This is the funny thing about #WholeMama week three. Summers are crazy for so many of us. So crazy. It’s like the normal mom thing plus one for heat and plus two for travel and plus ten or so for there not being any school.
My two-year-old is in some kind of a funk, where she won’t eat but also thinks it is a horrifying imposition if I dare to put away the food she didn’t touch. My big kids are doing fine, as long as they’re in swimsuits in water. I’m one lane off and I’m two steps behind and I’m doing my level best not to take it out on anybody.
This is not a joke. There’s no hiding it. This is a summer mom life, and it is happening.
Cara Meredith and I both traveled last weekend. All weekend. With small children. And the interview she was scheduled to do, with Micha Boyett, was with another mom of young children…also traveling this summer.
They were so on it, friends. They were so on it. They did it way in advance, but then they wanted to do it again, to fix something, and then it just spiraled and every time they got into it again there was an interruption or a technical difficulty (whatever those are) and they simply didn’t make their deadline.
Real Talk. Has this ever happened to you? Have you ever tried to do a creative thing and had that happen, that life got in the way and you just couldn’t pull it off? I mean, YES, right? Right? Tell the truth. THIS HAPPENS. This week it happened to us.
Basically we’re not pulling off that event where everybody else is struggling through life and we’re the ones who are like, “WE ARE HAPPY AND WE LOVE JESUS!” [big smile, subtext: in our lives nothing ever goes wrong.]
I mean, we are happy. And we do love Jesus. Sometimes we are mad happy, even when the interruptions are raising our mad blood pressure. And we madly love Jesus, even when we’re trying to put the kids to bed in the summertime and that is mad with three exclamation points.
But we know better than to think if you’re crazy with frustration because the pieces are not fitting together that means you’re not a good example of loving Jesus. We know better than to think that because your outsides don’t find much quiet in this season that it means your insides don’t work right.
Micha tweeted, right in the middle of trying to be with us when it was really hard to be with us, “I feel like the more I embrace quiet the more I welcome chaos.”
Here’s the thing we want to welcome, and embody…and maybe even prove. A restful heart (a heart resting in wholeness, or shalom) is a heart that welcomes real stuff as it comes. A restful heart doesn’t make your two year old lift the precious fork to her precious mouth, but it does keep you from missing this whole crazy beautiful time in her toddler life. It doesn’t always make it so you get your interview done on time, but it does make you capable of having true and honest things to say, when the time is right. It doesn’t make you always look good. But it makes you real, like the Velveteen Rabbit is real. And we think that matters.
It would have been easy, just to put up something different on the link-up post…never tell you that we didn’t make our plans. I could have done it without being dishonest. But I wanted to tell you anyway. I wanted to tell you in case you think that Cara Meredith never gets frustrated with technology, or Esther Emery never turns anything in late, or Micha Boyett never has to change tracks because something didn’t go the way she planned.
I wanted to tell you that our chaotic, messy lives don’t make us unable to embody wholeness to one another. I wanted to tell you that you shouldn’t hide it, if you’re one lane off and two steps behind, because life does that. And if we hide it from each other all the time, we just miss a chance to say, “You’re not alone.”
Micha and Cara are going to do their interview again in August. And when they do, it will be extra special because we’ll know that they are real people. We’ll know that these writers that we look up to also have real warm blood and real refusing-to-go-to-bed-in-the-summertime children, and real frustrations. And we’ll love them for that. Because maybe that’s the one thing that makes room for the rest of us…with our warm blood and chaos and real frustrations, too. Maybe that’s our hope.
The #wholemama prompted link-up this week is on the word “quiet.” Go here to see the rest, and add your own.