That time when I washed dishes while you danced.
I watch you as you twirl, and I want so desperately to be light & free. But the bubbles in the sink feel more like chains holding me down. And suddenly the weight of the years looming before me in this assignment of motherhood and homemaking seem too heavy for me to bear. I find myself fighting against the future and the minute I am living now. Wanting my life to be more than another load of laundry and episode of Little Bear.
And I know this is just a season. This too shall pass. All too quickly. And, most certainly, we all have our manic moments in the mundane. But I am an older mama, and when I do the math calculating how old I will be when this phase is finished – well, I get panicky. Like an addict in a fretful fit over her next hit. And an urgency to start living something bigger and, dare I say, more important settles into my soul. Robbing me of my joy, my calling, and my precious little time with them.
But God, in His faithful, steadfast, patient love, does not leave me there in the writhing pain of my withdrawals. Albet, withdrawals from unknown, completely imagined, and yet unexperienced highs. No, instead of walking away from my wayward & ungrateful heart, He writes me love notes. Like the one below from Streams in the Desert (my favorite devotional) that I found just when I needed it. To bring me back from the brink of believing the lie that my work in this place and in their hearts is not enough. And to remind me that my spiritual act of worship can simply be my joyful submission to the task at hand. Whether it be defeating the dust bunny uprising or settling yet another squabble between siblings or cuddling a cute 3 year old on the couch. The task is not what brings significance & value to the sacrifice, but instead the state of my heart & the worth of the One who receives it.
“These were the potters, and those that dwelt among plants and hedges: there they dwelt with the king for his work” (1 Chron. 4:23).
“We may dwell ‘with the king for his work’ anywhere and everywhere. We may be called to serve Him in the most unlikely places and under the most adverse conditions. It may be out in the countryside, far away from the King’s many activities in the city. Or it may be ‘among plants and hedges’ of all kinds – hindrances that surround us, blocking our way. Perhaps we will be one of ‘the potters,’ with our hands full of all types of pottery, accomplishing our daily tasks.
It makes no difference! The King who placed us ‘there’ will come and dwell with us. The hedges, or hindrances, are right for us, or He will quickly remove them. And doesn’t it stand to reason that whatever seems to block our way may also provide for our protection? As for the pottery – it is exactly what He has seen fit to place in our hands and is for now ‘his work’ (Frances Ridley Havergal).
Go back to thy garden-plot, sweetheart!
Go back till the evening falls,
And bind thy lilies and train thy vines,
Till for thee the Master calls.
Go make thy garden fair as thou canst,
Thou workest never alone;
Perhaps he whose plot is next to thine
Will see it and mend his own.
Brightly colored sunsets and starry heavens, majestic mountains and shining seas, and fragrant fields and fresh-cut flowers are not even half as beautiful as a soul who is serving Jesus out of love, through the wear and tear of an ordinary, unpoetic life” (Frederick William Faber).
Dancing and dishes “with the king for his work.” May it be so.