This is a weirdly hard post for me to write. It has nothing to do with the content, but more how the content tends to come out. This is my Mentos in Diet Coke – it just keeps fizzing out and out and out, and sometimes it gets messy.
I’m a mom. I’m a wife. I’m a writer, although I’m still learning how to hear my own voice say that and not immediately laugh at myself. I’m a sister. A friend. A daughter. I’m awkward and over-eager. And right now, my insides feel like a Mentos in Diet Coke.
So, forgive me if I ramble, forgive me if this doesn’t go in a singular thought line. And gracious, if I leave anything out, ask me in the comments because I don’t want to miss a part.
This month we’re talking about JUST – being JUST a mom, being brought down by other’s perceptions of what is worthwhile or not worthwhile for our lives and livelihoods and how we really live.
I didn’t realize until this month, in writing these words for you, and really for me, that I’ve been wrestling with this in my heart for a couple of years. I’m Jacob, wrestling with God, asking for a blessing, and I didn’t even know. How I’ll limp out of this I don’t know. Maybe it’s how I’m already limping through it. Because, friend, I am limping.
Today, I took someone from my MOPS group a cup of coffee.
Which in and of itself is nothing. I went through the Chick-Fil-A drive-thru, bought two drinks so she could pick and I would selflessly get the other one, and I invited myself over to her house to drop it off.
So far, this is sounding less and less like a teachable moment for anyone, including myself.
I figured out a long time ago that there are lots of things I’m interested in. Lots of great and wonderful causes that pull on my heart strings. Lots of ways that the skills and talents I possess could potentially benefit someone else through my offering of them.
In fact, the number of possibilities become so large with all of the factors that at some point instead of knowing which way to go, I sit with analysis paralysis and I wait for my calling, my life’s work, my thing, to be dropped in my lap with a thud.
And all around me, the babies, and dishes, and the laundry couch, and the jobs, and all of the ever lovin’ things, are swirling around me and I feel like all I can do is survive. Keep folding towels. Keep filling sippy cups. Keep picking up the same Duplos.
The mundane and every day ness tricks me into thinking that only something BIG could be a miracle and I miss all of the little.
Ya know what I mean?
And man, I want to make all the coffee and sit and talk about this for all of the hours and all of the days, with my legs tucked up on my living room floor and we laugh and cry and maybe hug because I’m a hugger and pray and then MOVE and move big. Ya know?
I’m here, in this place with these little people who need me and want me and like me, and this husband that I am madly in love with and best friends with, and I want that to still be true in 20 years when it’s finally quiet around here and no one steps on a rogue Duplo in the middle of the night.
So there’s always this work all around me, and these relationships that need gentle tending to, and yet….
There’s still this place in my heart that reminds me, over and over, gently calls to me in that still small voice that there are these things that I love and care about deeply that have absolutely nothing to do with where I am right now, and absolutely everything to do with where I am right now.
In case my Mentos in Diet Coke exploding has you lost right now, let me give you a big fat “for instance”.
I want to adopt.
I don’t even think that’s a correct statement, so let me try again.
From someplace deep inside of me that only God can get a hold of and shape, adoption has been growing for as long as I can remember.
I wrote a paper on it in 7th grade and interviewed the only family I knew at the time who had adopted.
It was one of the first conversations my husband and I had back when we first started dating. That I really wanted to adopt someday.
I soak in wisdom and truth and love from adoptive families around me and I just love them for the way they love.
I pray for my babies all over the world if they’re already born that they would know how much I love them and can’t wait to hold them and that they’d have enough to eat and a safe place to sleep.
And I cry, deep, shaking tears when I read “Little Cub” to my kids and I’m just SURE it’s about adoption and they keep picking it at bed time and I cry every blessed time.
But, even with all that truth and growth and beautifulness, my husband and I have not yet felt like we are supposed to step into that yet. We keep moving around, keeping fine-tuning our business, keep praying, and we haven’t felt like that’s our next step.
So I have a choice – I can sit and wait for it to happen or I can move.
And I’m not saying to say Yes to all the things, all the time, until you’re ragged and worn out.
But if there’s a thing, in your heart, that’s growing and it’s changing how you think and feel and look at the world, THAT’s something worth saying yes to, even if you only have tiny yeses to give.
This past weekend, I noticed a girl I know from MOPS post some updates about doing respite foster care.
And on any given day, I dole out yeses and nos all the way to decision fatigue for all the people and the meals and the house work and the jobs.
But right there, right in the middle of my own messy mess, I saw, no, more like felt, a way I could say yes to something I don’t always feel like I have brain capacity for in the middle of all of the other things. I could say yes to adoption, to foster care, to loving kiddos who desperately need love, and I could say yes by loving this person.
I didn’t have her phone number or her address, but my yes became clear, and this morning, I took her a cup of coffee.
Not because I’m awesome because I’m not. Not because I had nothing else to do because you should see the laundry couch right now. And not because it was easy because it meant putting my awkward and over-eager self out there to someone new.
But because it was a “yes” to something already growing inside of me, a way for me to take a next step as I wait to be shown another next step.
You know, when the Mentos and the Diet Coke kind of run out of the chemical reaction at the end, there’s nothing really left to say. You’ve seen the geyser, felt the mist, and now, there’s just sad Diet Coke laying everywhere.
I feel like that’s where I’m at.
I’d love to wrap this up in a neat little bow for you. I’d love to hand you a “how-to” in 3 easy steps. But I can’t.
All I know if that I’m not JUST a mom. There are million tiny yeses that I can add to the world, if I take the chance to do it.
And that’s EXPLOSIVE.
Katie Bennett says
Powerful post Leah. That is so cool.
Katie, that’s sweet, thank you. God is gracious in growing me.
Elizabeth vann says
Oh man…. Everything in this post touched my heart. You just put words to my spinning thoughts. Every word. Thank u for this post.
I’ve always had a heart for adoption but everyday life with two little girls make it easy to say but… That yes isn’t now. My heart longs for it but we just aren’t there… Yet. You’ve encouraged me to step out and commit to a small yes to inch the ball forward….. Even in the midst of crazy life right now. 💗 thank u.
From the crazy life trenches,