It's 8:15 pm. It is currently 77 degrees outside.
Tonight I'm writing from the black bench on my sidewalk looking out over my freshly mowed grass and newly planted flowers. It's all so beautiful and it's all mine to tend to. Sometimes as I'm pushing the mower through the yard I feel such a sense of clarity. I have been given much and much is required of me. I know this and always have accepted the large responsibilities that have accompanied my life. Lately, however, I feel an even greater sense of pride.
I walk up and down this yard as the grass gets shorter and my back grows weary. I look at this home, this dream that I thought I was building with someone whose ideas and purpose for life were like-minded and I'm amazed at how suddenly I'm here alone.
Alone. Content. Quiet. Happy.
Today in the normal chaos that is hustled into our day I found myself smack dab in the middle of a beautiful and perfect moment with these little people that I love more than anything in this world. Mabel was in her stroller and I stopped to take a picture of the big kids jumping. As I did, the stroller got away from me and slowly made a circle all on it's own. Nora, Braden and Harper all caught sight of it and were laughing the most genuine laughs I have heard in a long time.
In that moment I realized that everything I'm doing, no matter how frustrating and exhausting, really does matter. It is still significant. It may not look the same as it once did or feel that way I think it should, but it absolutely still has worth and lasting substance. This day brought me a reminder that I needed tucked in little laughter, swimsuits and giant love--for life and for each other.
My days are more full than they have ever been. I am a single mom juggling so many things, the newest being some behavioral issues that make me sad and inevitably a little bit resentful. Rather than feel those things, I'm trying to do the very best that I can with what we've been given. I'm trying hard to show love in the midst of discipline and laughter in the midst of crying. I'm trying hard to be a good mom and grow as my children do. I'm trying hard to focus on the things that are present and that will linger instead of things that are fleeting and meaningless in the big scheme of our life.
Because although divorces are normal in our society and because kids have to learn to adjust to all sorts of new changes that they never asked for in their lives, I just feel it unfair that these kids also have to deal with the harsh reality of a very sick sister who is inevitably not going to grow alongside them. They have lost so much and will lose even more. In those very big things I try really hard to just let them be kids and I feel like I fail a lot most days. I just truly pray that they can look back and see my efforts and feel my heart. I hope that they know that although each and every day typically held some sort of struggle for me, it also holds SO MUCH JOY and so much fulfillment.
I love being their mom. I love mothering and growing and nurturing them. It challenges me and has expanded every part of who I am. I want so badly to be able to shelter them from a world that is full of nasty, perverse, dark things and yet I know I cannot. All I can do is love them in the midst of those things and hope that they grow to understand the Lord and the world in the ways that I have over time. I hope that they can learn, like I have, that there truly is peace in any situation and that there is always good there, even if it's tucked away deeply.
Mabel had another hard day today but is resting well tonight. As I sit here now and feel the breeze blow over me I can't help but feel overwhelmed with this opportunity to live.
Truly, life is such a beautiful, rich, huge, amazing gift.
I love breathing it, laughing in it, and living it.
There's just no time for the senseless otherness that life itself doesn't offer. I'm so grateful that I have not only been able to learn that first hand but have truly accepted it.
Because this dream that I built, even if it ended up being alone and not at all like I expected, is still a beautiful dream and it is mine, after all.
It's a good place to be.