So, the week has just been…lacking. I feel as if I got to Friday in a daze. The mornings, noons, and nights all kind of ran into each other, like a blurry photo taken when no one was sitting still with a smile.
Things I remember from this week…
I have changed, wiped, personally cleaned up, and washed up a lot of…poop! (Such is the life of a mother of a ten month old.)
I have held, almost non-stop it seems, a fussy baby who really may be allergic to dairy or lactose or whatever is in milk that used to be considered good for people.
I have heard more fussing, whining, and crying (some my own) than I care to hear again for a while. (A day, I’ll take a day!)
I haven’t felt myself, my body hasn’t been quite a 100 %, ummm, and I’m tired, yup just plain old exhausted with no full night of sleep in sight. (I have missed a few words just in the three small paragraphs I’ve just typed and have already had to edit. This one may take awhile to get out.)
So, by Wednesday I was feeling like “hump day” had heaped it all on my shoulders physically, emotionally, mentally, and spiritually. I could have found a dirty, dusty corner on some hard, flat floor somewhere and slept; yup, no pillow required! And wouldn’t you know it, Wednesday is LifeGroup night. You know that night that the growing Church chooses to get smaller so that we can stay healthy, and in years past, after a day/week like I’d already had, I would have fought God the whole way, holding back tears as I looked out the window while Nathan drove us to where we were gathering. I would have wanted to stay home and hide away or just go to sleep, anything except getting together and trying to laugh like everything is okay with others. But this Wednesday, my thoughts were very different.
This week, amidst the upset stomach, the fuzzy head, the allergies, the exhaustion, the weariness on all levels…this week, all I kept thinking was, if I can just get to their house. Yes! If I can just get there and put my hands around that orange FiestaWare coffee cup, then everything will be okay! And for two hours that evening, everything was.
I stood shoulder to shoulder with D and laughed while we ate pineapple and watermelon. I stood across from the G’s and L’s and W’s and laughed loud and hard and real over bought hummus and chips. I sat on a couch and fed my baby girl while talking about how our lives are worship and how they aren’t all about us and how maybe we should be doing a little bit more feeding instead of living a life of spiritual gluttony. We laughed…a lot! We got off topic…a lot! We were real…a lot! Honestly, it was still the ideal environment for someone who wanted to hide a bit of her true self…loud, crazy, kids running and yelling, sarcasm. But this is year number two with some of these people, and sometimes people…okay women…they just know. So, before I could even get up, two of my sisters came to sit by me and a little of the “glue” that was holding me all together broke off, and I broke down just a bit. Instead of falling to pieces all alone on some hard, flat, dusty floor, I allowed myself to lean on the two pairs of shoulders sitting right there with me. Nothing was resolved or made all better, still had Thursday and Friday to live through too, but what was made was a chord…three-fold…and I knew that strength was there when I needed it. I knew that my support wouldn’t end as we walked out the door that night; I knew that a few good women were now very much my sisters and if I needed them, they’d be there.
I think I’ve always known they (or others) would be there; the hard part has been getting me there. Pride. Self-absorption. Selfishness. Seclusion. We like to call these personality traits; it makes us feel better about wearing them. No matter what nick-name we give them, underneath they all wear the same one…SIN. Yes, it is SIN-full to live out any of those. No one with pride, self-absorption, selfishness, or a life of seclusion can stay connected to the Vine (Christ). Want to know why?! Because His Body is The Church! That’s right! If we’re going to live in communion with Jesus, we can’t ex-commun-icate ourselves from others in The Church – His Body! I am preaching to no one but myself here and hopefully only sharing gently with anyone else who may need to hear this. In fact, for whatever reason, I had never put the connection together. I knew we weren’t to forsake meeting together. I knew The Church is Christ’s body, but usually we talk about that when we’re trying to appreciate the gifts He’s given us instead of wanting someone else’s. I had never thought, “Hey, Girl, yeah, you who are always praying to go deeper with Christ and to live a life closer to Him. You can’t do that when you pull away from Him…His Body. Lean in!”
It makes sense. If I tell my husband, my children, my mom, my… that I love them, all while I’m backing away from them, I suppose they may wonder what kind of love that is. I’m kind of wondering what kind of love I’ve been living now. Hmm…
A P.S. to the above:
Saturday morning I woke up, well, was woken up by a cute little ten month old;) and had an unusual amount of time alone with God for a weekend day. Something felt different…kind of like how it feels when you’ve had cloudy day after cloudy day and then you see it! The ray of sunlight pushing through the darkness that has been your life for the past couple weeks. To put it simply, Papa-God was just loving on me! I felt His loving touch through the hugs of my children and husband. I heard His loving voice through sweet words emailed and texted by friends and family. I saw His beauty in the smiles surrounding me and the sun shining down on His creation. I knew His nearness, and it truly was good!