“Do you know what?” The 8 year old starts all her conversations like this. She says it at least 100 times a day. She blushes and apologizes for talking as much as Anne Shirley, who she is completely embarrassed by when we read her nonstop words. I say “No girl, tell me all the words, all the time.” My ears get tired but I want her to always talk too much to me. More than anything I want that. When she is 30 I want her calling me like I do my mom and telling me random information about some funny thing she or her kids did that day, because I wanted all the words all the time for as long as she remembers.
The 3 year old begins to crawl over my back as she tries to find a place to sit in the small chair that I just sat down in to read. . . alone. She always finds me. She asks “Where can I sit??” in the all too familiar whine tone that has become so common in the last few months of her 3rd year. I begin to get frustrated (and sometimes give in to this frustration) but I just sigh and place her on my lap as she wriggles around. I want her to always know I want her around. I want her to know that my frustrations and hard tones are not the sum of how I truly feel for her. I want to be needed and then sometimes I don’t. But I know there will be plenty of the “uneeded” moments when they are older. . so I keep her near. (She is now crying as I type this because her dad is making her clean up her room. . ah the trauma we inflict on these little lazy but sweet hearts we have).
These are my moments and days. Frustratingly beautiful and I just want to soak it in but also be alone at times. I see all the memes and the blog posts about “don’t feel guilty if you need a break” and “take time out for yourself” and I get it. I’m all for breaks and refreshers. . . but what if we had a different mindset. What if we brought about our death by LIVING. . living with our people when we want to run away. A quote from a book….. “Our heartbeats cannot be hoarded. Our lives and bodies are meant to be spent.” I ran across Paul’s words and they will now be my life slogan. . my mom slogan. . .my wife slogan.. . . “I will spend and be spent for the sake of your souls.” (2 Cor. 12:15)
And so I open my eyes in the morning and plan to be spent and poured out and pray my sin doesn’t get in the way of my desire to lay down myself for these momentary times of need. They are already slipping so quickly away. I pray I smile when my daughter says “Do you know what?” for the 1,000th time so I can remind her that I want all the words. . like our Father in heaven wants us to speak with him about everything. . pray about everything without ceasing. I want to be able to place the grumbling 3 year old on my lap when I really just want to be quite. . and share with her how forbearing and long suffering and loving Christ is with His children. That when we were the ugliest toward him, while we were still sinners, he acted in the ultimate loving fashion. . . of pouring himself out on the cross for us.
My prayer is that, even in our failures, we are encouraged with the circles of people the Lord has placed around us. Not just moms but ANYONE with souls around them that need the good news of the Gospel poured out for them. I pray we quite the world of self love and look beyond our needs to the souls that we should spend and be spent for. The Lord fills us up when we need it most, through his Word and through others being his hands and feet. And much like the widow with no oil left, we lift up ourselves and pour our empty vessels in faith that something will always flow out. So, today, I encourage you. . . in all the times. . . especially the times you want a break and would rather just be alone. . . remember Paul’s words and make them your banner as well. . ” I will spend and be spent for the sake of your souls.” This life is so short. . . might as well pour into that which will count for eternity.