Wednesday, October 14, 2009


Today a friend lost her daughter to cancer.

My friend has as a gift in her parenting, the ability to be fully present to her children in all moments. That sort of focus and concentration comes and goes for me and often requires more discipline of will from my heart than I want to give. If a parent can approach the pending death of a child in a holy manner, my friend did. She was funny and frustrated and fought all the way and still, ultimately, she had to surrender so much along the way about what her daughter would hold in her future, and finally, she had to offer her daughter up at the foot of the cross and so she did.

There is a shell I sometimes pour over myself on what must be a daily basis to be sure I won't be cracked open and made to feel too much, but suffering shatters that quickly. So does love. So does grace.

I forget this all the time. Today things were not easy but I kept my tongue I hope more because I was caught up short, reminded that today is precious. My solace is that even though I know I will in some cases fail and fail and fail again, I must follow the example of my friend. I have to trust that when God keeps hammering at me, it is to shatter the walls I put up.

So when my four year old daughter came down in her best Christmas dress to eat waffles with butter and syrup, in memory of her daughter and in imitation of my friend,(I winced inside) but let it go. It wasn't easy but in retrospect, it should have been.

It was a long day filled with both the profound and the mundane mixed together in the same moments.

When the bathroom had an unexplained puddle and the kids played spagetti wigs with their lunch while I was fixing mine, requiring yet another shower, it was hard not to feel frustrated and laugh at the same time. There was at least three servings of angle hair on the floor and that's just murderously hard to pick up even with a 12.5 gallon 4.5 horsepower shop vac.

But today there were also momentary victories, like doing yoga with a toddler attached to the ankle. She spent the work out giggling as I tried to lift my leg.

My seven, five, four and two year old decided to begin water color painting at 5:30 in the afternoon. There is a stack of pictures next to the pan where I burnt dinner. Now I see I should have joined in the fun, and then the burnt rice and chicken at least wouldn't have been an accident.

I didn't get to read, to finish the laundry and I still don't feel motivated to tackle the burnt pots from dinner. But a friend has surrendered her child to forever and so it seems terribly petty to be irritated at anything and yet it happens.

Trusting God, shutting one's eyes to the world so one can take care of souls is hard. I'm not sure I could get out on the ocean, but I know if we believe, really believe, then we are called to run towards the star at the stable, run towards the Christ on the water, run towards the Crucified Jesus on Calvary and run to the tomb to discover Him ressurected.

So hug your family. Pray for your friends. Forgive yourself for your foibles with all the little things that pile up daily and allow yourself be cracked open a bit more. Most importantly, thank God for all the gifts that are gratis today.

1 comment:

MightyMom said...

a good reminder for everyday.

each moment is a blessing to be enjoyed.

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