Wake up. Poor coffee.
Sit in the chair at the head of the table and overlook the kids and their tablets, my chaos and my loves. We move through the motions of attendance, zoom calls, schoolwork, repeat. Weeks of chaos brought a consistency and routine that is chaotic from the outside but rhythmic for me. Moving, serving, answering, helping. Then we sleep only to awake and do it all over again.
I’ve never been more of a homebody than I am right now. I don’t realize I haven’t left the house in five days until it’s Friday, and the week has passed me by. I don’t mind it. I don’t question it. It is what it is, this rhythm. I mean, I could complain this all to the ground. Create cracks in the facade of “making it”. But I learned quickly that it’s an avalanche when the complaints start with me. Nothing works as it should, all of us crumble to tears, and the animosity is thick between us all. We really are making it through. One day at a time.
I’ve started waking before anyone else’s feet hit the ground. I have to get up before them and find the quiet space in my mind so that when there is no quiet, I can pour out patience from a place of peace. I wake and pray. Everyday. I never used to be a wake and pray type of person. I used to be a let-me-sleep-in type of person. But I realized I was falling apart when I didn’t have the quiet space. I was eager to be angry, anticipating the frustration, and all but willing to succumb to defeat. I just don’t know how we make it without Jesus. I don’t know how to survive the days when they are what they are. He gives me what I lack, which in this point in time, feels like everything.
I’ve given up more than I wanted to in the past few months. I am itching to be called in for something, anything. To get out of our current routine. To do something that feels more meaningful than what I’ve been given. We’ve experienced change this year that has pulled the rug out from beneath my feet multiple times. When all I want is to walk in the distinct calling given me by God, I can’t shake off the feeling that this year has given me the short end of the stick, the bargain I didn’t want, and second-best.
I’m sure you know what I mean. If ever the collective world felt the same about a time in life, it is this year. It cycles through my thoughts, circling my soul to tear me apart bit by bit. I question if the choices I’ve made are nothing but the wrong ones. I wonder if the result of what we have or haven’t done in a year have resulted in me feeling like I have lost myself. If I have given up on who I thought I was. I let “what ifs” dictate the way I stand and take up space in the world because I’ve allowed some kind of liar tell me otherwise.
The turmoil of questioning is like a rung towards existence. Unavoidable. You want to get where God is leading you? This is part of the trip. Is this really who I am? Have I royally screwed up this entire thing? How could this ever be made the way I hoped it would be?
It’s funny. What starts as an overlooking of my kids doing schoolwork in the comfort of our home becomes an assault on my character. I don’t notice it before it’s too late. Always too late. The brilliance of God is that He is not a liar. He is not a thief. And He does not destroy. That’s why He’s Creator.
If you’re like me, which I am just going to assume that you are, I hope I can shake you awake in this moment. What destroys your intuition and your confidence is a lie that was not fastened by God. He didn’t bind it to your existence or give you the space to acknowledge it as truth. That’s not our Jesus. He isn’t so ruthless that He would destroy you. It’s not in His nature.
What is true is that we were awakened this morning by His breath. I shuffled out of bed to grab my Bible and journal, and when I went towards Him, He came running towards me. He isn’t going to make us go far to find Him. I think He’s always within reach, always moving towards us. When I made coffee, sat down at our table, and watched my boys begin their day, I got more than I was ready to receive. I anticipated that my days as a mom would change and become less involved with my children’s lives. Instead, we’re just plain discipling them. Firsthand. I am given minutes and hours that I would not have had otherwise. Even more, they are making me better. They need me, and I’m realizing that I needed them, too.
What is true is that waiting on God is not a waste of my time. Waiting on anyone else is. He is faithful to the end. He is not wasting time by setting us on paths that don’t seem to align with our plans. Our plans suck, let’s be real. His are so magnificent and intricate that I’d take them any day over my measly ideas. His are better. So much better.
What is true is that chaos waits for us, and chaos is in us. What a patient God we have that He would love us enough to never leave us. He waits for me in the morning, while I’m drinking coffee, while I’m explaining math, while I’m reading for school, while I’m taking my two-year-old to the bathroom, while I’m writing another college paper, while I’m moving through the motions of routine. My world feels like a whirlwind, and I get to stand in the eye with Him and overlook it. Nothing a surprise to Him. Nothing out of His control. Chaotic love binds me to Him like a mother and child.
We sleep only to wake and do it all over again. Over and over. The same day, the same week, the same tasks over and over. Refereeing the same fights, holding, loving, reminding. Before I’m called in, I’ll hold each of these moments knowing it’s all a marvelous “get to”. He’s brilliant, isn’t He, to give us all something so precious as this.