It's Saturday morning, chai tea latte morning, Papa's day off morning, no school morning, me in my rocking chair by the window escaping to a place I like best, me and my Jesus alone late in the morning. :) I'm settled in my chair, steam's coming off my tea, I want my own time, my own space for at least a mere brief moment. My Jed's whining on the floor surrounded by a toy store full of toys, Reesie's coming down the stairs with mismatched clothes in her hand repeating in her excessively loud voice, "MOOOOM! I wear this? You help pease?" I can hear Siah and Hal calling in the background, "Mom. Mom. Mom. Can you help us put the toothpaste on our toothbrushes?"
All I want is just a few minutes of my own time. For a brief moment I try with all my might to pretend that none of it's happening. But as I try to shut out all the noise, I hear this still small voice whispering in my mind, "Give them your time."
And like a five-year-old, I immediately argue, "But Lord!"
And again, oh so softly He whispers, "Give them your time."
Reluctantly, I put down my tea, and pick up the littlest treasure off the floor and kiss for the millionth time those cheeks of his. I took into those bright blue eyes of his. I pull close that chunky body shaking happy in my arms.
When I obey His voice I notice things. Things that when I choose myself over the moments that He's given me with them, I simply don't have the ability to notice.
#161 My lips up against littlest one's squishy cheek.
#162 He's thick and healthy all over... a baby full of life.
I pull him up into my lap. He melts into my chest and we rock back and forth for a few short moments.
#163 Him and I breathing together, looking in wonder out the window at the snow covered valley landscaped with the towering mountains behind. I can feel my chest rise into his.
I give him my time... no matter how short it may be.
Littlest girl comes waltzing in a mil-la-second or two later... "These pants pease?" "New diaper?" "Self pease, Mama." She's loud when she speaks. Her volume is foreign to me, my voice is quiet as a mouse, most often struggle to hear my words when I speak. How did she come to be my daughter? I speak softly, "Not so loud Reesie, Mama's right here." She repeats in a whisper, her face up close to mine. She wants to make sure that I am hearing her. "These pants pease?" "New diaper?" Self pease?"
And again I can see... see what He's giving me in this moment...
#164 She's my spunk.
#165 She's bold, she's brave, she's all mine, full of joy.
I help her with her clothes, freshen her up with a new diaper, tickle her under arms. We laugh.
I give her my time.
Oldest two are still in the bathroom, waiting, not so patiently. "Mom! We need help with the toothpaste!" I'm only one Mama. They are four small children. I want to just clam up in my rocking chair, drink my tea and look out the window at the gorgeous view of the forest and the hills and that glorious mountain. They yell for the fifteenth time, and everything in me wants to just walk away and pretend that my life is quiet and I have al the time in the world for just Him and me... and just when I'm about to snap and let the harsh words fly off my tongue, I hear that still small voice again whispering, "give them your time."
"But Lord! If I give them my time..." a long list of excuses and reasonings fall off my lips, under my breath.
I look up at the two oldest treasures staring at me from the bathroom sink, wondering when I'm going to stop mumbling to myself on the floor and get up and help them.
I force a smile across my face... then, my now toothless son, grins his full-face smile and says, "Mom, the toothbrush feels so weird on my teeth."
Halee giggles, "Mom, Siah's teeth are falling out." She giggles some more.
It's those little things again that I hear them getting pure delight out of. They're laughing about the hole in Siah's mouth and how it feels when the toothbrush tickles his tongue. And again I noticed what I haven't really noticed before and I continue to count.
#166 Toothless grin looking up at me from the bathroom sink.
#167 Two treasures giggling over the simple life.
#168 Kids who wanna tell me their every thought, who wanna share with me, their Mama, their every joy.
I give them my time, and my eyes can see, and I am only blessed for it.
There's something completely upside down about my Jesus and the way that He works, the way that He sees.
On a Saturday morning at the farm house He brings light to my eyes. He helps me to see that what seems ugly, my pride, my consumption with myself, the moments that started out ugly, could end in His beauty. Isn't it ironic that He views our brokenness as beauty? We do have His love flowing through us but I'm learning that it just might not look like we think it should. It's the real, raw and messy life that blesses those closest to us... not the image of perfection that we so often falsely believe exemplifies Christ love to others. Somehow I have convinced myself that I must have already attained the knowledge of perfect love lived out. When really a life lived raw and real is what teaches me how to really love. My yelling at my children might make a moment ugly, but the opportunity in that same moment that I'm given to confess my mistake and humbly seek forgiveness from the child that I have wronged... is beautiful.
In this raw and messy life of mine, I think about myself often... fail to exemplify self control over my tongue often... and miss out on His still small voice often.
But in my learning, I can hear him whispering.
Today, I chose to obey.
I'm giving them my time.
And in the midst of it all
I'm discovering this endless list of gifts that He loves lavishing on me... simply because I'm His daughter, and he loves loving on me. :) That in itself is the greatest of all the gifts that He gives.
#169 His happy delight that fills each of my days.
#171 Sisters, always dressed for a glamorous occasion, playing Candy Land on their tummies on the farmhouse floor.
#173 A mega date night with six of the most honest, hilarious, fun-loving, real, godly couples we know.
#174 A life lived together with others who are so madly in love with Him!
#175 A long list of reminders of how loved by, and in love I am with the man I gave my forever yes to.
#176 Alone in the car with my Joey, switching back and forth between country and rap... him, the whitest of white boys, serenading me with a rap song.
#177 New adventures falling upon the Clark family... another opportunity to trust. my Jesus. :)
# 178 A Savior, who's willing to whisper, "give them your time," so that this learning farm girl could have eyes to see, and live the fullest one life that she's been given. :)