My dad calls us brave, Jason and I, as the boys run in and out of the house with muddy boots and no coat, the little one tugging at my pant leg for a snack or upset a particular toy isn’t doing exactly as he commands it to do. He says brave with a slight head tilt and a crooked smile, not quite mocking us, not quite complimenting us.
For all the times I heard someone say, just wait until you’re married, just wait until you have a child, just wait until you have more than one – then, you will understand. Then, you will know what it is to be in the thick of it. In the mire of it. When everyone else’s needs mirror tea cups at a child’s party that never stay full, they are in constant need of warm ups and biscuits and crackers. Always – with the crackers.
And so, you pour and you pour and you pour, until you feel empty. You fill cups with your teapot of patience and diligence. Sometimes your teapot whistles with frustration and exhaustion and bad temper. But, you continue to pour because this is your tribe and they need you, continuously, unconditionally.
Are we brave? No.
Are we tired? Sometimes.
Yet, I continuously marvel at how seemingly insurmountable things are overcome. How what seems too difficult, too much, at one period of our lives later becomes the groundwork for whatever the next seemingly insurmountable thing is. You conquer A, and then B moves in. Hello, you’ve got A covered, my name is Mr. B. and I’m here to rattle your cage a bit.
We celebrated Jack’s 1st Communion last weekend. And, our pastor told the first communicants to fill up every Sunday with the joy and strength of the Lord. Take the bread and take the wine and let it fill you with Jesus. Let it strengthen you and bring you joy. It was a beautiful homily that framed the sacrament for both the children and the adults. The best teachers know how to take a message and make it a gift. They wrap it in clear, simple paper. Paper that sticks to you. The message becomes about the recipient, not the giver. In training up writers they tell you to write sticky words … words that are memorable that adhere to the reader, that rhyme, that alliterate, that do anything that makes them stand out and be recalled.
Oh, we make things so unnecessarily confusing sometimes.
Someone with the heart of a teacher does not unwittingly do this. It’s why I ask certain professionals straight out from time to time, explain it to me like I’m 5. I don’t need the self important answer, I need the answer that’s a gift.
And, I know the children don’t completely get it, but it seems much of the joy of raising children is found in rediscovering our own childhood. Christmas and ice cream, children’s poetry and coloring. And, the icing on the cake is when we glean something completely new that flew over our heads like a hundred uniformed geese the first time. And I wonder, did I learn this? Have I heard this? Did some adult try to slip it in my ear and then out the other it went? No matter, I have the joy of learning it now.
How many times have you taken communion and been somewhere else? Wrangling a small child, messing with your dress, noticing someone you haven’t seen in a while. We send up our fervent prayers for health and happiness and the ordinary in between, and there is Jesus each Sunday saying fill your well up with me.
Let me build you up in strength and in joy.
Let me be the answer to your prayers.
Let me be the peace you are so desperately searching for.
I hope you are all having a lovely spring.
Thank you for reading this little blog of mine. You are all treasures. XOXO
All my love,