Lately I have been thinking about life. How it flies by. How it gets so quickly filled up. How it is full of both joys and sorrows. I am afraid that lately, I have been a bit more aware of the sorrows and heaviness than the joys. It's been a tough couple of years. There have been a number of difficult circumstances that have converged upon me and made me realize how immature and simple I am. Is it possible to have a mid-life crisis at 28?
First of all, can I just say that it has taken me a long time to adjust to motherhood. I am a stay-at-home mom, and for one, I don't think I realized what a HUGE job it is. I have had other jobs, but this is the hardest, by far. Granted, it is also the best, but still the hardest. I LOVE being with my kids. I mean, seriously, is there anything more amazing than being able to watch my 4-year-old sound out letters and watch her realize that she is reading? Or see that crazy-excited look in my 18-month old's eyes when he hears the mowers arrive at 7 am? (I wish it wasn't at 7 a.m., but it's pretty special anyway). But I'm not going to lie, this whole 24-7 thing is tough. I think I have maybe slept through the night twice in four years. Maybe. Life with kids is full, and I anticipate it becoming even more full, as we eventually add more kids to the mix and enter the school-age phase. It can be overwhelming at times.
In addition to this, the past two years have been tough. I come from a wonderful, loving home with two wonderful loving parents and 5 awesome siblings. I have been part of a wonderful church since I was young. Everything seemed to pretty much go as it should. Life made sense. Even a few years into marriage with a new baby, I still thought I knew what I was doing, and even though it was hard, it still made sense. But sometime around the birth of my second child, stuff around me started falling apart. Divorce. Suicide. Church Issues. Conflict. Yikes. Post-partum hormones didn't help things out at all. I know many people experience these things at some point, and that it is just part of growing up in a broken world. But for some reason, all these things converged into my perfect storm. It has been a season of suffering, of loss, of questioning, of soul-searching, and of praying. Lots of praying.
And here I am today. The critical points of the various crises have largely passed. Life has resumed back to some degree of normal—even if that means trying to define what "normal" is. But I still feel like my head is swirling with the reality and confusion of life in a broken world. What is normal? Who am I? What do I do? It is hard to process weighty issues when my life is consumed with the wonderful, yet exhausting role of caring for little children.
If it were not for my relationship with Jesus, I would have lost hope. But he is truly my refuge and my only answer. He has tasted the brokenness of the world, and he did not turn away from the pain. In fact, he pushed into the pain, ultimately giving his own life to bring redemption to broken people like me. I am learning a little at a time that He is walking with me, showing me that He is enough. I belong to him. And because I belong to Him, I am learning slowly that is is okay to walk into the pain and confusion. Because the darkness is not dark to him. He has brought redemption by his death and resurrection, and He will help me to bring redemption to the ugly parts of my life and my world.
I was re-listening to one of my favorite songs by Sara Groves called "Why it Matters." She talks about beauty in the face of chaos. It struck a chord with me, once again. It goes like this:
Sit with me and tell me once again
Of the story that's been told us
Of the power that will hold us
Of the beauty, of the beauty
Why it matters
Speak to me until I understand
Why our thinking and creating
Why our efforts of narrating
About the beauty, of the beauty
And why it matters
Like the statue in the park
Of this war torn town
And it's protest of the darkness
And the chaos all around
With its beauty, how it matters
How it matters
Show me the love that never fails
The compassion and attention
Midst confusion and dissention
Like small ramparts for the soul
How it matters
I want to make statues in parks in war-torn towns, even if the war-torn town is my kitchen after dinner. I want to bring peace and restoration where there is brokenness. So, that is what this blog is. It is my beautiful protest to the ugliness in my life and world. It is my endeavor to uncover and create beauty in the little things in my life. I may be a stay-at-home mom who deals with diapers, laundry and hungry children all day, but it's where I am. God created me to work, to love, and to create so that I would reflect his worth and beauty. It's going to start with the little things, but honestly, doesn't everything?