Grace

Yesterday.

Abethewisekid

Yesterday was really bad, and I couldn’t tell you exactly why if you asked. But it was just one of those days, ya know? Where your mind is broken and your heart hates not being in control. Last night I laid on the couch and cried. The day was filled with unmet promises to Abe and me dozing off while feeding the baby and pumping at the same time (please don’t ask me why I’m not breast feeding). Small group had left, and I couldn’t shake the feeling that I had failed them all somehow.

My 4 year old sat down next to my head and asked me what was wrong. I told him I was feeling very overwhelmed and like a complete failure. I cried harder and apologized for not getting to play hide and seek with him even though I promised I would. He had a pensive look on his face and said, It’s ok, mom. Emery needed all of your attention today.” I smiled and thanked him for being gracious and understanding, to which he replied, “It makes you feel good.”

Oh yeah. It does. I forgot. Grace does make me feel good. I wish I didn’t resist it like I often do.

About a half an hour later, Daniel was holding Emery and trying to get him to stop crying. The more Emery cried, the more Daniel got flustered until he finally gave up and handed the baby over to me. He got up and went outside, leaving us in the living room. Abe turned to me on the couch and said, “Mom, you need to pray for daddy tonight because he is afraid of being a daddy to two boys and thinks he’s bad at it. I pray for him all of the time.” My jaw dropped.

When Daniel tucked him into bed, I could hear sniffles echoing from the room. When Daniel emerged from his room tear-eyed, he told me that Abe had prayed for him, but it wasn’t his regular kind of prayer that usually only makes sense to Abe. It was an intercession for his daddy and a plea for help. And then he went to sleep.


It’s humbling to watch the Holy Spirit use a child to remind us of the gospel things we so easily forget and can’t seem to give to ourselves, especially when the usual prescription for reminders looks like our kids pushing us to our limits. But not yesterday. Yesterday it came in the form of a 4 year old understanding things more clearly than I do 99 percent of the time.

I can’t believe God would allow me to live in a home with people that fight for each other.

Grace floweth over.

 

Plans, Resentments, and Being a Mom.

Abe

A few months ago, I found myself sitting in my church office conference room, sobbing and speaking of feelings I didn’t know I felt.

Well, until that moment.

I couldn’t tell you the details of the conversation I was having with my pastor, because I honestly can’t remember what it was about. I know it was pretty light hearted and general, nothing too deep or major. But a few of Dale’s questions later and there I was, letting go of something and allowing a healing process to begin.

ANOTHER HEALING PROCESS. Gosh, it feels like it never ends, you know?

What grace.

For some reason I brought up my frustration over my son waking up so unbearably early (he gets up anywhere between 4:30 and 6 am), and my deeper frustration over why I can’t just accept that and be an adult and start my day. I shared how I struggled with wanting to be up at all, and how I would sit Abe on the couch to watch a cartoon, and I would fall asleep next to him.

I had identified  my sleep idol a long time ago, but this felt deeper.

I asked myself questions like, “Why am I ok with getting up at 5:30 in the morning to be at the first session of Catalyst, but treat my son waking up like it’s the end of the world?”

I shared with Dale that I love my son like I’ve never loved anyone else. I mean, I would KILL for this kid in a heart beat, no questions asked. I love him so much that I am in constant fear of failing him as a mom.

So how could I possibly feel this way about my son, and at the same time enjoy my life more when he is away from me rather than when he is in my presence?

Why wasn’t I happy to see his little face every morning, regardless of what time it was?

And then Dale’s big question came.

“Do you think you might have some resentments against having a child so early in your marriage?”

You know when you cut yourself really bad, but there are a few seconds before you look at the blood and you think “Oh, it’s probably not to bad.” Then you look down and find an unbelievable amount of blood gushing out, giving you a sense of reality and triggering the emotion. That’s when the crying or screaming or fainting happens.

Sometimes I don’t realize how bloody a wound is, or how deep a sin can be. And then someone asks a question, and all of a sudden my vision is clear, and I can see the blood.

