That wind blows hard today. And those trees dance wild. It’s just 5 days after a groundcover of solid ice that made statues out of those oaks. A southern girl, ice is big news! Blog worthy news. It’s a change from normal. Beautiful, and yet so undesirable. It’s my heart when I’m His and when I’m not.
Because aren’t there so many days we’re not? Like when your mind fills with schedules and big plans? Facebook and laundry? Smartphones and selfishness? Clean this, pay that. They look up, our little ones. Up into our weary eyes. And rather than a tender countenance, they see ice cold faces frozen with burden and burnout. Did He really mean for it to be this way? Because there’s no getting around the hard days. Temperatures creep low and ice inhabits. Even in the warmest dwellings.
It doesn’t matter if you have 8 mouths to feed or 2, if you work outside the home, or spend most of your waking hours within its walls. Days can be chilling. Life happens. When the hours seem to run together day after day after week and you unload that dishwasher twice before the sun goes down. When he tells you he has to work late again, and one of the kids are sick, and you miss him so. If you can just get to the bottom of the laundry hamper. Or the mail pile. Or that soaking pot of stubborn crusted oatmeal scorched this morning because someone needed you!
Ugh, that ice is thick. Where on earth is joy? Where are you, happy contented motherhood?
I took my 3 outside on the morning of our ice spectacular. Beckoning them like the music of an ice cream truck, they trudged through, all smiles in their rubbers. They can find it anywhere, that joy! My children, that you would always find the true, pure, honest and the lovely things of the whatsoever. That you would think on them tirelessly. Because this trip we’re on, it’s icy. Seek joy in all things! Look for it everywhere.
The youngest boy, he’s 2 now. He found a chunk of ice with a blade of grass perfectly frozen smack dab in the center . And he was dazed by it. Me and my sweet neighbor, we watched him try with all his might to pull it out, to tear into that rock solid block. He wouldn’t give up until it broke and the grass was free. We pounded firm on that wooden log until the shattering. And he said, “Kank you mommy.” And it’s really that easy? To break through with one smack and find the joy you’ve been searching wildly for?
Look! Stop and really see how transparent the ice. It’s so stone hard. Thick! So very very cold. Mothering can be so hard.They wake up with the sun, and just as blocks being stacked too high-too quick will surely fall, it’s not quite lunchtime and you’ve lost it, dear mommy. I know, I know.
Yet that ice is clear enough to peek right into all that is to come. All the potential that reaches far and wide. And whether you beat it down, or let it melt away in slow motion, there’s something there to behold. The way everything works together, like fresh laundry when they’ve just run out of underwear and you saved the day. Like their favorite dinner you cooked in a hurry, but they eat until it’s gone. And you, feeding their souls and filling their tummies, like only you can. Like that smiling baby who’s more content because you just changed him for the 11th time today and he’s fresh and free! It’s like the way those branches keep spreading wide and beautifully holding together firm. Like when they dance wild in the spring, when all things are new. It’s wanting you desperately when they are frightened, sick, and no doubt starving. Look hard. Find it. It’s there! That redeeming joy.
That David, man after God’s own heart, he wrote of it.
Ps 16:11 You will show me the path of life: in Your presence is fullness of joy; at Your right hand there are pleasures for evermore.
Ps 30:5 Weeping may endure for a night, but joy comes in the morning.
Ps 34:1,2 I will extol the Lord at all times; his praise will always be on my lips. My soul will boast in the Lord; let the afflicted hear and rejoice.
Ps 35:9 Then my soul will rejoice in the Lord and delight in his salvation.
So for the hard days, those that joy hides ‘neath the muck of mothering, may we ever seek and find! That we chisel away at the ice unrelenting ’til we too dance with the simplest of joys as our children marvel at our feet. When we find simple joy in the narrow places, we have strength enough to endure the vast, and to walk felicitously!
For HIS joy is indeed our strength. YES!