Wednesday, September 16, 2015


A thousand times I've felt the weight of my laboring through this season of my life, felt its jagged edges scrape against me, the burden of carrying six souls through this world, hoping that they make it relatively unscathed. Hoping that they are not marred too much by its ugliness, and in particular, not by the failings of their haggard, desperate mother.

A thousand miles I've tread the path in stark silence, memories aching to be expelled, worries drowning out my inability to just do the next thing. Just staring into blank space.  With joyful feet around me, kid-noise echoing, and I, too unwell to even crack a smile through my pain.

I wrote once that I used to think God made a huge mistake in giving mothers just two arms to care for their babies.  I wrote this at a time in my life where that weight and the shifting grief within me over a life I had to let go of, was heavy on my mind.  When the few children I had then already felt like too much for me, and I wasn't sure if I was capable of living the life I was called to. 


Of course I could live it.  Of course.  But could I live it well?

I look behind me and see the tiny toes in the sand which follow their mother's path out to sea, to the raging waters of this life where the world is vast and often dark, the depth of knowledge and understanding and love not quite known..  Those little toes stepping lightly into the weathered boat made in the crooks of arms encircling, trusting and seeking and ready.  And I, unable to shove off, to let go.  To take their small hands in mine and set sail.

I cry out:

What if I lose sight of the beacon?  What if even in the calm, angry gray clouds threaten on the horizon, and I become lost? What happens to these babies of mine?

The Lord's answer:

Ah! But I do not make mistakes, and it only takes two arms to clasp your hands in prayer.  Stop wringing them in worry, stop faltering upon the shoreline and focusing on the horizon, imagining things that have not yet even come.  My lighthouse looms, always in the peripheral, the light of My Love a clear direction even against the raging waters.  The silence is for rest, rejuvenation. It is not for staring into the darkness, seeking out the jagged edges felt sweeping past raw feet in the surf.  Never mind those.  Never mind the hastiness and urgency welling up inside. Let go and realize that the I, the One who made those babies and called them out to sea, also made you, their mama, strong enough to bring them safely back to Me.

Thursday, September 3, 2015

A Mother's Love

Dear Mama,

The other day when I visited you, I climbed into the recliner, smooshing myself in next to you, and laid my head against your chest. Instantly transported back to my childhood, I sighed deeply as the familiar comfort of your scent washed over me.  I listened to your breathing, to your heartbeat and there was something so tangible about the love emanating from your body as you let me squeeze your sides like I used to, and you rested your cheek on the crown of my head.

I listened to your voice as you talked to my sister, reverberating through your body, into my ear, like music.  You were all around me then, just like when I was small.  As you patted my back, I remembered the rhythm from another time, perhaps the long hours you carried me as a baby, walking the hall in the wee hours of the morning, shoosh-shooshing me back to sleep.  I felt that if I could just stay there, all would be right with the world.

Mama, I almost cried then, as I realized how much I miss you.  How much I wish that I could climb not just into the chair beside you, but into your lap, into your arms as often as I wanted, as much as I needed. I realized how old I am and how, at 33 years old, I don't think I've ever felt more helpless than I do right now, and yet I know that you can't walk the halls cradling me, comforting me in the same way you used to do.  I realized, as I looked up into your face, my eyes tracing familiar lines as you talked, that you have grown older and yet you are still the most beautiful woman I've ever seen. 

I cradle my babies now, my own number six almost always in my arms, and I wonder if they'll still want to sit with me when they're grown, and if it will comfort them the way it does now as babes, the way it did me just the other day as I folded myself into your embrace and listened to your heartbeat and voice.  I hope that if they do, I can comfort them at a rough time in their own life, the way you did me the other day, when you let me climb into the recliner next to you and fill my empty places with the rhythm of your love.