I will not choose to be anything else.
I’ve begun several sentences to try to describe in a nutshell the last few weeks, and I just can’t figure out how to say it well, so I’ll just say it how it is. (Many of you know this already, but still. Hard to know how to encompass some circumstances in words.) These past two weeks have been hard. Just hard. As hard as they could have been? No. Harder than anything I’ve faced yet? Yes.
And at the same time, it’s not the hardest place I have been. Hardest circumstances, perhaps. But the sense of God’s grace and provision and the prayers of people we love have made the things we have been dealing with not go away, but the load has been made lighter, all the same.
There is a very real sense of Emmanuel. God with us.
A very real sense.
Fear. Anxiety. The knowledge that perfect love casts out fear. Hopelessness. The knowledge that love never fails. Not knowing how to pray. The friend who says – we will pray on your behalf. The sensation of flying blind. The knowledge that in Jesus, we are guided. We are NEVER flying blind. That in our weakness, His strength shines brighter than ever. Blind tears. The strength of my husband and seeing that strength in fresh ways that I never, ever have seen in all our nearly 13 years.
I know less about parenting than I ever have. I’m asking God what it looks like to truly love my child.
What is His heart toward my child? What does He think of them? I’m asking Him to teach me how to mother, how to love. I’m asking Him honestly. Because I honestly don’t know if I’ve ever been in a place so empty of my own ideas or plans and just plain clueless on what to do next.
So, with all that said, I’m thankful. This is what I choose. I am thankful for a good, good Father. I’m thankful I serve a galaxy-builder. That the God who lives in my heart is great enough to raise dead men from the grave and make dead hearts new and make me know that He is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that I can ask or think.
He is so able.
So as we walk unknown paths, I choose to be thankful for many things, and these are a few.
-the brilliance of the leaves out my window. Orange, fiery red, fluttering to the ground, clinging to the trees who have borne them all season.
-our four baby kittens and how my sweet girls mother them. Rocking, loving, talking to them as though they were their very own babies.
-fire in the fireplace in the morning
-chilly nights and cozy soups
-hay-forts from the hay bales we used the other evening
-bread and wine, fellowshiping in His sufferings, realizing that His sacrifice was pure love, and He’s able to guide me in the same
-laying down in the quiet night, with a husband who prays with me for strength, guidance, and wisdom
-miss E – naming her kitty “Clifford” (pronounced Kiff-uhd) … after her favorite stories about Clifford the Big Red Dog.
-requests to read “Pa and Ma” (Little House on the Prairie)
-finishing the white lace blanket, blocking and folding its softness up
-kindness in all of its forms, from dear friend’s hugs and sweet children wiping my cheek with their palms.
-taking a nap with my girls after a trying and tear-filled afternoon yesterday
-this gorgeous sunset