Dirt under the nails

Being a mom isn't all cuddling with a freshly bathed little cutie pie, or sweet little baby clothes, or perfect pigtails and braids. There are a lot of moments...for me, at least...when mothering is dirt under the nails, and stinky diapers, and cereal crumbs on the kitchen floor. That's part of what my writing reflects: real, true life servitude, life where the rubber meets the road. I don't want to pretend to have everything under control, and I don't want to gloss over the hard and messy details of living, because I think there is where God speaks. In my weakness, He speaks strength; when I sink, He walks on water; when I am groaning, He is silently carrying me. If I pretend to be stronger than I really am, what purpose does that serve?

Yet one can go too far the opposite direction, too. I am not spinning out of control, or hanging on by a thread, or fighting tooth and nail to survive. My story is mediocrity, it is ordinary. There are days when you would think I had lost control entirely if you stepped through my front door: laundry in various stages of folding and washing; crumbs still on the floor from breakfast; dirty dishes piled up and toys strewn everywhere. There are moments when I do literally throw my hands in the air and holler! But they are just moments. There are also gales of laughter, and rolling on the floor playing with the kids, and quiet half hours spent reading or writing, or simply contemplating the view out my front window.

God gives us each what we can handle. I am a person who thrives on chaos, on ups and downs. I learn in moments when I'm taken far beyond myself. I excel when I am driven to it, pushed beyond my normal limits and my brain explodes out of the little box it's been painted into by the hum and lull of everyday living. God has me, therefore, perpetually on the edge: four kids in four years, graduate school, a large house with many bathrooms to clean, a whole circle of friends I dearly love and desire to spend time with, a heart for adoption, and church ministry, and music, and hosting. Big parties and bonfires, sewing slings and calligraphing wedding invitation envelopes, cloth diapering and drying clothes on the line, photography and maple syruping, a million hobbies and desires and dreams and callings. It all adds up to too little time and too much to do!

Yet on the edge, accomplishing more than I dreamed possible, God teaches me so much. He teaches me to balance. To say no. To say yes. To have impossible conversations at the most difficult moments. To put something down so I can pick something else up. To trust Him for strength and wisdom when I am scatter-brained and overextended. To pray. To revel. To worship when there is cacophany surrounding me. To worship in the dead of night when there is only silence and darkness in reply. To run to Him when I am afraid. To run to Him when I am tired. To run to Him when I celebrate. To run to Him when I sorrow.

And that's what you'll keep reading here. Dirt under the nails, songs from the heart, laments from the edge, desperate cries when there is too little time and too much to do. A life in fast forward sounds a little screechy sometimes!

I'm falling even more in love with you
Letting go of all I've held onto
I'm standing here until you make me move
I'm hanging by a moment here with you
I'm living for the only thing I know
I'm running and not quite sure where to go

~ Hanging By a Moment, Lifehouse