real and He lives at my crazy house, among the noise and mess and bad smells I cannot find. In the light and in the dark, in the quiet and in the loud, in the coos and in the cries, when I call on His name and open myself to His presence, my life becomes a devotional. My “crazy” is an invitation for all that He is to bounce and rock and pat and shush and sway me. Jesus.