The house is quiet except the sound of my husband chatting with our boy. Not our new little one, but the grown-boy who spent his teenage years calling me “Ma” and helping us on the farm. He came to see the new evaporator that is set up to boil our year’s worth of maple syrup in the next few weeks. It’s so good to see him. The mother-heart in me just settles when he’s at my table. Like all my children are home, finally.
Oh, what a day we had here. The littles didn’t want to do school. Well, they never really want to, but today they just sat stubborn and left their pencils on their desks. Daddy stopped work and came home to chat with them about the coming consequences if school did not commence post haste.
I was so tired. Like, this achy tiredness that just seemed to sweep over my body. At one point I told the children to just do whatever they wanted because that’s what they were doing anyway.
It wasn’t reverse phycology or anything, but it worked that way. My son looked at me with wide eyes and grabbed his math book.
But I didn’t even care.
I glanced up at the definition of love that is posted on the wall.
Patient. Kind. Doesn’t envy. Doesn’t boast. Isn’t proud. Isn’t self-seeking. Keeps no record of wrongs.
I was ticking off the list. Yep. Yep. Yep.
Until the end. Always perseveres.
Who was I kidding? I wasn’t choosing love. I wasn’t persevering. I was giving up. I whispered a broken prayer. Lord, I’ll need some help here to get this part right.
And it was like God’s presence just swept into the house. The children finished their worksheets. Begged for a chapter of Hawthorn’s Discovery. Made a pan of brownies. Giggled their way through glasses of homemade strawberry milk.
It’s probably sacrilegious or something to compare parenting to facing a den of hungry lions, but tonight I can’t help but do it.
I just can’t help but think of how Daniel did what was right (kind of like choosing to love attachment-challenged children?) and it got him thrown into a lion’s den (this is where the illustration really shines. Hello, parenting!) and because his trust was in the Lord God—the starving lion’s weren’t hungry that night.
Why can’t I remember to do this every day, Lord? Why can’t I just settle my heart, my lungs, my frustration levels—and believe that You are good and faithful and You’ve got everything I need for this moment, this day, this life?
We had brownies after dinner. All of us. The two littles. My husband. And our grown-boy.
A bit later I read the evening devotions. Sang A Bushel and a Peck. Sent the little muffys to bed.
Then sat down and breathed deep. Because today love persevered. Not mine. Oh, my. Don’t be silly. It wasn’t my love at all. It was His.
The One who hears the broken prayers of this mother-to-the-broken.
The One who settles anxious little hearts.
The One who builds families from splintered pieces.
And the One who can make the starving lions not be hungry at all.