Sometimes I don’t know what you need.
And even if I did know
I am not sure that I could be it.
You are tall and long
with big emotions
and you have a lot of words.
You push my buttons.
And I suppose I probably push yours.
And there are times that I wish
I could snuggle you and make it all okay
like I did when you were so much smaller.
It is harder to know
how to make it okay
and sometimes there isn’t really
a way to even do that.
Sometimes my heart is overwhelmed
with my love for you and my frustration with you
and how I want to be able to help you
and still be what you need
every now and then.
And then tonight happened.
“Come and lay down with me, Mommy”.
And my heart, mind and mouth said,
You lifted your spiderman blanket
so I could snuggle into
the little furnace you created.
We talked a little bit about your
test tomorrow and
I prayed for you.
Then you rolled to your tummy,
flung your arm over my tummy
and laid your head on my chest.
And then you fell asleep.
And in that moment my heart
was reminded that sometimes
you need small things from me
my patient presence,
my tickle monster,
my silly jokes,
my dance with me,
my arms to hold you while you sleep.
Thanks, baby boy for the reminder
that while I can’t be everything
you need (and I shouldn’t be)
there are some instances
where I am enough.
Searching For Kindling
Name five small things that you do to love your children well. Think of some small moments with your kids that have filled your mama tank.
I am strong as steel.
I will surprise you.
I can make dinner, unload the dishwasher,
brainstorm for an article and help my child study for a test all at the same time.
I am a soft place to land.
I have stretch marks and an untoned tummy –
I am my own beautiful.
I am not wonder woman… I am me
and that is enough.
I will fight for those I love.
I am multidimensional.
I am a partner.
I am becoming.
I am passionate.
I am made in the image of God.
I will write my own story.
Women before me have led the way
to where we are now
and I join hands with those I walk with
today to make
for our daughters and sons.
I am woman.
Sometimes I am surprised when God presents truth to me in ways I don’t expect. For example, last week at the beach my son drew a tennis court in the sand; I enjoyed watching him create his masterpiece but I didn’t expect it to be a carrier of truth. I just didn’t see it coming.
He loves tennis. I thought he was drawing a geometric pattern of some sort but my husband knew exactly what it was. The beach wasn’t busy which was good as the tennis court was large. He was so focused on his work and could not be distracted by the waves or by what his brother and sister were choosing to do. He drew the base and service lines. He drew a net and then started building it up a bit as well. As I watched him create I watched people walk around his court, taking a bit of a detour from the direction they were walking. No one was bothered that they had to walk a few steps out of their way as they saw a boy creating, working with his hands, his mind working and enjoying the beach and tennis at the same time. (He’s brilliant!) He was undeterred by the people walking by, he just kept doing what he was doing.
I took a few pictures of his sand court and as I did I heard, in my heart, “He’s not afraid to take up that big space. Why are you afraid to take up a big space?”
BAM. On the beach. Truth hitting so hard I about ate sand.
Bethany, why are you afraid to take up space? Why do you worry about what others will think about the stances you take? Why do you curb your creativity? Why do you try to live small so that things don’t get scary and big?
Bethany, why do you hesitate to fill in the frame God has given you?
I know why. Once I take my focus off of God, I start doubting. I start paying more attention to what people think, what if someone thinks I am in the way or saying more than I should? I start censoring – “That’s too strong” or “That’s being too much” and soon the excuses are piling up like the sand in the minivan. The truth is – living large isn’t about me, it is about fulfilling what God has purposed me to do. It is the living small that is all about me, safe, ruffling no feathers and comfy – and diametrically opposed to what God would want for me.
Where do I get permission to live large, unafraid of opinions or consequences? It’s me. I stand in my way. At the foundational level it is an issue of trust. Do I trust God enough to go ahead and be brave, make no apologies and live large? Do you?
Search for kindling: Is there an area of your life where you are making excuses so you can live small?