Morning coffee wafts up the stairs and scents the cool air, teasing my tired head off the pillow.
It was a rough night. A teething baby and a wakeful 3 year old needed me in the wee hours, and yet…I need Jesus time more than I need the extra sleep. Is this my life? Having to weigh the merits of 15 minutes of sleep against a few quiet moments with my Bible? Creamer sloshes into my favorite cup, tinting the rich, nutty brew a golden hue. I inhale the fragrance of clean morning air, relish the quietness of the sleeping house, and exhale thanksgiving. Is this my life? How am I so blessed, to smell? To savor?
The Bible in my hands has stood witness to 20 years of my life. I run a thumb over the scarred cover, and smile at the underlined pages, blistered with tears and steeped with memories. Truth for the ages, as powerful today as 20 years ago. It doesn’t change, but I have. Is this my life? So much different than I could have imagined as a young girl. God is gracious…to me. Even through the thorny places, the stumble-fall-and-gravel-in-my knees places. He alone is completely, thoroughly, and utterly dependable.
Little feet come down the stairs. I read faster, desperate for encouragement to carry me through the day. The little hands that slide around my neck are so much bigger than they were last year. My baby girl is growing up faster than I can believe. She’s getting so big, but she still needs her mama. Inadequate doesn’t begin to describe how I feel when I look into those precious little faces. Is this my life? Forever reminded of how deeply I need the grace and wisdom and love of Jesus to do this mama thing well?
The morning moves on, and so does my little tribe. I fill sippy cups. Change diapers. Kiss Superman, snuggle sleepy children, and start breakfast and a load of laundry. Pack a lunchbox and wipe spills and we all wave goodbye to Daddy. Is this my life? So mundane. No lifesaving (unless you count the 5,982 times I prevented my daring 15 month old from tumbling, choking, being poisoned, impaled, lost, or run over.) I love it. And, I’m kind of desperate to talk to tall people. Maybe that’s why I check Facebook 482 times during the day…
The day is filled with squabble reffing, sock chasing, dish washing, and Facebook peeking. Lunch time presents only the age old question of PB&J or Mac’n’Cheese, and I wipe faces and I think, this is my life. I don’t have even a moment of doubt when it comes to the question of whether I’m doing what I’m supposed to be doing, but it doesn’t feel enough. I don’t feel enough. This is my life, and I feel so inadequate to complete even such a seemingly inconsequential role. Who in the world allowed me to be the mother of these precious children, the wife to the most remarkable and fun and kind man I know? Don’t I have to pass some kind of test or something? Insecurity and I go way back, and I feel nauseous with the weight of my own insignificance. What am I doing with my life? Is it all just a waste?
Herding cats has got to be easier than getting my tribe up the stairs and pottied, diapered, fluffed and tucked into their little beds. I sink wearily down enjoy 15 seconds of quiet, eyes vacant and realize I’m a hot mess. I’m still wearing my sloppy tee shirt and the shorts I tossed on this morning, and the ragged pony tail has seen better days. Ick. Is this my life? I’m turning into a soccer mom, and not one of those pretty, pulled together ones. (Please, Tim Gunn, I need an intervention. I’m begging.)
Whoever invented the shower had better have won the Nobel Peace Prize. They deserve it. Rest time is over, consumed with blogging and a quick shower, but at least I won’t meet my husband at the door looking and smelling like a cave dweller. Superman arrives and is greeted by the wild bunch, and I watch his eyes light up as he greets each one of them, tossing them high, kissing their loving little faces, and ruffling their hair. He passes out hugs and tickles before making his way to me. This is my life. I’m in awe. I love this man. I love our life. Dinner time comes with all the usual “please don’t put your feet on the table,” “I DON’T LIKE CHICKEN!!!” and generalized mayhem of feeding piranhas. On my hands and knees under the table, sweeping up rice and cantelope off the floor, I think about how hard I studied through nursing school and feel a pang of regret. All that work, and this is my life. I clean up messes all day.
We reach bedtime like a marathon finish line and rejoice deeply. Jammied little squirmy people snuggle up for bedtime prayers, and I laugh when JoJo thanks God again for big trucks and baby chicks. Alaina, my serious little perfectionist thanks Jesus for our family, house, and friends. Maybe I need to take notes from my babies. They are thankful, every day, for the same things. They need reminding, just as I do, to stop taking themselves so seriously. And they have so much to teach me about living in the moment.
Yes, this is my life. It’s a mixed bag, and I’m learning to be okay with that. I am deeply flawed and incredibly blessed. I am over my head most days and still figuring out so much. I’m growing and learning and changing, and God is far from done with me. There are pretty, shiny moments, and there are stinky, ugly moments, and mostly, there’s a whole lot of in-between stuff. I’m learning to look for Jesus in all of it, because this is my life…but only Jesus IS life.
And oh, how I need His life shining in, and on, and through mine.
What about you? Is your life different than you thought it would be? Than you hoped? I’d love to hear from you in the comments below!
Grace and peace and LIFE,