Lately | Catching joy twenty seconds at a time.

There's a big part of me that doesn't want to record the thoughts you're about to read. Because, who wants to say, I'm struggling and things feel difficult right now. Nobody. Especially the one who is carrying the miracle of brand new life and watching two others, full of joy and beautiful happiness, run circles around her each day. Yes, especially that one. 

On Mother's Day, I realized before twenty minutes had even passed the clock since stepping out of bed, that this would be a different sort of Mother's Day. My husband had beautiful gifts on the counter waiting for me, flowers, a card, and my favorite muffins that he made early that morning before leaving to go and study. I started to get breakfast for the boys and before I could even sit down to join them, my Jobie had smeared his muffin from one end of the table to the next, crumbs smashed into every crevice of table, rug, and pajamas. He looked at me with those big and smiling blue eyes, full of mischief and, let's be honest, naughtiness.



My morning continued in a similar vein, my soul struggling to count and redeem any of it as joy. Training is wearisome, my emotions usually raw and reeling. I have tens upon tens of reasons to apologize to my boys each day. I don't find the part of asking forgiveness and telling them that I am sorry the difficult part. Because, my boys always meet me with grace and forgiveness. The difficulty is in my constant inability to meet them in the raw and reeling moments in the same way. I think, wrongfully, that sometimes I want the ability to do this myself and then am maddened by the realization that I simply cannot. I read these words this week and they stopped me in my tracks in a really, really needed way-- You will never esteem and seek grace until you finally admit that sin is a problem you have no ability whatsoever to solve. (Paul Tripp) I cannot solve my yelling, my anger, my harsh tones, my lack of patience with my children. But I know the One who can.


On Mother's Day, as I stood back and watched the joy in my boys' faces over their gift to me of a record player, I realized that this part of motherhood, though seemingly in a difficult spot, it's still full and ripe with redemption. There is plenty of joy and beauty to be found, even if for only moments at a time. The real find, though, is in realizing the Redemption and Joy and Beauty that is here, every moment, for the taking. And that is good, good news.







/1/ possibly my favorite capture ever of my Jobie /2/ captured joy in blowing dandelions /3/ we hung our hammock and I will be eternally grateful that nobody was there to record my first attempt at getting into it. Eternally grateful, I repeat. /4/ pulling out my 60mm macro lens more and more these days in anticipation of a sweet baby's arrival and the onslaught of pictures you'll no doubt be seeing! /5/ our little baby bird at twenty five weeks

21 comments:

  1. "The difficulty is in my constant inability to meet them in the raw and reeling moments in the same way. I think, wrongfully, that sometimes I want the ability to do this myself and then am maddened by the realization that I simply cannot." --> this is a mark of a true believer! this is the Gospel in you! I am delighting to read your in-the-light thoughts this morning, knowing I need them, too.

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    1. Thank you, my sweet friend. I think I'm also really struggling with realizing how God views me-- through the righteousness of Christ-- when I continue to struggle so much with my attitude and words. It's this balance I don't understand right now-- of how to be sorry for my sin yet not act like I have a "spiritual mortgage" hanging over my head, as Tripp says. I would be so appreciative of your prayers!

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    2. ME TOO ME TOO

      ps Sarah! I have had UTIs. The worst. I am so sorry!!

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    3. I know! Aren't they just terrible? I'm just really, really hoping to get off this antibiotic soon : (

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  2. Oh man this post resonates with me. I'm on antibiotics again and my patience with anyone and everyone is pretty non existent. I find myself in tears often...crying out to God.

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    1. Oh girl. I totally hear you. My doctor wants to keep me on the antibiotics until this little girl arrives and that is unfathomable to me! It's my third UTI in this pregnancy and the third one of my entire life. I don't understand! My goal is to finish out this round, which ends in about a week, and then keep on my cranberry pills and juice. I am just so frustrated. You must be too! What's going on with you? Same thing? I am praying for you, sweet mama!

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  3. I needed this reminder right now. Thank you for sharing this beautiful post. The photographs are also stunning and inspiring!

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    1. Thank you so much, Kaylan, for stopping by and for your encouraging words. You are so very welcome!

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  4. Your photos are so beautiful! I just found your blog from the Land of Nod catalog... : )

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    1. You are very kind! So glad you are a reader of the Land of Nod catalog-- such a fun one! Welcome here!

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  5. If I had the frame of mind to articulate what has been pressing on my mind HARD this last month....I could have written these exact words! Thank you for your honesty and know, you are NOT alone! I am overwhelmed by how to not escalate when everyone else is escalating....sometimes around here I have to raise my voice simply to be heard over the ruckus. :)))) But I am also finding myself falling at the feet of Jesus so much more this past week and knowing that is exactly where I need to be. Praise Him for his abundant grace. Will be praying for your health, I am sure that has added so much to your frustration. :- / And by all your bird references....does that mean Wren is official? Remembering that from 2009 baby! :)

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    1. Oh man. I don't know how you do it! I only have two! : ) I had to smile when you talked about raising your voice just to be heard. Isn't that the truth! And, you are right about Wren, friend!
      p.s. praying for you today, too.

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  6. I loved this, Sarah. I know that's weird to say… I think it's just calming to hear that everyone, no matter who they are, where they live or what stage of life they are in struggles with life in general but also at the root of it- just pure sin. Thankfully we have a Savior! Amen? I loved the photos (that photo of Job is my favorite too). I hope you're doing well. Tell Stephen and the boys we say hello.

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    1. Thank you for telling me this, Aubrie. I know what you mean. It's always encouraging to know that we are all in this life together, running after grace together. You guys need to come visit soon and bring Lukah so we can all laugh at his pond antics! : )

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  7. This spoke so much to my own heart. Our great God holds out so much to us -- we only need to reach out our stubborn, sinful hands to take, yes, the Grace, the Beauty, the Joy. Thank you for this. Praying for you!

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    1. Thank you, friend! Been thinking of you and your little one! I know these two will be here before we can even blink : )
      p.s. And I'm so happy about that!

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  8. Hi Sarah,
    I've read your blog for a few years and enjoy the beauty you share so much. The thoughts in this post sounds so familiar to me :) I love how God reveals His love for us, His grace to us, in these moments. I love the lines from Arise My Soul, Arise - "He ever lives above, for me to intercede;
    His all redeeming love, His precious blood, to plead" True, even in those raw parenting moments - and that is the best!

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  9. I like the ease of set-up and the stylish design.

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Thank you so much for reading here and sharing life with me!