Posts tagged Faith
Running a marathon at a snail's pace

It's like this... I want to fast forward and slowdown every single day with these tiny people that crawl and race and shriek and giggle and scream and dance and tantrum and troubadour their way up and down the hall and across our living room rug.

We spent the morning at the Duck Pond... an indoor play space for little people. Which mean Chap snuck in a 10 minute cat nap on the way there and 10 minutes on the way home... and called it good for the rest of the day. People. He didn't close his eyes again until 7pm. Bless my momma heart.

It's a good thing you are so cute, buddy... 

Milo spends most of his time as vertical as possible. He scales walls and furniture. He spent a good 15 minutes with his nose pressed against our glass door watching the gardeners in our back yard this afternoon. He's been caught multiple times digging in the pots in the indoor plant. And he scavenges for food on the floor under his highchair. I try to sweep after every meal... but if buddy sees me coming with a broom, he thinks it's snack time as I collect rogue cheerios and bits of grapes and crackers.

Matt worked late, which meant we were in a run down the clock situation until bedtime. I took the brothers on an evening stroll/bike ride around the neighborhood.  Oliver, who has developed a bit of anxiety related to the lizards that live under EVERY bush on our street, kept up a constant stream of questions related to the lizards. We had a long talk about wether or not the lizards were "sweepin" (sleeping) and wether or not they wear "jammers" and wether or not their eyes were "cwosed."

We stopped at every street sign and found out what it said and listened to the lovely sounds that our hands make when we tap, clap and bonk it. One thing that having a toddler has taught me is that there is no need to hurry while on a stroll. An evening stroll is an evening stroll... it's not a race to get anywhere... for whatever reason, I still have to swallow and resist the urge to rush past street signs, or sticks in our path, or lady bugs or any shiny (or not so shiny) thing that catches Oliver's eye and demands inspection.

And so, we moved slowly around the block... sometimes biking, sometimes walking, sometimes strollering... at a snail's pace. 

But when I slow down... and chose to enjoy the toddler pace, it is an amazing and hilarious and bizarre thing to experience the neighborhood from a 2 year old boy's perspective.

The most random things stop him in his tracks.

I want to memorize this season.

I want to memorize Oliver's voice, and the way he moves, and the way he pronounces his "L's and R's." and how he asks for comfort: "I want my tummy to hode your tummy."

I want to memorize the wight of Milo in my arms, and the strength of Oliver's grip when he's sitting on my hip.

I want to memorize the secret brother language between he boys. Every time Oliver hollers "Oh-cha-whaaaa" both boys belly laugh uncontrollably.

I want to slow it all down and soak it in and memorize it.

And I want to speed it up, and move around the neighborhood and through this season at a steady clip.

But this seasons and these evening strolls happen in fits and starts. Some moments and days fly by, and other moments and days crawl along and we wait until 7pm shows up on the clock.

And most days it is one foot in front of the other. One more load of laundry. One more sippy cup rinsed and loaded in the dishwasher. One more bedtime story. One more diaper. One more stroll around the neighborhood. One more stick to inspect. One more bonk on the metal street sign. One more "snuggey me" and "hode jew" (hold you) before bed.

Strengthen those feeble hands, mommas. And steady those knees that give way.

This is hard work. This is a marathon, accomplished today at a snail's pace.

Be strong and do not fear.

Your God will come. (Is 35:3)

 

More dan conquer-wers

Buddy, when you like something. You REALLY like it. Which means the new album we've been listening to, with your new favorite song on it, has been playing on repeat in our car. It also means this is the song you chose to sing as you march around our home on warm afternoons banging two blocks together (your cymbals). This is your favorite activity as of late. This is also why, when I'm alone, I drive in silence. And I savour it. Your singing voice is precious to me. And so is silence.

So you've been singing this song nonstop, which has given me quite a bit of time to let the words roll around in my head. It just so happens that your favorite song is a scrap of truth taken out of the bible, and as we were listening to it last week, I pushed back tears as I lingered in the song and in the moment. 

In all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us
— Romans 8:37

And I saw you in the rearview mirror, my precious boy, sweaty from a late morning at the park, And I saw your brother strapped in beside you, all giggles and gummy smiles in his car seat, hair sticking straight up, because Milo. And I felt a surge of pride, and deep deep affection, and fierce protection as I thought of you two  as boys who are growing into conquerors.

Before you were born, we sat with friends and prayed over your life. We prayed you would be a man who loves God, a man of character, a warrior full of strength and tenderness. And today you are sitting in your carseat singing "moor moor moor dan conquer-wers in-him-we-wuv-us, in-him-we-wuv-us."

