the darkest hour

There comes a time when the day slows down.

The kids don’t seem to notice.   Their life continues on, their miraculous energies stirring away at the candles and cookie dough.   My body doesn’t work that way, not anymore.

It feels wrong to admit I’m tired.  I’m too young to be tired. Tired is what’s happening to my grandma these days, more now than ever before.  Tired is what my mother was.

Wait a minute.

When did I become a mom?

This is the rhythm playing out inside me. Come two o’clock I need to settle down. This is the time for my soul to catch up, and sometimes, for leftover tears–the ones still waiting for a chance at joy.

The drops, the streams, they seem to come from out of nowhere, but I also say it isn’t so.  I know from where they come.  These are the tears of life’s release, the letting go of life itself.

Strangely enough, as God and time and the mystery of body chemistry would have it,  I wake in the night at the very same hour–two o’clock–this time wide awake.

His soul waits for Thee like the watchman waits for the morning.  I wait then too, through the fear, through the darkness, for the rest to come, for the morning light to manifest.

“Take and eat”, Jesus says, “Everything I have is yours”.

I move in closer to the body of another, closer now than ever before, waiting for the hope to appear.  And so I see, as I lean in and listen, that these two’s, these too are a gift.

For in the day He gives me rest

and in the night He gives me prayer.

 

 

 

dear cora

img_0917-2

I’ve been writing to you in my head for over a week now.  You know how it goes.  When I get the chance I haven’t got the energy and when I’ve got the energy I haven’t got the chance.  Even now I’m finding it hard to concentrate and find the words.  This is a good afternoon though–my tea is warm, the windows are open, and the cats are napping peacefully.

Last time you asked about how we were settling in.  It’s been good here, really good.  I feel more peace in my home, my life, and my soul than I’ve felt in a really long time. The agonizing loneliness that seemed to be either killing me slowly or tearing me open is being healed with the balm of a quiet solitude.  I just feel content, satisfied, and most of all, thankful.

If we were eating kiwi on the beach, or talking or drifting in the Gulf of Mexico right now, I’d tell you I still struggle with the discouragement and despair.  I get angry inside about all the work and daily sorrows.  In the best of times we believe it’s all worth it, but in the worst of times, those are the times I think about what life might have been like as a nun or a rock star.

Sometimes we just need to put our big girl panties on.   I don’t mean to sound cold or insensitive.  I just get tired of being the sage all the time, trying to inspire myself with all these eternal truths and perspectives.  Live your life.  Cook the dinner.  Hear the children.  Love your husband.  It’s that hard, but it’s not that hard.  It’s the joy of living thanks and praise.

I read Colossians the other day.  I needed to venture outside of my old stomping grounds. The Psalms deepen my desire for God.  The Epistles deepen my desire for other people.  I love how one of the ways God chose to speak to us is through letters.  Sometimes with Paul I get lost and confused in all the commas, but other times something lights up. Here’s what glowed:

“May you be strengthened with all power, according to his glorious might, for all endurance and patience with joy, giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of the saints in light.”
~Colossians 1:11-12~

Our love is like the light of the moon.  We merely reflect a light that is not our own, a light that cannot come from an inner wasteland of rock and dust.  This little light is ours now, but only because we first received, because a greater light has shined on us.  This is the part where we run like the wind, out of the rip-tide, where we burst into song and dance for joy.

Fall is so beautiful here.   You would love it.  I’m sure I’d love the weather there as well. If we lived closer you know I’d be meeting you every other evening at the beach and calling it a school day.  I gotta get your number again so we can chat sometime.  When we got our new phones, I had lost my old one, so the phone lady wasn’t able to transfer any of my old numbers.

Ever heard the song “Hello” by Adele?  She’s got a line in there that says, “Hello, how are you?  It’s so typical of me to talk about myself, I’m sorry.”  How are your fruit trees?   Have you made any friends at church?  The last I knew you were 24 weeks along and that was back in June.  You’ve gotta be getting awfully close by now, if you haven’t already had your little one.

I hope you were surprised.

Love, Rebekah

 

 

 

 

school days

“The wise of heart will receive commandments, but a babbling fool will come to ruin.”
~Proverbs 10:8~

During the school day they have my undivided attention.

It’s as undivided as you can get at least.  There are five of them, and that does mean, sometimes they have to wait til I have a chance to come around.  But the morning hours of 9-11:30 are solely dedicated to formal school time.   The switching of laundry, stripping pee sheets from the bed, finishing the dishes, playing on my phone–all of that will wait.

Sometimes I am pulled away to seek out a lost brother.  Most days include me having to  mediate a sibling dispute, which eventually leads to me having to apologize at least once and ask for everyone’s forgiveness for losing my patience.  Each day so far we usually manage to finish our math, our writing, our weather and sky observations, and story time.

The rest of it happens in the in-between times.  Maybe while they’re waiting for me to answer a question.  Maybe in the spontaneous discussion that breaks out between brother and sister over a game of dice and old maps.  Maybe in the opening Psalm, or the closing Proverb, or in the silent prayer I ask God when I notice my curtain hems came undone.

“Lord, what would you have me do now?”

Truth be told, I ask it more as a frustrated challenge than in a spirit of open surrender.  It didn’t matter how well our map lesson had gone that morning, the minute I saw those curtains, the ones I’d stayed up late into the night sewing for the first day’s grand debut, the minute I saw the work of my heart and soul twisted in a child’s play lump on the floor…

Each day I find myself at a crossroads.  Each day I am free to choose.  Grumble or Praise?  This has nothing to do with homeschooling.  This has nothing to do with motherhood.   This has to do with life on this twisted planet, the planet I just told the kids this morning was God’s gift to us, the earth full of His fullness.  No, this is about what God has been after all along, before any of the others came to be.

This has to do with my heart.

“Bless the Lord, O my soul, O my soul, worship His Holy Name”

These are the words of our ending song, the song to close the day, before we head up the stairs for lunch.  I don’t need 10,000 reasons to sing or bless the Lord, I only need one.

His name is Jesus.

deep thoughts

The red cushions held him, coffee in hand, staring out the window.

My sister asked, with an equal part touch of curiousity and concern, “Dad, does your mind ever stop thinking?”

His eyes moved to meet her.  He looked surprised. And pleased.  And tired. And scared at the inevitable answer.

Dad shook his head.

“No.”



He said it’s almost like a curse.

I listened with great interest, like my brainwaves had finally found somewhere to crash, like my own restless soul had found a distant shore to land.

This is the land of the living inside your head, the mental state I can’t escape.   I’m here, but I’m not here.  I’m lost in the maze of my own mind.



“Mom, are you daydreaming again?”

My daughter’s giggles shake me back to the present moment, and I return to the room, not even knowing where it was I went.  I’m glad she can laugh about it.

It’s impossible to hide from those who know me most.  The absent mind, the loss of presence, the forgotten keys, the strong dislike of anything too practical.



My son is staring out his bedroom window.  It’s late.  It’s dark.  I’m tucking in the little boy, when following a kiss and a moment of silence, he asks,

“Mom? What’s more important?  Your heart?  Or other people?”

Hmmm.



I’m still thinking about it.

But it did occur to me today that sometimes I need to come out of the water for a while. Sometimes I need to take a break from All. The. Thoughts.

It doesn’t have to be a deep thought all the time.  Enjoy the shallow splashing.

(I’m talking to myself again)

Staring out the window some more, standing near the shore, I look around and around and around.  I like it here too.



I love the dry ground of deep thanks.