In which these are the words I want for our life

guest post by Sarah Bessey (Emerging Mummy)

I’m looking out of the window above my kitchen sink but all I see is my own tired reflection and a warm room behind me. The house is a disaster after a day of three meals, a sick preschooler, a busy toddler and baking. When I take a step, crumbs stick to my feet. I momentarily wish for a dog so that he would lick the floor clean. Today, I’ve administered medicine and organised naps. I’ve tried to return important emails for my work with a non-profit because we need to fundraise. But my head isn’t there by this time of day, even though my heart is. I chase the tinies downstairs with my husband to play because sometimes, it’s a gift is to clean my kitchen up alone.

I’m humming quietly under my breath, working in the light of candles, straightening and picking up, cleaning and wiping, sweeping and setting to rights, restoring.

Sometimes I don’t feel swept up in a grand love story. I feel like I am underestimated, like all I do is pick up. Does anyone else in this house know how to unload a dishwasher? The day feels long. I didn’t get as much time to work as part of my work-from-home job. I play second fiddle. I grapple with mundane details and wonder if I paid that bill on time.

I don’t really want my life story to be about how I paid off my mortgage or got another nice car. I don’t need my kids to say they could eat off my floor. (It would be nice but that doesn’t inspire anyone.)
I have prayed for the big words, for the best nouns to be at work in my life – words like peace, goodness, generosity, love, joy and justice. (I also like the words “a little weird now and then.”) And I have prayed that my life would be an expression of the very best verbs – forgiving, peace-giving, joyful, merciful, creative, just and loving.

But sometimes I miss it, walk right by, and disregard it when those prayers are answered. It’s in the tiniest of moments, easy to miss like new snowflakes. But the moments are creating an avalanche. I see imagination and love, tenderness and gentleness in them. Her hand is in his hair, they are quiet together, then he burrows into her stomach to tickle, they shriek with laughter and somehow, they have my mother’s eyes, blue as a summer sky.

Parenting – the greatest act of service of my life, this having and being a tightly knit family together – is writing a story with the biggest nouns and the verbs of my life so far.

4 Responses to In which these are the words I want for our life
  1. Megan (FriedOkra)
    July 17, 2010 | 12:40 pm

    This is such a beautiful and inspiring post. Thank you very much for sharing your thoughts and words – I am better for them!

  2. Heather
    July 18, 2010 | 11:53 am

    Beautiful and how I needed to hear this today!

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