From an article originally posted March 8, 2014…
The struggle to know peace in this unknown is a constant begging, asking, listening to truth. In the waiting and the unknown, much works to steal peace. Much. So we do the motions of life. We do what we know to be normal and we fight for joy in our moments. I play the music loud and dance, I try and remember food, and I walk each moment noticing each foot in front of the other.
Last night the kids asked to have a sleepover next to the fire and watch a movie with me. So you know what happened—sleepover movie night. In the middle of the night, I woke up cold and looked beside me at my little one curled in a tight ball. I gently placed her blankets on her sweet little body. All I could think about was her littleness. She’s so little. I look in each face and think, You are too young for this story. You are too little. And my peace vanishes. I forget this moment, this moment now, covering her chilly bum and lose my peace about the moments.
We woke, we ate, and we went for a walk to let the dog poop and enjoy the snow. It felt like the next thing, but we took our camera, because these little moments feel so big. Living in the intensity of each breath can be beautiful and it can be tiresome. But we walk, we notice beauty, and we keep doing the next thing. I send desperate texts asking for prayers for peace. Prayers to remember to breathe. Prayers that we would see the grace, that we would not be consumed by fear. We plan and talk about a need for a nanny this summer, and we see our dreams of little moments being crushed. Our quick camping trips we were hoping for feel to be fading. We aren’t looking on Craigslist for a new camp stove anymore. We aren’t looking for sales on new camping chairs, and we know with our next appointment everything may change completely. We have known too many of those appointments that crush our dreams.
We smile in pictures, because that’s what you do in pictures. We tromp through the snow and we watch our unique footprints, but know they will soon melt. We kiss, and kiss, and kiss, hoping they will last a lifetime.
We turn over our camera to our littlest, because it’s only a thing, and we couldn’t care less if it is lost, because things are just things. But today, she wants to push the button and remember her moment, and that matters. So we wait for her to find the button, and we hold our silly poses for as long as it takes to give her her joy.
Today. Today, I get this. I get love. I get to love. I get to be here. My heart is heavy, but my heart is loved. I’m in a fit of giggles one moments and broken in tears the next.
I have a date later with this one. Her words, her words, her words will meet mine. We will eat and try on clothes and buy clothes she doesn’t need, because that just isn’t the point. We get to do time next to each other and breath and love and be. She loves planning the time even more than she loves going. For two days, she has dreamed this simple outing for us, and even if I’m tired from last night, I will make that date with the happiest heart. She’s a gift, and I get to be next to her today.
If you look close, you can see my heart here. I’m looking at the object of my affection on the other side of this lens, and I’m saying I’m sorry. I’m sorry the beautiful in our story is so hard. I’m sorry I can’t fix this. I’m sorry it hurts so much, but the hurt is evidence of the best of us. I’m sorry we have to go on another desperate hunt for grace. We don’t get to be the family we saw happily eating dinner after baseball practice. But I have never been sorry for this life spent looking for Jesus right next to you.
You might be that family we saw the other night. You might be going through each moment and not noticing the gift. Each breath, each hug, each moment is such a gift. An unbelievable gift. Don’t withhold your love, it’s been given to you to give. Don’t let my story grow fear in your own living, but let it give you the motivation to embrace each small moment as the giant moment in grace that it really is.