Wednesday, August 20, 2014

For when you REALLY don't want to listen to one more princess song...

So this day- it started off as one of THOSE days. The kind where I wake up pushing off a rising dread that today is going to be exactly like the day before it, and the day before that, and the day before that....

Actually, if I'm honest it started last night-  sweet toddler burning off her last shreds of steam, encircling me like a cracked out squirrel around a tree, whilst I stared into my exhaustion, waiting for a very late working daddy to relieve me from the endless hours of playtime I'd just endured at the hands of the dreaded No-Napper. 

And here's the mandatory mom-guilt induced disclaimer: I adore her. She makes me laugh.She brings me the craziest most satisfying joy MOST days. And I rarely find myself here. Which is exactly why I felt this intense need to pause, parse it out, process... 

What is this feeling? How did it get me? How do I make it stop?

Because suddenly I couldn't see her. It didn't matter that she's been the most tangible joy in my life for the last two years. It didn't matter that this is my calling and my challenge and my gift for this season. All I could think was: 

"I just can't. Not one more princess song. Not one more hour of drawing 500 million chalk rainbows. Not one more walk to the same place to do the same things. For goodness sake, NOT ONE MORE PRINCESS SONG."

All I could see were the things I wanted to do that I  wouldn't be able to do, the in-the-way-ness, the inconvenience. Talk about a joy killer.

Suddenly she wasn't my Sadie, she was a 2 year old.
And I was 24 years above her.
She was in my way.
And the distance between us felt unreachable.

And then I felt The Lord's reach. 

Just like that. The weight of The Creator reaching for me. 

The Holy One who makes stars dance and planets spin, who builds babies in mothers' bodies while they sleep and go about their business, the One in whose presence even angels tremble and hide their faces.

This One, "He came not to be served, but to serve others, and to give His life as a ransom for many." (Matt 20:28)

This God, the One who made the stars - He speaks with me.
The One who's forming my child in my body as I sit here - if in Person with me, He'd be scrubbing my feet.
The One who makes heavenly beings knock their knees in awe -  He spent three decades breathing in dust just to take a death sentence on my behalf.

This God, the very best Daddy, whose glory is unfathomable and indescribable, is also absolutely without a doubt HOLY (meaning "completely other" - nothing at all like me) in that He's done awe-some, incredible, mysterious, things to make sure He isn't unapproachable... to reach us, to be with us (Emmanuel).

And He does it every day, in still quiet whispers designed to touch my heart, inspire my affections, move my feet. He is personal. Relational. Beautiful.

And in the light of His mercy, under the weight of this kind of Love, 24 years does not feel that far. 

"So if there is any encouragement in Christ, any comfort from love, any participation in the Spirit, any affection and sympathy, complete my joy by being of the same mind, having the same love, being in full accord and of one mind. Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others. Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped,  but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father." (Phil 2:1-11)

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Another Poop Story

"The Lord's loving-kindnesses indeed never cease, for his compassions never fail." 
Lamentations 3:22

For some reason there's always good inspiration in a poop story.

So THIS just happened:

Tubby time, check. Jammies picked out, check. Girl jumping around doing the 'nakey dance' in her birthday suit, check. Only, guess who totally forgot that nakey dancing is a tad more dangerous when the Tiny Girl has had belly troubles (of the explosive, liquidated sort) as of late? This mama.

There is a strange incongruous pause in her dance rhythm, just long enough to make my brain go "Oh....," but not nearly long enough to slap a diaper on that tush before I am graced with my first terrifying motherly visual of green liquid (that should never have been liquid), shooting like a high pressured faucet at mock speed from my child's rear. Awesome.

I know I should be horrified, but instead I see her face- the big eyes, the worried lips, and immediately do the "Oh hunny. It's totally okay! Don't touch it. Be right back.'

A quick clean-up of the shame and fear she's facing, and I race downstairs and completely lose it in laughter because WOW. Just wow.

I come back up, can't completely contain my hysterics, and I hear a tiny voice chime with a chuckle, and a "Oh! green mommy! Silly Sadie, got poop on the floor." Ha.

