I wish that what I heard every other day was, “My, you are stunning!” or “Wow, you manage those children so well!” However, the comment I most hear from well-intentioned (or at least that is what I tell myself) strangers at Wal Mart or the park or the bank or any of our other weekly attractions is “My, you sure have your hands full.” Depending on my mood (or rather the moods of the sweet little men who are with me like fifth and sixth appendages), my heart’s response varies. “Thank you, captain obvious. I did not realize that, but your comment has given such helpful insight to my current struggle to make it through Wal Mart without one of the three of us losing it and bursting out in tears,” sometimes runs across my silent thoughts, as I smile as Southern as I can as a displaced Yankee. Other days, my smile is honest and genuine, as the stranger’s comment honestly causes worship to rush up in my heart. “I love these two kids under two, dirty, wearing matching orange thomas shirts that have been washed too many times to notice the Thomas anymore. I would not have life any other way. It’s crazy but it’s my life.”
In fact, the three of us have grown so accustomed to this crazy pace we call life, we do not know what to do with ourselves when things are calm. Ty went to my parents house for Camp Dataw for three days of swimming, the beach, the golf cart, and wildlife hunting. His words best describe his time with Mamie and Pop Pop. “Momma, I pool, I, I, I, I touch shark. hop hop hop hop. dolphins.kachow.” I could not say it any better. He loved it, and I am not sure he even noticed “E I” and his parents were not around.
Likewise, Eli loved the focused attention. In fact, I think he smiled the entire 3 days. Not that he does not usually smile most of the time, but we are talking perma-grin. I love that he is happy even when staying in a small hotel room where dogs have previously stayed. G and I slept well and had sweet time with the Lord and students. I was blown away by the way rest and time away from both boys 24 /7 gave me such perspective and joy to step back into the madness.
Sitting on the picturesque porch of the Mariner Motel (see, I told you rest can alter your perception of reality), I found myself praising my Father that He allows this to be my life. I love our calling, though it is labor day in and day out to fight for the hearts of the college ladies He has entrusted to me. I love my family, though I feel worn to a nub often and wonder if I am doing this wife and mom thing okay enough to be passing. I love that we pack up and go to Myrtle Beach and endure Cat Pee smelling couches for the sake of the Kingdom. I mostly love how much all of these things remind me how sinful I am and also remind me that I am His beloved apart from my doing or my thinking.