“Thou hast formed us for Thyself, and our hearts are restless till they find rest in Thee.”
(Augustine, Confessions (Book 1)
"Mom, we need to move to a bigger house. Look how tiny this living room is!"
Fiona gestures our one, catch all family room/living room/library. Dinah glances over, her focus momentarily distracted from the tv where they are watching House Hunters.
"Maybe not big," she adds, and I think for a moment I'll have an ally. But then - "...but at least 4 bedrooms. At least, Mom."
It doesn't happen often. For the most part, we are a pretty content bunch. But every once in a while, it comes up. And these little kids of mine, they dream and they yearn. My answer is always the same.
"You can go ahead and ask God for a new house. It's up to Him."
Today Fiona fires back - "Yeah, but he won't answer."
I know a little bit about desire. I know a little bit about envy and looking around wondering - well, God? Why not me? What not that? Why not?
I know a little bit of wanting a concrete answer, spelled out in language that I can understand. God doesn't work that way. Although it is hard to explain to a 9 year old who just wants her Mama to have a big kitchen with a walk in pantry and shiny new appliances, it's better.
I know she won't get it if I explain to her - God has given us some crazy good gifts. Indeed, I can see how the desires of my heart have been granted. How he works to gently align my desires with His will in the way a good parent does. How He grows me in contentment and peace a little more each day, each year. How He holds my disappointments, no matter how shallow, in understanding.
At night, I climb the stairs. To my right, three boys asleep in their shared bedroom. To my left, three girls in theirs. Safe, warm, healthy, happy. Together. What could be better than that?
It has taken a long time to get to this place, but it is a good and peaceful place to be. Not settling, or mere acceptance, but a place of gratitude. We are where we are meant to be.
My days are filled with the people and things I love the most, with a fair bit of freedom to be myself within it. I read to my babies. I knit. I bake. I play outside. I work out. I talk on the phone to my best friends. I watch my kids becoming the best of friends with one another. My husband comes home and these days our relationship is the best it has ever been. Grown strong and growing stronger - not from ease, but from the bedrock of trial and mutual commitment. It's better than just good. It's incredible.
But at the very top, even if all the rest of this falls away, I have Him. And that, that is where the truest and deepest desire of my heart is fulfilled: to be fully known and wholly loved.
In this year of Abide, I'm entering a place of calm and peace and it is so, so sweet.
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