This time, it made me cry. It made me cry so much, right in that room. It made me cry for weeks after that conversation, and is kinda making my cry right now.

Needless to say, the answer to Dale’s question was “YES.”

Abe came along about 4 years earlier than planned. We wanted to have great jobs established. We wanted to have several years of solid “married” time. We wanted to travel, and blah blah blah.

You get the point. It’s so incredibly selfish that I don’t even want to keep typing everything Daniel and I felt entitled to.

But instead, God gave us Abram Isaiah Webb. He gave us Medicaid and food assistance. He gave us a house to live in that looked like someone painted it with pepto bismol and used horse fertilizer to stain the carpets. He gave Daniel a job at a machine shop and me little things here and there. He put us back into Lake City, Florida. He spurred our marriage into honesty and sanctification, and I didn’t like it.

It was all just so overwhelming and so fast that I don’t think I really took it all in and processed it. Up until that day in the conference room, I was treating the past two and a half years, in regards to my family,  like I had treated past situations; with bitterness, apathy and repression.

Can I be totally honest right now?

Realizing that you resent your child and even your husband a little bit HURTS LIKE HELL.

So my initial gaze at the wound was not pleasant. It was gross, painful and heart breaking.

But in that moment, a spark ignited.

When heart and wound meet face to face, something begins.

Recognition. Acceptance. Mourning. Repentance. Restoration. New life.

The love and adoration I feel for my son now is unexplainable. What an undeserving gift God would give to me. Not to say I don’t have days where remnants of that resentment are uncovered. The difference now is that I recognize what it is and how to fight it.

Dale encouraged me to share this on my blog. I agreed with him that it was something I needed to share, but I wasn’t quite ready to put it down on the internet yet. The main reason being this: being a mother is the hardest thing I’ve ever had to do, therefore it is the area of my life I am most insecure. And in those times when I am drowning in that insecurity, I am crippled by the thought that other moms think I’m not cutting it. I also find it very easy to condemn other moms over their decisions, giving me the illusion of confidence. Maybe not always out loud, but most definitely in my thoughts.

So here it is, I’m laying it all bare. I resented my child for coming to early. I resented Daniel for being the other number in the math equation that equaled a baby. I lost my awe for God because I felt like He was wrapping grace and blessing in a very strange box, and I didn’t approve.

I’ve repented of that to God, but I also repent of that to you. If these resentments have ever made themselves manifest in the way I’ve talked or treated you, then I am sorry.

The truth is, I know almost nothing about anything with complete sure-ity (even when I act like I do). But I am starting to discover who God is, which gives me 100% confidence that I am not Him.

He is deep, He is wide, and He knows of and cares for every fiber that makes up who I am. 

March Writing Challenge Day 7: That Damned Wrong Side of the Bed

Failure and I meet again in this place

Even now it seems I’m failing as I fill up this blank paper’s space

I have no idea what day it is

And I don’t really even care

This day has my permission to be over now

Tired of being caught in the devil’s snare

I call myself a creative writer

But I can tell by her passive look

That on her college degree standards

She’d scoff if I told her I’d like to write a book

And then sometimes I can literally just be breathing

And someone’s gonna find fault in that

Angry, bitter, jealous little liars

Enemies I feel I must combat

I fail and fail over and over again

Try to set my own bones, hoping for just one small win

I insist, most days, that I do this on my own

Hence the perpetual failures

I’m like a plant that refuses to grow

On days like today I find myself hating my sin condition

Which means on all the other days

I ‘m too loud and too proud to listen

I go on thinking that I’m all right, I’ve got it together

Which urges me to condemn my fellow soldier

And right through that gracious love I sever

Cut in half the gift I didn’t deserve

Well, if I refuse to take it

Why would I ever give it to her

This is so filthy

Downright shameful to even share

But I’ll make myself share it anyway

And in doing so lay that shame bare

I don’t feel much better

In fact, I’m more exhausted than before

I need you so deeply, Jesus

Remind me of your love once more.