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Saturday, September 13, 2014

The God Of Our Messes

We have had a messy week. A small taste of what it must have been like to be Israelites in the wilderness, wandering around with our two kids in tow. Yet so grateful for our families and how they have opened up their homes for us and the boys to stay in these few nights, when the unbearable hum of electric drills and constant banging on concrete above and below have become something we had to flee from.

The home upgrading scheme, this we could plan ahead for, schedule; and yet, when we finally had to execute our plans, life happened.  Though a man may plan his steps,  it is the Lord who governs them...
Seeking an oasis in the deserts of life.
And so it was, on Tuesday, at the end of a fulfilling session of work, that I received a call from my mother-in-law. A terrible accident with the boys,  she said. A mother's heart can get buried in an instant. It can fall from heights so high into abysses previously unknown. 

Which is I suppose a good thing, as every bit of news henceforth, no matter how terrible, proceeds to inform me that I still have my precious babies with me. It is a realisation of the undeserved grace we face daily and the merciful host of heavenly angels surrounding my precious ones. As I end the call and make the necessary plans to get help, I am able to remain calm in the face of the news, even as I give thanks for the fact that He is with me, with us.

Whatever semblance of calm reserves summoned, we flee as quickly as we can to the ER. At the hospital doors, we stand nervously at the porch, awaiting a child whose state I can only imagine, yet try not to. My two babies appear, the older one's face ashen with fear. I turn to look with breath withheld at the other bundle cradled in his Daddy's arms, blood soaked hair and shirt. My heart cries out, and so does he. So, so grateful for the help that comes our way. My cousin, on duty at the ER that day. 

We receive help, and gradually, word that he is going to be okay. It's a surface wound,  just a lot of blood. He was well enough to sing the "Lonely Goatherd" refrain from his favourite The Sound of Music soundtrack on the way to the hospital. Loving hands tend to him. We are comforted, though still shaken. Weary, but full of praise. 
Treasuring each moment as it occurs. 
There's something to be said about what happens when the pieces that hold our lives so tenuously together fall apart. There is a cleansing, a stripping away, a refiner's fire, that leaves what is pure, sacred and sanctified remaining.  There are only three things that will remain: faith,  hope,  and love. But the greatest of these is love.

It's been a messy year. Transitions in work, financial situations, childcare arrangements. Changes to homeschool curriculum, rethinking of pedagogy and our whole approach to what education really means.
Beauty even in the midst of mess.
I am deciding more and more to take it slow, to enjoy and savour these young days. To stand back and observe my children at play and purposefully learn about their character, personality, interests,  motivations. Delight-directed learning and a Mummy-Teacher who is calm, relaxed and enjoying her flock. Who doesn't thrive when their very beings are being rejoiced in?

I have also decided not take comments about our messy house or our rowdy boys to heart. He doesn't look at the condition of our homes but the condition of our hearts. Our loud and rambunctious boys and the piles of books and toys lying around are a sign of love, life and learning happening. I am reminding myself to embrace what we have been given. And we have been given much.
Keeping our eyes focussed on what is unseen.
What is being stripped away from you today, dearest Friend, as you read this? What are the precious things that remain? 

Words spoken recently from wise ones, which we cherish: Keep on doing what you've been doing. What soul-building, confidence-restoring words to a battered soul. 


I choose to say the same to you, dear Ones who are parenting along with us in this messed-up world: Keep on doing what you're doing. May you find clarity amidst the mess.

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