Monday, August 22, 2016

Haphazard Summer Confessions

I paint toddler toes on the back steps, because that's the rule. No nail polish in the house, even though she runs right back through when she's finished and it certainly wouldn't be the first time I notice little flecks of nail polish on the hardwood floors. But I paint toddler toes because she brings it to me and this is my job. It's small and it's silly and it's mine.

This summer has been a bit ridiculous. I haven't had time to write, but what really have I been doing? I'm thinking back on it, this first Monday after vacation. What do I have to show for it? I feel this way at the end of every summer, when the days cool off and twilight flutters down a bit earlier each evening. On paper, it seems almost sad. I've started a handful of knitting projects and have finished none, even pulling them out in frustration that they don't seem to feel right. Try a different pattern, a different yarn? Take a week, a month off? Haphazard. My work out routines have lacked my normal focus and my plans for kids and chores and summer math went out the door months ago.

But sometimes the on paper list of what (wasn't) accomplished misses the bigger picture. This summer I became best friends with my neighbors, surely a gift after so much loneliness. This summer I opened up my home to a gaggle of kids and learned to not sweat small stuff. This summer I began cautiously dreaming about the future. This summer I feel stronger and more sure of who I am and what I want than ever before.

It's something I come up against time and time again, challenging me, stretching me, strengthening me. If you're so busying convincing yourself that the small things, the things you don't understand or haven't experienced, the things that feel frivolous or excessive or trite, that these things are ridiculous - you run the risk of missing out on a divine appointment. Because God doesn't just reach us in the thunderhead moments, in some sort of magnificence that dwarfs our every day struggles. The depth and height and breadth of His miracles are always, always that they apply just as surely to the humble things of human life as they do to the majestic.

So I've done a lot of toddler toenail painting and water table filling and dancing-while-breakfast-is-cooking and a lot of talking, singing, wishing, praying. But I'll never say that those things don't have the potential to carry every bit as much weight and power as anything else I could come up with.

I know better.

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