I’m away to the woods and the lakes of northern Michigan this week. And delighted to share this guest post from Kristen of Little House Joy. She perfectly describes a day in my life. And yours too, maybe.
The lady in the restroom at church chuckled and said, “So much for privacy!” when she saw my youngest crawling under the red door to be closer to me while I attempted to have thirty uninterrupted seconds to take care of business.
That was right after changing him back into pull-ups after a tiny accident from his class and the 3-year-old insisted that he should be in the stall with us leaving me one measly square foot, in a squatting position, to change the youngest, wrap up the dirty underwear into a giant wad of toilet paper and toss it into my purse, prop him up on the potty only to hear him bellow, “BUT I DON’T NEED TO STINKY, MOMMY!”
And I know I didn’t have the energy required to pull myself up. And I found myself envious of the lady next door in black sandals who was as still as a statue. And alone.
And a few months ago, I might have waited for an empty restroom before bursting out of our stall like 3 unleashed monkeys. But, I walked out as their mama, not sure if my skirt was even pulled all the way down. Or if toilet paper trailed behind me. Content still.
Because ’tis the season for mothering little one’s. And millions of strong mothers have the t-shirt.
The restroom was full of chatty women. But the one who spoke, she must have remembered the feel and the stride of the shoes and the walk that is currently mine. She had a moment. I knew my children heard her say it. “So much for privacy!” That expression meant only to make me laugh, and to reflect the activity of children, not to belittle them.
But my-6-year-old sponge of a daughter who doesn’t miss anything…the one who searches for deeper meaning in phrases thrown about, she heard her and watched her. This dark-headed, lovely, fifty-something lady who surely left a less-than favorable impact on her when she jeered her innocent comment. So I replied,
“Yes, but I know I’ll miss their company one day…even in the bathroom…chuckle, chuckle.” Ya’ll know, ladies-room style!
And the conversation didn’t end, as I thought it might. She went on…
“Well, there is something good in every era. My last one is going into ninth grade, and you know what? I have found I really like my quiet.”
Again, chuckle chuckle.
And I really couldn’t relate. She’s in a different forest, one I’ve yet to venture. Mine is so thick with timber and grass and briars and massive undergrowth that is a cosmos all its own. Quiet happens, but not enough for me to speak of it as a possessive noun. Quiet is rare. Quiet isn’t always productivity, but a consistent state of comatose at 7:30 pm. Quiet is often hurried…because I don’t know how long I have.
Wait on the Lord; Be of good courage, and He shall strengthen your heart; Wait, I say, on the Lord! ~Psalm 27:14
And all the weary momma’s who have no privacy in the ladies room sing, HALLELUJAH! He’s going to strengthen our hearts. We might live in the jungle, weak and tired and buried in undergrowth, and squashed between 4 dark walls, a toilet, and a kid or 2, but if we wait…HE’S REALLY GOING TO STRENGTHEN OUR HEARTS! There’s water in the jungle, there’s beauty even! And furthermore, there’s a picturesque orchard ahead that will nourish us for the next wilderness we’re sure to encounter.
But those who wait on the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles, they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint. ~ Isaiah 40:31
In college, this was my life verse. It was a season of waiting when I was unsure what He wanted for my life. Unsure of colleges and vocations and when to marry the love of my life. Three children and a decade plus a few years later, it has new meaning. I’m drawn to the simile of the eagle and the runner and the promise that my strength is reborn when I wait. (Even in the jungle and the red stall).
So much for privacy (for now!) And I count it all joy!
I will bless the Lord who has given me counsel; my heart also instructs me in the night seasons. I have set the Lord always before me; because He is at my right hand I shall not be moved. Therefore my heart is glad, and my glory rejoices; my flesh also will rest in hope… You will show me the path of life; in Your presence is fullness of joy; at Your right hand are pleasures forevermore. ~Psalm 16:7-9, 11
Yes! I give thanks for this. Father, you are with me. You’re holding my hand…I promise I won’t let go.
Kristen is wife to a man who calls her lady and mama to 3, six and under. Monday thru Thursday, you might find one of them wiggling on her lap as she teaches piano lessons from her living room to community children. She tells the story of seemingly ordinary days with real life photos and fresh words that fill her heart at nap time. She cherishes childhood. She values home. She embraces life. And she celebrates them at www.littlehousedomestic.com, her joy place.