I made soup tonight: the good, hearty, wintery kind. Except I forgot to keep it at a good simmer so you can imagine how I found the brown rice after an hour of basically sitting in warm broth. It was seven pm so we made sandwiches and scurried off to bed soon afterward.
My mornings have been full of pulling the quilt I’ve held on to from freshman year up tight around my chin instead of braving the prickly cold air with a run or a walk. I still remember when my mama and I proudly picked those tattered mauve and green and yellow squares stitched tight. It was 1994. I had garnet and hunter green plastic hangers to match. My daddy built a loft for my dorm room with a shelf underneath that held my 13 inch tv. It was the same tv Tom and I used for the first year of our marriage. We sat on our oversized couch in our teensy apartment and watched as the world fell apart in September of 2001. We hadn’t celebrated a year yet.
We are in the thick of a fumbling and exhausting season that is ministry sometimes and means that Tom is away many nights. The truth is that I’ve been underwater. I’ve let my hope get trampled a bit and let the light grow dim. Last week all of the pushing and plowing and shouldering I’ve been trying to do in my own strength finally outweighed my scrappy self and I fell hard. After a few days of my husband hovering to make sure I didn’t try to pick all of that junk back up with my stretched out spaghetti arms, Sunday came. And Sunday brought messy tears in the middle of the pew. And Sunday brought the Whisper to change. And I whisper-yelled back, “HOW?”
And today brought something fresh. The resolution to expect less: of myself, of my day, of my ability to scratch off scribbled lists. I had three goals today, three easy goals that lots of other mamas and friends and people could easily do quicker than quick. And every single time I put my little foot down toward one of those goals, I asked the God of all grace for Help. I didn’t get them all done just so. I’ll have to go back tomorrow and try again.
But the light got brighter. And I have decided to expect less so I can be more. Be more aware of how the morning light hits the quince branches I brought in from the cold snap. Be more thankful for dirty feet and little people and homework and short legs. Be more affected by the unabashed love of a five year old boy for his mama. Be ever so grateful to find that my lovely friend, Scooper, wrote about this very thing earlier today. She is a beacon for me in this area and her words are full of wisdom.
It’s my prayer for you, too. Expect less. Less should be. More just be.