At 7:30 am yesterday morning I knelt down to put my face close to my smallest little person. For just one moment he placed his warm and tiny hand on my arm. His eyes grew large and my shoulders shook at trying to reign in the tears that threatened to plunge down my cheeks. And in another moment that unsure look was gone. He stomped off to find his name and place with the same bold and fearless heart I’ve come to know so well over his five years.
It was his kindergarten classroom and I was leaving a piece of my heart right there. I slipped my hand into my husband’s and we padded out of the room and through creaky wood-floored hallways until I could feel air hit my face again. I breathed. And just like each of the two times I’ve crossed this kindergarten threshold before I felt his absence so keenly when I rounded the corners in my home; when I sat down to lunch by myself; when I longed to hear him singing loudly in the stop and go of traffic.
I feel a bit like some kind of magical unicorn lately. All of my children are school-aged now. What will I do? I don’t know. Yesterday I saw friends. I ran into Target for that one last school supply. I began to find my home under the layer of life that summer always spreads over it, what with five people living fully present in it day after day. I cried. I wondered at how I got here so lightning fast when I can still feel the salty stains of the tears I cried when I made that same walk out of that same room the years my oldest and middle children were there.
I don’t know what I’m going to do. We prayed long and hard about a full time job but nothing stuck and so we shelved that to revisit next year or the year after that or the year after that. I do know that I want to tend the soil of my marriage really well this year. I want to go on lunch dates and breakfast dates and out for matinee movies with this man who was my friend first. I want to tend my home well, making choices that demonstrate my love to my people. I long for them to know peace when they walk through our door. I want to continue teaching and writing and sharing. I want to be available. I’m trusting that the details will be filled in by a Greater Hand than mine, one who reveals things in a timing that is perfect. And I’m trusting, too, that I’ll flub and flounder my way through like I always do. I’m not dreaming of perfection. I’m just dreaming of being.
For right now I mostly want to live in the overwhelming gratefulness I felt sweep over me yesterday morning. I am so very thankful for the time I’ve had with my family. I hesitate to share this because I long for you to hear my heart and not judgement (I’ve been every incarnation of a working and stay at home mama that there is). For ten years we have piece-mealed and prayed and trusted poorly and scrounged so that I could have this time. It hasn’t been easy. It has wreaked a good bit of devastation on my heart. I’ve struggled with feeling unsettled and rootless. I’ve questioned God’s goodness.
But yesterday I was reminded that 10 years ago I came to the Lord with a hurting, tired, fearful heart and I asked Him to give me more time. Honestly, I didn’t think He’d do it. For 3,650 days He’s been giving me what I really, really wanted. Sometimes I forgot about that and I shook my fist but He remained faithful and He kept us. He kept us right where I always wanted to be even when I didn’t remember that. He took the impossible and illogical and He made it come to pass.
I don’t know what that deep down thing is that YOU want. But I do know this: our hearts are laid open and bare before Him. He knows. He is faithful. I pray that He will meet you there and He will keep you there. Sometimes He says no. But sometimes He says yes. And sometimes the no and the yes are woven together. I pray, too, that you see the yes in your life today.