How deeply do I want that truth to pierce your soul, buddy.

That truth that You and Your brother can stand shoulder to shoulder as boys who grow into men who are more than conquerors. 

It won't be because you are strong. Although I hope you are.

It won't be because you are brave. Although I hope you are.

It won't be because you are clever. Although I hope you are.

If you grow into a man who is more than a conqueror, we can point only to the love of Christ.

The thing about conquerors is that they face a raw reality, one that includes all kinds of cruelties and injustices that you are too young to comprehend. Things that my momma-heart wishes I could protect you from forever. In fact the bible paints it pretty clear, just two verses above the one you so love to sing... Paul asks a very real question:  "Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword?" 

Oh buddy, we live in a broken world and you and Milo will no doubt come against one or more of these as your feet walk this earth.

But here lies the answer to Paul's question.

"No. (Buddy--  None of those terribly difficult or painful things can pull you out of your Father's grip). In ALL of these things we are more than conquerers through him who loved us."

John Piper had some words to say about what it means to be MORE than a conqueror. He argues that conqueres utterly defeat their enemy and find them dead at their feet. But someone who is MORE than a conqueror finds their enemies being raised to life to serve them.

And that is the promise, Sweetheart.

If you walk with Jesus, you will find that all those raw realities of life. The ones that sting, and burn and throb. Things like trouble, hardship, persecution, famine, nakedness, danger, and even weapons that are meant to destroy will be raised up and used for your ultimate good and God's ultimate glory. (Romans 8:28).

Daddy and I are praying for you and Chap. We hate to imagine you two coming face to face with the darkness in this world, and oh that we could protect you from it. But this is our hope in the heartache: In all these things, we are more than conquerers through him who loves us.

We love you buddy. May the truth you are singing sink deep into your core.

Toys. Blankets. Laundry.
Sanders009.jpg

So it's like this at the Sanders' house right now: I get one room cleaned up, the random toys that have been strewn about, the blankets that have been dragged in, the laundry that has been sitting for too long... and then I move on to the next room and repeat. Toys, blankets, laundry. Toys, blankets, laundry. Toys. Blankets. Laundry.

It's relentless.

The picking up.

The rinsing.

The loading.

The unloading.

The washing.

The drying.

The folding.

The putting-upping.

And we are, by no means, perfectionists in this house when it comes to order. 

Which is a good thing. 

Because how in the world do all you precious perfectionists survive out there with a toddler and a crawling baby moving behind them, undoing all the perfecting?

Oh the heat that radiates off my head when a bowl of yogurt gets spilled on a freshly mopped floor. 

It's a marathon, mothering. It's no sprint.

And the toys. blankets. laundry. can be paralyzing sometimes because most days I'm not making progress, I'm just setting limits around the growth of the "messy, messy, messy" (as Oliver is so fond of telling me.).

And my heart starts to throb and my head starts to ache and my mind starts to wander to things that feel bigger and more important than what is happening inside our four walls.

And then I read this friend's sweet words about the work of mothering.

And it was such a gentle reminder about the work we do as moms. 

There is so much more going on in the toys. blankets. laundry. routine of our lives.

We are image bearers, doing image bearing work.

As we slip books back into book cubbies and use the end of a broom to sweep out toys that have rolled under the couch and match one tiny blue striped sock to another tiny blue striped sock, we are restoring order and pushing back chaos. 

And isn't that such God's heart? This God of ours who loves peace and establishes order. (1 Cor 14:33)

As we sort lights, and darks, and measure out scoops of white laundry powder. As we carry full laundry baskets on our hips and fold clean clothes on living room rugs we are taking something dirty, and making it clean.

And isn't that such God's heart? This God of ours, who spilled his own blood, that we might be washed whiter than snow. (1 John 1:7, Isaiah 1:18)

The running of baths, the tipping of wet chins while we rinse soapy hair, and the wrapping of towels around nakey, wet little bodies... it is a labor of love. Sitting on knees and leaning over tubs, ministering to the least of these.

Isn't that such God's heart? This God of ours who runs to the weak, and the outcast, and the shamed and the shunned.  (Matthew 19:14,  Matthew 25:40)

This work that we do. It has the Father's heart beat all over it.

We are bringing peace, making clean, and doing it all to the least of these.

Oh that my mind would stay put within these four walls today. As I'm folding size 2T undies, and putting a size 2T bum on a red timeout stool, and wiping spaghetti hands at dinner, and picking up all the toys, blankets, and laundry.

It is a reflection of God's heart.

And if I am attentive, if my eyes are open, if my heart is tender and my mind is present... I can hear echoes of the gospel in the work of morthering.

So let us not get weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up.
Galatians 6:9