It appears that the winter fairies have once again spread their sprinkles on our little slice of heaven and our two-hour delay has turned into another day at home. I'm not complaining as I'm sitting here in my pajamas and sipping a second cup from the comfort of home and watching morning news and catching up on all the things on the internet. It's working out nicely as the big girls are curled up on the couch in a tangle of legs and bedheadedness and electronic devices and baby girl is protesting her need for a nap this morning.
My heart and mind are a little torn about it all--on one hand I'm dreading yet another 7.5 hours of missed school that will have to be made up.
But, my love tank is filling up as I enjoy yet another day in my home.
The past week was a mess of emotions. We've met sweet, sweet new babies and shared meals with family and friends. We've received unexpected blessings and opportunities to steal some time back from our busy calendar.
We've also grieved with others as they've received terrible news. It broke our hearts to see a wife without her spouse and children without their father. My girls were jolted to the reality that sometimes life brings terrible events to little kids, too. Their prayers have been for their friends this past week and in quiet conversations they've asked hard and fearful questions that moms never want to answer.
When you get those bad phone calls or read those upsetting status updates, it's a stark reality that this life is so fragile and fleeting. I used to think that there was a great expanse between joy and grief, but I'm learning more and more that they are closer related than I used to believe. My husband preached a few weeks ago at our church about promises we believe in Faith. He reminded us that we are promised life to the full--and that doesn't just mean all good things like we tend to imagine--such as full bellies and full hearts. It includes the knowledge that in order to have the highs, we also have to go through the lows. I don't like to think about it--having to get through the lows to really peak on the highs, but it's the way that life breathes in and out every single day.
Sunday morning we sang one of my favorite songs about the poor and powerless and the hearts that are content. I was overwhelmed with the painful truth of the song lyrics as I sang it over and over this past week in preparation for Sunday's service. Because it seems like it would be easier to sing out "hallelujah" when we're in the middle of good times. Rejoicing with friends when they finally conceive a much desired child. Overwhelmed when soldiers return from deployment. Thrilled with engagements. Delighting in promotions.
But then I think of the words my friend shared as we spoke in the receiving line on Saturday--how one minute she was a mess of tears and in the next minute complete clarity as she spoke with the courage and confidence of someone who believes that the Lord was already moving in the middle of her tragedy. Remembering the brave words another friend shared at her infant son's funeral. Missing my dear friend, Jill, and knowing that her battle is over.
Somehow we can continue to sing out "hallelujah" because we know the Truth that fills our hearts. We can live life to its fullest expanse of highs and lows. These things that make our eyes leak in the midst of joy and suffering are the windows to our hearts and souls.
I wrestle with the "whys" and the unfairness that life brings sometimes--but I also rejoice in the unexpected blessings that fall into our laps.
But I know that He is in control, and that gives me a reason to sing with hands lifted high.
"All the Poor and Powerless" by All Sons and Daughters