Time for That

one2As I climbed into the van, a familiar twitch began to dance in the corner of my eye.

All the way home, it moved to the rhythm of…

“I need to do something.  I need to write a book.  I need to teach a bible study.”

Twitch. Twitch. Twitch.

Now this rhythm is no stranger to me.

This feeling, this twitching pops up every now and again. Usually after a conversation with a beautiful, intelligent, might-as-well-be-a-sister friend. Birthed from life-giving adult interaction, which every mama knows is a blessed reprieve from short sentences and incoherent questions.

So just for a moment, I go back to the woman I was before I became a mother.

The speaker.  The teacher.  The “go tell it to the masses” minister.

It is familiar and comforting, like a perfect pair of broken-in jeans. I know each curve, each gap, each give.  I “get” this place.

And that, perhaps, is why I go back to her, dangle my feet in this familiarity and even start to plan that book, that thing that will “change the world” until I walk through my kitchen door and see this…

one

The tangible reminder that quiets my “I need’s” into “Someday, there will be time for that.”

You see, I live in a world of crushed-in cheerios and childhood insecurities and laundry piled to the ceiling. I live in a place where cardboard tubes and duct tape are the things that periscopes and lean-to’s are made of. I live in a time that will not stand still.

They will only be…

Eight once.  Five once.  Three once.

And I am the only one who can be their mom.

My presence matters.

I know it every time I say goodbye and they yell themselves hoarse until I am out of sight.  I know it every time I come home and am smothered with kisses and body-slammed with hugs.  I know it in every beautiful, awful, messy thing that comes to us in a day.

Maybe I am grasping a little harder at the impermanence of life because I have struggled and fought for it.  Maybe I knew then what I am trying to remind myself now.  Maybe I have to let go of the “I need’s” because when you hear, “You have had a stroke, Sara,” your first thought isn’t, “I need to teach a bible study.”

Your first thought is, “I need to get home to the people I love.”

I need to kiss them and hug them and drink the very breath out of them.

I need to go back to the place where I still have work to do.

To tiny hands.  To elementary school dreams.  To superhero-underoo wearers.

To the people who need me and will teach me this truth:

Ministry begins with 30 years of the mundane.

It grows out of lumber and rough edges. It comes from a workbench covered in sawdust. It takes a skilled carpenter to point the way Home.

The late nights.  The bags under your eyes.  The sacrifice.

The showing up.  The letting go.  The unconditional love.

The every day.  The hard stuff.  The gut-wrenching stuff.

It all sands and refines and builds and ministers.

IT. ALL. DOES.

And there will be time for bible studies and books and “changing the world.”

But this only happens now.

And I don’t want to miss it.

Because if I go Home before I get “there?”

I want go out holding tiny hands, listening to elementary school dreams and loving on superhero-underoo wearers. Doing the job that still needs to be done.  And changing my world one little hand at a time.

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