One of my favorite times of the day happens at 8:20 in the morning and is the time we are all in the car taking Caleb to school. (Lets make it clear that the time leading up to that is crazy busy. Getting all 4 kids dressed, fed and in the car by 8:10, exhausts me!) The boys are in the back chatting and laughing and the girls are in front of them babbling happily and eating dry cereal. It's such a sweet time - having all 4 of my babies with me.
When we arrive to school and are waiting in the drop off lane, I love hearing Caleb point out all his friends and Lukie is always so interested in hearing about them. As Caleb gets out of the car, I tell him I love him and say something about being a "light". "Go be a light in a dark world" or "Shine bright for Jesus" or something like that. Then the sisters and Luke all start yelling goodbye. Every morning. Same routine.
A couple of weeks ago, after dropping Caleb off and doing our normal morning routine, we were on our way home when Luke says, "Why do you tell Caleb to be a light?" I explain what it means to be a light and how God calls all of us to be lights. He was quiet for a moment and then said, "Why don't you tell me that when you take me to school?" Adorable child. I reminded him that when I drop him off at school he bolts out of the van to be with his friends and that he doesn't even hear me yelling, "I love you!" He replied, "Well, I want you to tell me to be a light." No problem, sweet boy. Nothing would bring me more joy!
Now, here is where I interject to tell you that I have really been having a hard time as a mom lately. Joseph has been gone a lot. Last month he was out of town and the couple months before that his hours have been terrible. This month is more of the same. He doesn't get to spend much time with the kids and he hates it, I hate and the kids really hate it. So, most of the stuff around here falls on my shoulders. It's really hard and I don't always do well. At all.
For the past couple of weeks I have felt like a failure at this calling I take more seriously than anything else - being a mama. I often feel like I am in a fire and instead of being refined, I am melting. I'm not the mom I want to be, I don't get the breaks I need to be the mom I want to be and we are in a very hard season in life. I feel empty, I feel dry, I feel overwhelmed and I feel like a failure.
And then I cry out to Jesus. Why is that always my last resort? And thank you Jesus that you don't get angry that I make you my last resort, but you wait patiently for my cry. And you pour ice cold water down this tired, parched mama's throat.
When Luke got off the school bus yesterday I was waiting for him on the porch. I asked him how his day was and he said good. Then he said, "I got a light."
I said, "Where did you get a light from?" He said, "No, I got a light."
"I heard, but what kind of light did you get?" I said.
He looks at me and says, "No, I got a light like you tell Caleb." Cold water starts pouring. "Oh," I said. "You were a light?"
"Yeah, I was a light today!"
Oh, sweet Jesus, thank you for those moments. Those are cold water, moments of grace that push this weary mama through. They remind me not to wait so long to call on you and they remind me that your grace is sufficient and you will fill in the gaps. The gaps left by my failures, Daddy's absence and lifes injustices. Your grace is more than sufficient for those gaps.
O God, you are my God;
I earnestly search for you.
My soul thirsts for you;
my whole body longs for you
in this parched and weary land
where there is no water.