Today I was sitting at the table while the kids enjoyed their mid-morning snack. Landon had occupational therapy this morning and he’d shown his “iron will” as the therapist put it. His perfect little face was still puffy from the tears he’d shed in his stubbornness. And it just reminded me of growth in my own life. That when I fight it and try to push against it with my stubborn will, I’m the one left with the scars. It’s a sweet relief to let go and surrender my will to God’s. To give up not only the things of this world but my pursuit of them. To trust that He knows my abilities and limitations and will not push me beyond what I can do [through His strength]. Landon’s therapist actually said, “It’s not about breaking his will, it’s about him acknowledging that you have expectations for him.”
It was hard for Lucy to watch Landon work with his therapist. He was upset and she wanted to “fix” it. She tried to give him her water bottle [“Buddy, I’ll even let you drink out of my pink cup!”]. She tried to cover him with a blanket. She sang songs from High School Musical to him [can’t make that up]. It’s not in us to see someone we love suffering and not want to fix it, even if our fixes are temporary or superficial.
So as we sat together and ate a little snack, everyone also breathed a sigh of relief. Lucy looked at me and said, “Mom, you’re my best pal. Is that the right word? Pal?” And my heart smiled. And joy was just the medicine to make my shoulders relax a little. And then she spilled her cup of applesauce into the heating vent. She felt just awful. And that’s what it’s like, too. To be perfectly imperfect. To feel like you’ve got a good handle on things one second and a hot, sticky mess the next.
Thoughts tumble through my head all day comparing the parental relationship I have with the kids to the one Christ privileges me with. And my heart feels unworthy and I’m drawn to humbleness. But I think that’s what we’re supposed to do. To live our lives below the surface. To look for lessons in the mundane. To open ourselves up to each other so that we are sharing our guts. The real stuff, even if it’s not pretty.
“Like a beer on tap. You spend your life chasing froth and bubbles. I used to think it satisfied, that it could fill me up and make me happy. But froth is froth. Empty. What I needed was underneath, at the root, the soul. Can’t find happiness in froth, at least not for long.” [Dogwood by Chris Fabry]