Thursday, March 18, 2010


Journal for Christa—

When Joy got married, Breck (not quite 3) had one job: to walk down the aisle with Aunt Mel and give the ringless pillow to Shane. He was so serious and focused and bashfully slow, that I almost missed Joy coming down the aisle at her big moment.

He stole my attention away as well before Melody’s wedding. After setting up everything for an Anne of Green Gables outdoor style ceremony, I rushed into the dressing room where then baby Breck sat in his pack and play. Instead of throwing on my dress, I reached down, picked him up, and thought: “Well, they won’t start this wedding without the mother of the bride, so I’m going to just hold this baby for a moment,” and I did.

Even in spite of much preparation, I failed at my one public responsibility: Pastor Mark had to ask the congregation to rise both times. Everyone has her moments of failing. Some are public; some are private. Some are petty; some are unfortunately quite significant. Some are personal; some affect the people we love most.

As much as we try not to fail—and try we should—failure is a part of the human experience. When I look back at the years of caring for little ones, I so often felt like a mess, which I probably actually was. And the house: it was always a mess, no doubt about that. I wish I hadn’t been so easily frustrated. I wish I’d never been grumpy. I wish I’d never been discontented. But, I was all those things—more often than I hope my children remember. It’s so hard in the mist of pressure to simply rest.

To rest—I’m not sure even now what that actually looks like. Maybe it can’t always be a place we go and stay. Maybe, sometimes, it’s catching a moment—noticing the birds chirping, glancing up at the mountain, hearing 3-year-old Helen say to Jay on Skype, “Where’s Granny?” when she doesn’t see me in her computer screen.  It’s probably different things for different people. Mrs. Martin (my college voice teacher) used to say, “Sometimes the most spiritual thing you can do is take a nap!” So, whether a nap or holding a baby, take a moment to rest today—even if it’s just a moment. No one is going to eat supper without you. Someone has to put it on the table first.

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