Do you know who doesn’t win at blogging?
You don’t even know how in awe I am of all of you who, amidst the craziness of daily life, still manage to visit your beautiful virtual homes away from home to share your hearts. I smile each time you post your wonderful updates and between scrubbing the pots and the pans, I read your words.
When I can, I try to dash off a comment but I have this weird problem where I want to say just the right thing. I want to perfectly convey to you just how much you inspire me. You girls are responsible for at least 50% of my joy each day. But when the right words prove elusive (thank you Charlie-no-sleep), I usually just close my laptop in frustration and return to the suds.
I think maybe I’m just not good at online communication (which is why I am so excited about meeting so many of you in person at Edel!). I wish I was. Sometimes I’m envious of the sweet bonds so many of you have formed, and I worry that I’m failing to offer the same loving kindness (I know I am) but I do hope you know that I think the world of all of you. I just have a social media anti-charism. When things get chaotic on the home front, Moxie Wife collects dust. Basically I fail at Blogging with Discipline 101. Can you even imagine how neglected she would be without Five Favorites?!?
This winter was challenging. We were visited by Scarlet Fever, a stomach flu, and more everyday colds than I care to count. There was a tragic death in the family. I took multiple solo-parent trips by air which, though I love traveling, aren’t terribly relaxing with an infant in arms. Oh, and that infant in arms? I don’t know if I mentioned this (okay, I did), but he never slept.
It’s tempting to look back on this past winter, shake my fist, and say “Good riddance to bad rubbish!” I mean, it was seriously brutal at times. But as crazy as it may sound, and as happy as I am to welcome the reprieve of springtime, when I look back upon the last few months I’m filled with silly joy and overflowing gratitude.
Not because I’m a “so-holy*I-love-suffering*bring-on-the-pain” kind of gal (hahaha), but because this winter was revealing. In a good way. Now that I’m standing on the outskirts of that difficult season, I can look back at our experience, consider the way we handled the challenges we faced, and I can see all sorts of fruit. Delicious, life-giving fruit that’s been ripening for years.
Those fruits like to hide, don’t they? When you’re struggling mightily — arguing with your spouse, barking at your children, rolling your eyes at perfect strangers, (stubbing your toe and cursing the door jam, anyone?) — it can all feel so pointless.
I can’t tell you how many times I have thought, “This would be such a great opportunity for sanctification if only I’d lean in to it a bit.”
The other day it hit me that I’m kind of like a lobster in a lobster pot.
At first, the steam feels kind of nice. “Thank you, Lord, for all these little crosses! I feel the goodness of your mercy! Your wish is my command!”
But then he turns up the heat a little and I’m all, “Stop, stop!!! You’re killing me! I’m dyiiiiing!”
And I do die, just like the lobster. Only there’s that small Resurrection thing that we human gets to take advantage of so, after all the dying (to self), I’m brought back to life!
Perhaps fittingly, it being Easter and all, I can see all this so clearly right now.
As he sometimes does, God has lifted the lid of the lobster pot a bit. The sun is shining through and he is saying, “Do you see now? Do you see how all of the pain and suffering has made you more tender? I didn’t need you to lean in. I just needed you to stay in the pot. And you did. (Albeit with a bit more thrashing than the average lobster.)”
I’m not patting my back as I say this. Truly, I’m not. I’m more marveling at God’s goodness. I did nothing (you have no idea the degree to which I can do nothing) to bring this about and still he did his thing.
Don’t get me wrong, had you peeked into the windows of my home these past few months, you probably wouldn’t have seen a serene woman down on her knees. But you might have seen a wife who poured out a bit more love, a mother who showed a little more patience, and a woman who faced uncertainty with slightly more trust than she would have five years ago.
Of course, God knows that this lobster is far (so, so far) from perfectly tender. And so I know that he’s about to put me right back into the pot. That’s how these reprieves always go. They give you just enough time to breathe deep, recharge your batteries, and prepare for the next challenge. And that’s actually okay with me. With a little trepidation and as much faith as I can muster, I say bring it on…
Another day, another lobster pot.
I hope you are all having a beautiful, joy-filled Easter!
♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