Now I know this isn't a perfect analogy, but this messy, ugly, stinking, OFFENSIVE pile of green poop on my carpet- even that- stirs an echo in my heart of how deeply my Father loves me.

How the parts of me that should turn The Holy One's stomach, the things I immediately wish I could hide... those awful, embarrassing, not at all pretty things that make up me, those are the very things that He chooses to love. THOSE are the things that He moved Heaven and Earth to "clean up."

It was my heart that He wanted. And He wanted it so badly that He wrapped His glory in a suit of skin; spent nine months inside the belly of a woman; was birthed soaked in blood and nastiness, stinking and uncomfortable and vulnerable into a world that would wound Him, reject Him, even kill Him; and let a woman lay Him in a feed trough.

And YES, He did it because He's awesome, and worthy of ALL glory and all honor, and just plain freaking amazing beyond words, but what grips my heart tonight is this truth that I often miss:

that He did it for me.

The Lord wanted me,
wanted to remove my shame,
wanted to get as close to me as He could,
wanted to be the One to clean up my poo on a regular basis.

Small stuff to a Good Daddy who Loves His children... more than that, IS Love Himself.
The only Daddy who brings joy and peace and comfort, and rescue from shame and fear and death to those of us who can't help but bless His name with every fiber of our being because we know how absolutely astounding it is that we get to know Him, and that He asks us to call Him "Abba" -  meaning daddy.

"Are not five sparrows sold for two pennies? And not one of them is forgotten before God. Why, even the hairs of your head are numbered. Fear not; you are of more value than many sparrows." 
Luke 12:6-7

Monday, February 3, 2014

Relentless Love

I'm sitting downstairs at naptime listening to my child scream as if she's actually being torn limb for limb, knowing she is unleashing her full measure of rage on the man that I love. I can hear the play by play in my head, knowing I'll find my phone later with messages containing the graphic details of her fury, messages sent from the toddler trenches where a very strong Daddy is rendered speechless by the sight of his beautiful Baby Daughter seemingly losing her mind. 

There is thrashing and screeching and biting and clawing and kicking and flailing and grunting and crying... all soundness of mind is consumed by violence because Mommy and Daddy decided that this time it wouldn't be loving, it wouldn't be safe, to give her what she wants. And I wouldn't really blame the landlord below us for calling the cops because it really does sound like we're torturing her (her poor shaken Daddy might find the irony of this amusing in the aftermath).

The trouble is that this tiny little human, the one I love dearly, the only one I've ever watched grow from a soft swaddled seedling - I know it for a fact: she is sane. Intelligent even. She is healthy and funny and clever and developing beautifully.

But it is there- a sudden outpouring of deep.  raw. unquenchable. (even) pure. violence

The truth of it is troubling. It's ugly and offensive, and there's a piece of me that doesn't want to talk about it, wants to clean it up or dress it up or make it do a little song and dance that looks like obedience and makes me feel like a good mother. A mother whose child is just "naturally" peaceful, agreeable- "easy." But that's the thing. It is true. She is human. She is like me. And I am like her. I know too well the burning that sits in my chest, the filling sense of injustice that builds slowly always threatening to choke out my joy. I know too well that when I don't get what I want my flesh throws a fit, calls my Papa God names, withholds my trust and love from Him, tries to hurt Him. WE are the violent ones. 

Bless his heart though, my daughter's Daddy, he's in that room. With her in the midst of it. Refusing to leave her alone with her demons. Fighting for her heart amid the flying fists and gritted teeth. 

So I sit a room away, and pray that his love would be truly relentless

That he would choose to pursue his girl in the face of bodily harm and heart-aimed injury. That he would keep reaching for her, keep his heart turned toward her. That he would find her in the mire.

This is Love. 
Love in Person.
The God-Man who slipped silently into this broken violent world to find his own, knowing full well that it would kill Him to do it. That they would kill him.

Relentless Love embraces the violent ones, He embraces our ugliness (as only the One who made a life can),
fearlessly, because His love is strong enough to bear the weight of ALL that we are. 

"Love bears all things, believes all things, hope all things, endures all things." 
(1 Corinthians 13:7)

Oh Abba! that I would know more of You, that I would love like You love!!