The morning started out with piles of laundry, dishes, and text messages about children’s church. After 3 loads of laundry, putting away dishes, making breakfast (twice), responding and sending text messages regarding church, friends in tough places, etc, etc, and looming thoughts about the message I was scheduled to speak that night. I finally settled into a comfy chair. I opened my journal and my Bible, and suddenly felt overwhelming thankful.
“Thank you God for a full life. Thank you for clothes to wash, dirty and clean dishes that are evidence of a countless meals and a full stomach. Thank you for a husband, and even the extra laundry that brings. Thank you that I feel good enough to get these things done. Thank you for the opportunity to speak at church tonight. Thank you for sweet baby girls growing in this belly…” I began to write in my journal as I glanced at the laundry drying on our patio.
There is always two ways (at least) to see the moment you are in. Life ebbs and flows with the busy and the slow seasons. I spent a good bit of my summer on the couch, either too tired or two nauseous to do much more. Some days I felt like I had so much less capacity. Multiple times the Lord corrected me.
He would tell me “you are growing human lives in you, and that is a capacity you have never experienced before.” I’d have to correct myself when I criticized my capacity, and realize that my capacity didn’t shrink, it was just different and hidden in that season.
I was reminded of this verse, “If you get rid of unfair practices, quit blaming victims, quit gossiping about other people’s sins,
If you are generous with the hungry and start giving yourselves to the down-and-out,
Your lives will begin to glow in the darkness, your shadowed lives will be bathed in sunlight.
I will always show you where to go. I’ll give you a full life in the emptiest of places firm muscles, strong bones.
You’ll be like a well-watered garden, a gurgling spring that never runs dry.
You’ll use the old rubble of past lives to build anew, rebuild the foundations from out of your past.
You’ll be known as those who can fix anything, restore old ruins, rebuild and renovate, make the community livable again” (Isaiah 58:9-12 The Message).
There’s so much gold in this passage, but the part about “full life in the emptiest of places” really stands out to me. Here’s the bottom line, you can miss all that IS in this season, by dwelling on all that it isn’t. Somewhere in the midst of the piles, to-do lists, and demands of today is the fulfillment of yesterday’s dreams. Yes those dreams fulfilled require responsibility. They require time and TLC. And maybe that’s what the end of the passage is about, don’t we want to be these people who can fix anything and make our communities livable again?
What are you thankful for in this moment/season?