A few years back a friend of mine brought a gift to me. It was a little blue sign and written in delicate black letters read the words, “Mothers of little boys work from son up to son down.” The sign has been scribbled on with crayons and pencils a number of times. I used to clean it, but one day I gave up and thought, “You know what? This is real life. It adds character.” So the marks have stayed. I am a mother of four boys. I often say that it’s like raising four wild monkeys on crack who sometimes act like dinosaurs.
I giggle now when I think of that little sign, mostly because the sun and sons went down hours ago. Here I am still awake doing the laundry and housework as I attempt to clean up what feels like the remnants of a tornado and turn it into something presentable for my 9 am meeting with a client tomorrow.
I can faintly hear my husband snoring from the bedroom and the tapping of zippers and buttons attached to clothing as they go round and round in the dryer. Yet there is a stillness and quiet in the house. My mind swirls with my “to-do” list for the week as I finally pause, take a deep breath and release the stress my shoulders have carried all day.
Today was different. The boys were fighting more so than usual. My sweet husband came home a bit early from work to take them to a movie since it’s their spring break, and I needed to work on a talk I’m presenting this weekend. I took the time to sit and catch up on my bible study, reflecting on Easter and preparing for my talk.
The quiet was refreshing and rare for daytime. I shouldn’t have been surprised, and yet I still was taken aback...every time I seek Jesus, he meets me. I cried some good tears. I still can’t wrap my mind around why he loves us so much, why he loves me so much. His death on the cross, his resurrection, his love that is so much greater than I can even fathom...it leaves me speechless.
I read scripture and journaled and prayed. I love the quiet because I can talk to God out loud, without distraction. He’s present...with me. It makes me feel closer to him. As I prepared for my talk I spoke of the things he has been doing in my life over the last six months, breathing new life in me, challenging my thinking, challenging my purpose, calling me to let go of the things I cling to and follow him with reckless abandon. I’m finally learning to let go and there is so much freedom in it. My heart has joy, my body is tired, but he sustains me and keeps me going. He fills me with love to pour out on those four boys and to love my husband passionately. I am surrounded by such precious gifts. The more “stuff” I let go of, the more value I find in the things that really matter. I’m so thankful that I have a reason to work from “son up to son down” and the hours beyond.
I found a quote by Erma Bombeck today that says, “When I stand before God at the end of my life, I would hope that I would not have a single bit of talent left, and could say, ‘I used everything you gave me.’” I just love that. Though tired and weary at times, I know that God is with me, and he is drawing me in closer and closer. I will continue to pursue him and pour myself out to do that which he has called me to. So back to work I go...