It’s Sunday and my seat will be empty.
That seat there next to the preacher where I stand and raise one hand in worship and slip the other into his – it will be vacant today and I feel sour about it.
The youngest is ill. And when the preacher’s kid gets sick it’s the preacher’s wife who has to deal, because preachers have words to bring on Sundays or something.
In years past, I have missed almost 2 months straight of church as the children took turns with sickness. There’s no turn taking for Mama. It’s just always me forgoing faith community. And God molds my heart through this.
If I’m going to be all open and truly seen here today I should mention that I tend to look back on our engineering days, our non-clergy years, and feel a small, distant ache for them a smidge. I do. I forget how it felt like a type of Egypt most days. And then I remember what it’s like to sit under his teaching (on the Sundays I actually get to go) and I nod my confirmations. It’s what he is supposed to be doing. I’m still shocked by it and I do feel exceedingly grateful for it. We’re where we’re supposed to be and I’d choose it again.
I’d follow that man anywhere, anyhow.
I have pink carnations sitting in the middle of my white dining table doing their best to usher me into some light today. Flowers seem to make things a little finer and I fill a vase every chance I get. There’s a compilation of poems to my left that I’d like to flip through at some point today. I have appointments to set and emails to send. The baseboards are extremely dusty. And then there’s the sanitizing. So much of it lately. God let this illness leave our home in Jesus’ name now. My Sunday won’t be a Sabbath but it will be brim full with real, blessed life. Lord lift me up to live it well.
I’ve just pushed the curtains aside to allow daytime to dawn within these walls. Sometimes just a stream of steady sunlight is all you need to make it. I’m seeing that my porch and windows are still ringing in Christmas so maybe I’ll add that to the list of Sunday cares for the day.
I’m about to stream a live church service from Texas straight into my house and heart so that I can feel like I’ve been fed something. Because if I’m not full on faith I’m full on nothing.
Speaking of food, it’s currently not my favorite. Thank you Whole30 for taking the joy and ease and glee out of my meals and sustenance. You require a ridiculous amount of planning, purchasing, prepping, washing, cooking, and driving (thanks to no Whole Foods or Trader Joe’s anywhere in site). I kind of feel like I’m wasting away here. But, also thank you for the already improved health I’m experiencing. Maybe you’re worth it. I don’t know yet.
Starting out the year, peering back a bit, looking around at what’s current, I can say that it’s been a stinging season in a sense.
I’ve learned that wolves do exist and that the enemy really does try to masquerade as an angel, and that evil darts can come from the most unexpected of places.
I’ve learned that life is a fragile mist so make friends and keep them. One of mine has battled bits of cancer throughout her body this year but her faith and impact are what’s loudest. (Praying for you Carrie. Love you so.)
I’ve learned that parenting is sanctification and that nothing will refine you or make you fall to your knees faster than raising children. God thank you for the gift but help me with the gritty parts.
And this year’s transition. It was beautiful and warm but also difficult and refining. God give us more of the former now please.
Symptoms. Autoimmune flares. Shrugs of shoulders from doctors and confusion on what paths to take. It has been heavy.
And illness. Nothing truly major. But certainly hefty enough to send a germophobe into a nice sized frenzy.
All that up there just kind of sounds like life, yes? Lord help us.
I leaned into my husband yesterday as he walked through the door from speaking out of town, and I told him I needed to apologize. I told him that I was sorry for just wanting to play house 13 years ago when I said I do. Because that’s just it, I wanted to play the idealistic house game rather than forge through real, difficult life together. We don’t live in a Rockwell but I sure have wanted to. He smiled his knowing. His forgiveness towards me flows like a river.
I just checked on the sick one. He is back asleep, laying on his skinny little side, and so I lifted up prayers on his behalf for him to be healed already. Yes and amen. I need to get going on the day’s offerings but before I do, I want to leave you with a line from a poem called A Prayer for Faith by Margaret E. Sangster.
God, let me feel that right is right,
that reason dwells with reason,
And let me feel that something grows
whenever there is rain-
And let me sense that splendid truth
that season follows season,
And let me dare to dream that there is tenderness in pain.
That one line there…
“let me feel that something grows whenever there is rain.”
Yes God. Let us see the fruit in the midst of the arduous. And let there be some deep and fueling levity in our lives too. Amen