Therefore, forgetting what is behind, I strain toward what is ahead.
This has been one of those weeks, or maybe it's been more than one week. Maybe it's been one of those lifetimes. It's not just the crankiness of winter, though there's plenty of that to go around in this little house. There have been griefs in the community we live in, griefs we find difficult to describe to others, difficult to even describe to our own hearts. Griefs we long to see righted or to be banished. Our hearts cry involuntarily - "Oh how long, Jesus?"
So when the normal wear and tear of daily life with teething toddlers and piles of dishes coincides with the wear and tear of seeing and walking alongside others who are suffering deeply, it bends a mama's back down low, it can make a night seem like an eternity but a day like there are too few minutes to fit it all in.
I seek the small joys that are laid at my feet. Pale pink yarn arrives in brown packaging from across the country and as soon as I can, I pull out my new swift and wind it into neat little cakes, material for creation, for a darling loved girl. It is like spring itself, the delicate pink and my heart begins to strain toward spring again.
Two sisters pose goofy and a vision of future years passes through my head as my mind rushes forward to envision the beauties they will be as young women and I pray they will maintain the joy and exuberance filling their hearts now. We gather in the dark evenings to watch and laugh out loud with the Muppets, precious family time with pizza and blankets stretched across the living room, crumbs and sauce and who cares what on the floor. Oh the wild dance parties we have, our favorite soundtrack "Despicable Me 2" and we get low and we jump and we spin silly. (Do you let loose and just dance to music like no one's watching? If you don't, you should. You'll feel your soul lift immediately!) And a little hand pulling on my jeans insisting "C'mon! C'mon!"; come play with me, Mama!
These are treasures, these also are fruit of my labor, fruit of the many hours I have poured into ministering to this little flock of mine, loving, disciplining, and caring for my daughters, and I am thankful for the fruit given by the Spirit. These are joys, gifts unearned, from a good Father who knows I need them to buoy my spirit and keep my eyes on the finish line.