Twenty-nineteen, the year that started with a stroke of the cheek from a waking miracle, has accelerated as fast as the miraculous healing of the child that was born again on the 1st of January. We’re exactly in the middle and there is a breathing break as the children seven trundle off to holiday club for the week.
A decade apart in age, they all come home singing the same songs and interrupting each other around the dinner-table to tumble out the same funny stories of the day. Is there another place in the world other than faith community where this happens? The grace-filled seventeen-year-old compliments the twelve-year-old on good manners displayed to his leader that day, and the fourteen-year-old shows me with pride the sweet note of thanks she received from the seven-year-old. I stuff the week full of chores that a homeschooling-mother-preaching-on-weekends never gets done, and by Saturday the lot of us are shattered.
Society these days seems to be singing the same round-chorus of “Life is so busy.” It’s on everyone’s lips all the time. And I’ve had a lot of questions the last few weeks, wondering how to prioritise my own myriad of demands and pulls of purpose. How do we keep knowing where we’re going, so we know how to get there, and can strip off the distractions on our way?
We arrive at Saturday, and the rhythms-of-grace instituted by the Creator-of-time teach us to stop and to rest.
“Do you think if we had to do holiday club today, our bodies would still feel so tired? Or do you think they’d find the energy for one more day?”
The girls are asking. They’ve served with set-up and set-down and leading activities and shepherding kids for over sixty hours this week. And how clever the design of our bodies, because God has built in the rhythms, and yet given us the ability to override them when we need to. The truth is, they’re only feeling tired because they allowed themselves to stop.
By early evening they’re all fading fast, and one needs me to run a bath, two need medicine to curb slight fevers, four need aching muscles massaged as they lie in their beds. I go from room to room, taking precious minutes to tend to minute needs.
And last is the miracle-girl, who for some miraculous reason has the most energy. She’s lying in bed reading, and I offer to massage her scars. I’m rubbing gentle circles across her middle, and I’m thinking of cycles of grace-given rest. And why do I feel more satisfied right now than I’ve felt all week in my purposeful busyness? Of all the grand things I could be doing with my life, this right here makes me feel the most fulfilled. And I look down the passage to where my husband is sitting over his desk preparing Sunday’s sermon, and I want to stroke his cheek like she did. Because every moment is a miracle that should be touched and remembered, and life is busy, but there are rhythms which we override at our peril.
And I think, perhaps it is less important what I do with the big decisions of direction and purpose and more important that I keep the simple cycles going that make it all worthwhile?
Twenty-nineteen has reached it’s middle, and I cover up Kiara’s and kiss her goodnight.