My heart has been in turmoil the last week. My mind has been racing. I've felt unsettled.
There is so much upheaval. There is so much unrest. Racism, anger, name-calling, and destruction have taken over every news outlet and social media feed. It is demanded that we pick a side.
Law Enforcement or people of color?
White or Black?
If we question the riots, we're racist. If we feel anger at Law Enforcement, we're anti-America. There is this imaginary line drawn in the sand, and we're not allowed to straddle it. We must chose a side.
As a former EMS worker, I have seen the good cops. I've watched them deal with the unthinkable with a quiet courage and I applaud them.
As the mother of a bi-racial child, my heart cries out for justice and mercy. I cringe at the conversations going on around me.
Must I pick a side? And, if I do, how will it effect my children? How will it effect the future of reconciliation? Because the future of racism is being molded right now, in our hearts and in our homes. The way we raise our children now will dictate the kind of world they live in.
Which forces us to answer the question, "What can be done?"
When I started writing on this topic I had that old Christian song - This is the Day - in my mind. I haven’t sung that song for years - and if you are a young mum you may not even know what I’m talking about. So I went on Youtube (as you do these days) and the first find was just precious. To be honest, after watching this little clip with this old chorus in the background there may be no reason for me to write any more.
This is the day, this is the day that the Lord has made
That the Lord has made
We will rejoice, we will rejoice and be glad in it
And be glad in it
For this is the the day that the Lord has made
We will rejoice and be glad in it
This is the day, this is the day that the Lord has made.
It had been a rough morning. My emotions were raging and the kids found many things were not to their liking as we progressed through the day. Tempers flared and words were tight, clipped and harsh.
Something needed to give.
I picked up my two-year-old and sat down on my piano bench, cuddling her on my lap as I played Jesus Loves Me. Her favorite song. Pretty soon she was lisping the words along with piano keys. My oldest came down the steps, singing her heart out. Pretty soon my middle child joined her, their voices blending in beautiful, discordant notes.
"Yes, Jesus loves me! The Bible tells me so."
And I knew it was true.
I may not be a concert pianist like I once dreamed I would be, but my audience of three was more precious to me than any grand hall full of people ever could have been.
Everyone around me is so...gifted. It seems like everyone can paint watercolors, has great photography skills, sounds like Mozart on the piano, all while doing crafts with their kids and making their house look like all the pins from Pinterest.
It's enough to make any Mom feel like God must have passed her over in the gift department. I mean, most days I'm happy when I get my 2 loads of laundry washed, dried and folded, keep the dishes washed up and can spend some time reading or being outside with the kids. (Which, by the way, is exactly enough for one day.)
But some days I let discontentment get a hold of my heart and I, probably like you, start saying things that are less that flattering.
Spring can be so inspiring! It's a season of so much new life. The trees put on their airy spring dresses, flower bulbs burst though the cool dirt and baby animals make their way out into the world. Then, there’s Mother’s Day. Moms everywhere get phone calls, greeting cards, fancy pancakes or scribbled works of art.
If you let the sun warm your skin and think on all of that life, it can be enough to make your heart swell with joy. Unless…
Unless you’ve been longing for new life in your womb or your home and you have not received that blessing.
Unless you have felt the glow of life within, only to have it taken from you before you could even know who that child was.
Unless the places your child sat to eat, ran to play and laid down to sleep are now mournfully empty.
Unless your adult children will not call, or even text, to tell you Happy Mother’s Day.
Understanding other ladies’ hearts
I want us to pause and consider those whose cup to drink on mother’s day is much more bitter than orange juice in bed poured with sticky fingers. But don’t get me wrong sister; healthy understanding for those with hurting hearts does not require, nay has no place for guilt regarding your blessings. We can have joy and be grateful for God’s gifts to us while we hold the space for our hurting sisters.
My words were tight and my face was exasperated. Why were we talking about this again? Sibling rivalry is nearly as old as time and I felt like I had been battling it since it started. Why didn't they get it? I sighed as I quoted Bible verses to them once again, ignoring the angry words that wanted to come out of my mouth. But even Scripture sounded hollow and empty. The ancient words seemed to fly over their heads, unheeded.
Weary of the battle, I sent them off to play in separate rooms for a while. Why God? I'm trying so hard. I'm saying the right things. I'm searching the Bible, reading parenting books, and daily teaching the right kind of behavior. I felt disillusioned with parenting.
There are season of life that burst on us like a thunderclap, dripping with fear and worry. Some days we manage to get an umbrella up to protect us from the torrent, but some days we become tired of keeping our guard up, and we begin to let anxiety seep into our souls. Fear ripples our thinking, and we find ourselves unsettled and worried about how things may turn out. We begin a narrative in our minds, that sounds a little like this:
"What if life as we know it is over?"
"What if I lose my job?"
"I'm afraid my kid's future is at risk."
"I don't have what it takes to make it through this."
"Fear is a normal response to my situation. I can't help it!"
"What if we run out of toilet paper?" (Sorry, couldn't help it)
Write something about yourself. No need to be fancy, just an overview.