October 25, 2011

Be still my soul

Be still, my soul; the Lord is on thy side.
Bear patiently the cross of grief or pain.
Leave to thy God to order and provide;
In every change, He faithful will remain.
Be still, my soul; thy best, thy heavenly Friend
Through thorny ways leads to a joyful end.

Be still, my soul; thy God doth undertake
To guide the future, as He has the past.
Thy hope, thy confidence let nothing shake;
All now mysterious shall be bright at last.
Be still, my soul; the waves and winds still know
His voice Who ruled them while He dwelt below.

I’m tired and my eyes are so heavy, I can hardly keep them open.  I try, but instead yawn and burrow deeper into the covers.  The small hand on my arm and the even smaller voice whispering in the darkness of the early hours of a new day.  It’s morning, he implores.  It’s time to get up.  It’s time to eat breakfast. 

My son.  The dawn breaker.

He’s eager and talkative and a hundred words pour out of his mouth while he coaches me out of my slumber.  The rest of the house is quiet, calm…and I can hear the old Dutch grandfather clock ticking away…recording the time.  He crawls into our bed, his Daddy already gone – up even earlier than our boy. 

After much chatter we agree that milk and dry cereal are in order, while Mommy showers and prepares for the day.  As he snuggles in and finds his comfort, I feel my heart coming undone.  Not because today is different.  No, it’s the same.  Over and over, it’s the same.  A year ago, it was a different kind of the same.  Different stages marking us as we go. 

And so I go to the shower where I feel myself unraveling a little. 

Hot water pouring over me and pieces of my brokenness coming to the surface while the sleep is rinsed away.  I’m failing them.  These two beautiful children.  My sin stronger than my resolve and reflecting back at me, blinding me.  Tomorrow will be the same.  I’ll promise myself that we’ll play more, have an adventure, read together.  Instead I will find my tongue sharp and my words harsh.  I’ll find my voice raised.  I’ll feel my old companion – that rigid need for order – showing up…again and again and taking over.  There will be too much yelling.  Too much chaos.  Too much frustration, as we mull through yet another day.  Rushing, trying to complete everything, trying to be everything.

Wiping away the steam on the mirror, and finding that same girl staring back.  The same, but different than she was.  Wondering again, how she got here.  This isn’t the me I envisioned.  I’m not the mother I imagined I would be.  The lines around my eyes reminders that time is moving on and that tomorrow will be the same.  That grandfather clock ticking, ticking, ticking…and bringing into focus the truth…that even though it doesn’t seem like it now - I will want back these days with them.  I will regret.  And there will be nothing to do for it.


I just find a way to be still.

If the mess from yesterday remains while we play one more round of Go Fish.

If the dishes wait while we take a walk together.

If the laundry is plucked from the baskets - clean - but not folded or put away, while we chat about our day. 

If the TV, the computer, the busy life that never ends is turned off while we read “one more story, Mommy…one more, o-tay?”

If  I hold my tongue and let my children be children.

Can I bear patiently the cross of motherhood…burdened and tired and worn down.  Feeling the weight of the responsibility to be their guide.

Longing to leave it to my God to order their days and provide for them.  That in my brokenness He will faithfully remain and wipe away the tears of my regret.  Comforting all of us when our reality is not what we imagined it would be.

Be still my soul.

My heavenly and my best friend…guiding my future as He has my past.  Always leading me back to His unending Grace.  In His grip.  Never out of His love.  Always covered.

Even when I’m too harsh…too tired…too spent.  Even then.

I check on my boy and he is as I last saw him, snuggled in our bed, enjoying his snack, sipping his milk.  He smiles at me and it melts my tired heart.

Inside I feel that pang.  Today is full of agenda items.  There will be little time to do any of the things I’ve only just resolved myself to doing. 

And only moments later, I am raising my voice over a mess made.  The brokenness comes reeling through, smashing my resolve into shards that cut and gnaw at me.  I’m the same.  Today is the same as yesterday.  My shoulders slump in the weight of reality.

But then Grace.

Be still my soul.

The waves and winds still know…

The disappointment, the hurt, the anger, the frustration, the sin that threatens to swallow me whole…

They still know His voice Who ruled them while He dwelt below.


So I crawl back to the cross and to forgiveness and resolve that I’ll keep doing that every day.  Every day I must go back to the Grace that covers me – their mother, but His child.  He knows me better.  Knows my reactions before I do.  Knows my temper and my stubbornness.  Knows how I fall down.  Sees me and knows my heart – the good intentions and the bad ones.  Sees me and loves me, just the same.  Chose me.  Chose me to be theirs.  Knowing all the while how my children would help me see Him better.  How being a mother would help me to see my own sin much clearer, a gentle reminder of what has been done for me. 


Like salve on all my poor choices.  Remedy for my short-comings.  Peace for my expectations to rest in.  To be reminded.

Be still my soul.



Unknown said...

Have you been reading my mind, listening to my prayers? The children are different but the REST is the same. So thankful for a Lord that lets us be children and welcomes us at the cross with an embrace sweeter than sweet.

deany said...

Everyday you are creating your children's childhood memories. What ever seems routine to you is new and memorable to them.

Think about your childhood, what stands out to you? We get wrapped up in "our" adult lives and forget that our memories are made, theirs are forming, you are creating those memories. What do you want your children to remember? Do that.

Listen to Erma Bombeck, she really had it right, if she could just do it over again......

I am a clean neat, orderly person, type A as well. It is a difficult thing to change, but a lesson learned in life as you get older, just by default. No one is a super person, no one expects it of anyone else and if they do, they are delusional.

I have learned that life is about the everyday, not the "special" times, but the everyday moments that we actually live. To orderly zoom those by to get to the good times leaves very little in the way of a life and not much in the way of special memories.

I think you may be a little hard on yourself, but I also know you and know what you are talking about. You are a great mother, don't get down on yourself, work toward changing one thing at a time. Start with reading that extra story when asked. What a great memory, "although our mom was always working hard at keeping our lives going, she always had time to play and read one more story when we asked". That's a great memory to have.

It was just yesterday, you were a little girl, I remember it so well, it goes very quickly, you may wish you had these days back to do them over someday or you may look at these days as the best you could do, either way, you are a wonderful loving, thoughtful, caring mother, that in it self is a beautiful memory! Your children will always have that.

love you sweetie!

Briana's Mom said...

Such a beautiful post. I feel myself feeling that way many times. Especially since I haven't been feeling well lately. Shorter temper. Less energy. But my girl still hugs me like I am perfection. It makes me feel like I am not worthy of her sometimes.

I know you are an awesome mama. We just need to remember that we are human and we will have those not so great days. Even those no-so-great days really are perfect because our kids are a part of them. :D