“What we perceive to be holding us back may actually be the catalyst for the deeper, lasting change we desperately need.
Can we make room for it? Are we brave enough to let ourselves be interrupted by what is better?”
–March 28, 2019
My own words written three years ago, a lesson I am still learning to put into practice.
I set aside a couple of weekend mornings each month to write. This particular morning, my coffee was made, the engine of my mind was in first gear, my fingers were itching to tap out my thoughts on a blank sheet, and the old school cartoons were on for the kids.
I sat down beside our youngest for a minute to give him a little side-squeeze and a kiss and he looked up at me with his bright blue eyes and said, “Can you watch with me, Mom?”
So often, I’ve blown right past such an invitation. In fact, my default position on such things is, “I’m just going to do this one thing, okay?” which stretches into several things and before I know it, the moment is gone.
Let’s be honest. Sometimes you just have to say no for all kinds of good reasons. Every day made up of thousands of little choices that reflect the current reality I’m living, and every time a request comes I have to weigh it before making a decision. This morning, I weighed the decision before me and I knew that it would be a mistake to turn this little guy down. We cuddled up together, and before long, like a magnet, the other three kids found their way onto the couch too. Each one, with their own unique and beautiful design, settled down beside us, close enough for hugs and back scratches.
It won’t always be like this, I know. One day these little birdies will fly and I’ll cheer them on from the nest but for today, I’m taking the opportunity to soak up all the snuggles. What makes it possible to continue on, day after day, with all the different needs and wants of each one?
The beautiful grace of Jesus in one tiny three-letter word.
I don’t have to do these things; I get to do these things, even the hard things. I get to hear about their day, help them navigate their world, give them the tools to carry into adulthood, pray for them, love them, delight in them, cheer them on.
This one simple mindset change can make all the difference between a child who grows up feeling like a burden to the entire world and a child who knows they are deeply loved no matter what.
Years ago when we first had little babies, my mother-in-law said something that marked my heart: “I love having a front-row seat to my kids’ lives!”. Her exuberant joy of cheering on her kids and grandkids in the different ages and stages has impacted how I view this life I’ve been given.
It does not come without great cost, but it is worth more than gold.
“Mom! This is a scary part! Come sit with me!” My 4 year old calls me back to cuddle on the couch for a few more minutes. I return to my own words, written long before this morning’s cuddles on the couch:
What we perceive to be holding us back may actually be the catalyst for the deeper, lasting change we desperately need.
Can we make room for it? Are we brave enough to let ourselves be interrupted by what is better?
Lord, may I always learn to embrace what is better!
“Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.” -Galatians 6:9 (NIV)