You already know I go to Tandem for coffee and crepes. I buy Sailor a waffle and we sit on the side porch and I get to look at this sweet grin, but what else?
At two months shy of thirty-eight,
These are the things I do,
Just to name a few:
I make muffins,
I make lists,
Lots of children I assist.
I wear tank tops ,
I take walks,
And I always check the clocks.
I write letters,
Eat my no-bake bars with oats.
Ski behind the boat,
Hate with passion a sore throat,
Hang on tight to my Will tote.
Stock up on tofu,
Heart the color blue,
Wear leggings made by Hue,
Sit in the sun at two,
Sunscreen my tattoo,
These are the things I do.
And occasionally, my friends, I pen a poem. Just for fun, with no real rules for form, except getting across my point. My point is that I love the line, These are the things I do.
I love it because I found it. I love it because my counselor suggested I ask God to give me particular words from His Word. I love it because it's from Isaiah and that's where Can't you see that this thing you hold in your right hand is a lie? is also from.
And I love it because I remember it all the time now. Since I found this verse a week ago, Isaiah 42:16 has become a strong and abiding voice in my life.
And I will lead the blind in a way that they do not know,
in paths that they have not known I will guide them.
I will turn the darkness before them into light,
the rough places into level ground.
These are the things I do,
and I do not forsake them.
I am the blind person, absolutely. I have been blind to the way of rest and the paths of peace. Right from the start, I was a driven little girl. My sister would gladly sleep in on a Saturday morning, but I would go into my parents' room bright and early and ask my mom to put my hair in a ponytail so I would be "all ready" for the day. I have been "all ready" all my life, anxiously striving to achieve and produce and conquer. I have built my perfect Jenga tower time after time, holding my breath so it won't fall. I have worn myself out trying to bring the world around me to manageable size, and I have demanded with much more consistency than I have depended. Not wanting certain things to happen has not been my modus operandi.
Yet in all that certainty of how I want life to be, I have dark uncertain places concerning how I parent and how I bond with my kids. Am I capable of bringing meaningful comfort to them in their distress? I worry whether it's possible for them to not pick up and carry the parts of me I'm trying to lay down. I think sometimes that the messing up is happening right here as I watch it and I don't know how to make it (me) turn out different.
But now I can name the messing up pieces as rough places, as gaps and holes in me that need to be leveled. It's not as impossible as it seems because that line I can't get out of my head tells a different story: These are the things I do, God says.
Things like this:
I lead you, Ginger, in ways of rest and peace and quietness and trust.
(And try not to let it bother you that you haven't known much of this before.)
I bring light to the dark, hard parts of being a mom, and I bring light to relationships.
All those rough places that you keep stumbling over, well, I'm in the leveling business.
I fill in and fill up and I just keep at it.
Your blindness, your darkness, your roughness, none of it deters me.
I am determined to give you yourself by giving you Myself.
I am not stopping because this is who I am and these are the things I do.
I do not forsake the things I do, and I do not forsake you.
Let me love you.
I feel hope, Emily Dickinson's "thing with feathers." I feel like a better Mama bird. I feel my soul rolling to a smooth stop and having time to look both ways. I feel softness inside. I feel less being more. I feel light not heavy and light not dark. I feel some trust coming on every time I turn on the radio and hear Bieber singing God's words. I feel generous possibility for new ways of living. It's beginning to happen right here, in this family, this home, this heart.