ben and i went out on a date last night. sitting across from my bearded husband is my favorite place to be. we exchanged gifts over candlelight at blue bird bistro. our food was divine. i had written a letter to him. i talked about our journey together. and our love. and how it created, by the sheer mercies of Jesus, 3 precious children. we talked about how wealthy we are in love, in community, family, and jesus.
and we talked about how hard it is. the season of little ones.
when sleep deprivation and fatigue blur your perception of almost all things at times.
in between the pictures of sweet smiles, dimply grins, and bright little blue eyes.
there lies the weight of worry, sleepless nights, constant parenting, and fatigue. sleep is never promised. or a nap. or showers, or good conversations with friends that you long to have. the sabotaging of almost all alone time. even time in the bathroom feels like a precious sanctuary of sanity, and that i’ve found is almost never guaranteed. thanks to bobby pins and creative little girls who pick the lock. using the bathroom which used to be perfectly private now seems to be the precise time for a public party. the season of the little ones is so rich with everything you can imagine. and yet it pushes you beyond your capacity continually. teaching you how to press on, when you have nothing left. when i’m just too tired for one more thing, i often surrender and get down on the floor with them. all the drool and the smiles. and the giggles. and i breathe them in. i want to inhale each one of them with as much gratitude as i can muster.
but the reality…as rich as it is, is the hardest thing i’ve ever done.
so my days consist of whispering prayers to jesus while i hold my two smallest in each arm. toting around a wrinkled piece of paper with a few verses that anchor my wandering heart to the things that are the most real and true. of course i know i can’t do this. i can’t raise three children and love jesus and the world well.
no. but something magical happens when you break your bread and give thanks. when you lift your head to heaven and offer up what God has provided for you with gratitude… a miracle happens.
Jesus meets you there and pounds you with provision you had no idea would be possible. knowing that i don’t have enough for the miracle that i’m hoping for is exactly the perfect place to be to receive the creative redemptive move that God is waiting to make on my behalf.
but we must offer what we have. we must learn to stand up and offer the little we have and give thanks. we must learn to think outside the box, to think differently about what we have to offer. after all, his strength is perfected in weakness. i know all of us probably think we have nothing left. we are all, in our own ways surviving, how can we reach out to community, and creatively, to the world around us in need? i’m sure the disciples were thinking the same thing. we don’t have enough for these people. but Jesus, who sees beyond our capacities. the one who calls into being that which does not exist, the one who told Gideon, paralyzed in fear, that he was a valiant warrior, sees potential miracles everywhere. and by the miracle of offering what little you have and giving thanks, jesus feeds the thousands.
i’m not a professional. i’m not an expert. i’m an ordinary woman. but i am learning how to be a practitioner of the ways of Jesus. i just pray that my ordinary life will be a means by which the Lord can do something extra ordinary. i’m appalled at the news. i’m appalled at the racial divide in kansas city. i’m appalled at the orphaned. the wounded. the broken. the grieving. i’m appalled at what is happening in the middle east. i’m appalled at the hurt and brokeness i see around me. there has to be a way that we can raise our families and communities and at the same time collectively reach our hands out together to meet the deafening cry of the broken and lonely around our cities and across seas.
i’m not sure how to do these things. but we can offer the little we have and expect Jesus to feed the thousands.