"The world I live in is loud and blurring and toilets plug and I get speeding tickets and the dog gets sick all over the back step and I forget everything and these six kids lean hard into me all day to teach and raise and lead and I fail hard and there are real souls that are at stake and how long do I really have to figure out how to live full of grace, full of joy--before these six beautiful children fly the coop and my mothering days fold up quiet? How do you open the eyes to see how to take the daily domestic, workday vortex and invert it into the dome of an everyday cathedral? Could I go back to my life and pray with my eyes wide open?
Praying with eyes wide open is the only way to pray without ceasing." --Ann Voskamp One Thousand Things
I read that passage yesterday and tears sprung up in my eyes suddenly and quite without warning. It happens. I'm all stoic and unfeeling and dead inside until I'm not. I wasn't even crying because of the SIX KIDS. Lord, have mercy. I can't keep my two kids straight with the, "Matthew! Beck! Troy! Whoever you are!" when who I'm really calling for is Garrett.
No. Someone else can have six children. That's all well and good for her. If I had six kids I'd have to build a corral in the backyard and keep them there. I'd take two out at a time and pretend we were a well managed family. Oh, who am I kidding, my actual two child family doesn't even begin to resemble well managed.
I cried because, "how long do I really have to figure out how to live full of grace, full of joy--before these...beautiful children fly the coop and my mothering days fold up quiet?" It is so poignantly written and its emotion stabs my heart with a dagger.
My mothering days are going to fold up quiet.
Not tomorrow, Lord willing, but some day kind of soon.
These little boys are going to turn into men and my days of incessant strewn clothing and stepping on Legos and wiping noses and teaching, always teaching, will be done. And they will fly away on finger painted planes to the place they will call home and it won't be mine. And will I figure out how to live full of grace and joy in enough time to show them the secret? Oh God, my heart cries, let me figure it out in time.
Will I have learned not to lose my temper but, instead, to thank God for each and every moment? Will I have discovered some eternal fountain of wisdom and been brave enough to drink from it? Will I become the godly mama I aspire to be with enough time for them to notice before they are intoxicated by the lure of adulthood?
And so I pray. With eyes wide open because otherwise I'll for darn sure trip over a toy fire truck. I pray with eyes wide open at the kitchen sink as I scrape caked macaroni out of the lunch pan. I pray as I hold a shaking child and his father pulls a splinter out from the deep. I pray, with eyes open, because every moment they are changing, growing, becoming. And it's just a matter of time until my work here is done.
How, oh how, I pray, do I make it all count for something?