I could say today was a typical Monday. All those typical Monday things happened. Hit snooze too many times. Rushed out the door. Snapped at kids. Made it to work to get snapped at by someone who has no right or reason to snap at me. Drive home. Dog is really nasty, disgustingly sick. Still. After cleaning up the mess for the upteenth time this weekend (now week). Spent Christmas money to make him better. Innocent words of a child that make my heart sad. Laundry to fold, laundry to fold, laundry to fold... Nothing catastrophic, but not a simple day. Definitely one of those days that would be easier to focus on all the junk, that is for sure.
I won't say that I think God doesn't hear my prayers. I know He totally does. But today, throughout my day, there were just so many incredible reminders of the ways He doesn't leave us. I have been out of my classroom for three weeks. I had an on the job fall that has put me slightly out of commission for the last little bit. I have two weeks to go, and have been feeling a little out of sorts about it. It is tough to watch someone else be you in your classroom - tweaking this and that, talking and laughing with the kids you talk and laugh with. Okay, or just yelling at them. I digress. Anyway, as a teacher, I am supposed to say I love all of those kids equally, that they all mean the same to me. But, I would be lying if I said that. There are 13 kids in that classroom I am fairly certain don't need me, don't want me there, and I do not feel as though I am changing or touching their lives. But the other seven... Those seven need me. And I have missed them. On a totally twisted turn of events this morning, those seven got to come upstairs on a field trip. I got to love on them, read to them, and make them laugh. I got to see their faces light up when they realized I wasn't gone, I hadn't left them. They just couldn't see me. But I have been there, planning, getting ready, and talking to parents about curriculum and implementation. Brainstorming methods of connecting and creating a meaningful atmosphere for them to let go of their home chaos. Oh yeah, I call this God moment number one. I can't see Him. I don't always hear Him. But He is there nonetheless.
Fast forward to this afternoon. Because of aforementioned injury, I have to go to physical therapy. And, oh, it hurts. It is not fun. It is not easy. But, I laugh. It hurts. Then there are those people right next to you, hurting with you, making fun of the way you are grimacing over the most normal activities. They challenge you. I am on the same rotation as two others. We come in at the same time, we make fun of each other, and I find myself almost dreading the day when these sessions will be over. Healing isn't easy, but it doesn't have to be miserable. I call this God moment number two. Healing is a process. One that might just be looked back on with bittersweet memories. Cherish the ride.
Picking up the girls from daycare is always an interesting part of my day. I typically find three tired, cranky, whiny kids who are just as ready for their day to be over as I am for my day to be over. We were laughing about our favorite parts, and the light went on. I am one seriously blessed Momma. My youngest said everything was her favorite today. Four months ago, I had to literally peel her off of me, kicking, screaming and sobbing for me not to leave her. And suddenly, everything was her favorite. My normally unhappy child said this was her best day ever. That she really loves the way her teacher believes in her. Gives her tasks that she gives no one else. And the last one said her favorite part of the day was knowing Sassy (our elf) was finally back to spread Christmas magic. It's hard to see the potential for beauty when you are living in the ashes. So incredibly thankful for this day of rosebuds. May not be totally there yet, but we are on our way.
Skipping ahead, tonight at dinner, Jess decided she was really an elf, and was just separated from her elf family. So instead of using her syrup to coat the pancakes, she opened a small bottle of maple syrup, and drank it right out of the bottle. Said all she was missing was the spaghetti. I'm thinking we may have seen Elf one too many times. Lol, said no person, ever. I love that movie. And I've done a great job helping them love it, too.
And this most awe filled moment of the day... Funny how God uses kids - especially those that are driving you the craziest - to speak straight to your heart. I was pulling clothes out of the dryer, trying to just get the essentials completed, Cass walks up to me and says, "Hey, Mom... Can I have something different for Christmas? At this point, dinner needed to be made, I had a dog kennel that needed a bleach bath, that I needed to bleach myself afterwards, and trying to just fold the laundry. I looked at her, trying to be gentle, and said, "Cass, first, you are whining. Second, please just let me get what I have to get done before we talk about Christmas." She said, "Momma, I need a Bible for Christmas. A real one. With verses. Like this one. I can read it, really I can! Look! 'This is the genealogy of Jesus the Messiah, son of David, son of Abraham.'" And, slap. Yup, God, you've got my attention.
This year has not been the easiest. It has been one of the fastest, but what has felt incredibly difficult. Last November, God laid Ephesians 3:18-20 on my heart. This was supposed to be my year of exceedingly, abundantly above all that we can ask, think or imagine. I would love to say that I see the exceedingly abundant all around me. But, truth is, I don't. Work is harder than I ever could have imagined. I walk away most days feeling so defeated. My goal of home ownership is still not within reach. It will be next year, instead. Special promises God made me have still been sitting on the shelf, covered in dust. Kinda hard to see why God gave me such an incredibly powerful verse. Trust me, I can imagine more than this. Much more than this.
But, as my middle daughter, in her sweet voice read this phrase, "...Jesus the Messiah, the son of David, the son of Abraham..." I was hit so hard I literally had no words. Exceedingly, abundantly above it all. Abraham. Barren wife. Way too old to have a baby. And yet, a promise of a lineage as many as the stars in the sky. His wife laughed. That's how impossible it sounded. And yet, right there. Jesus, descendent of Abraham. I've read it at least a hundred times. Never, ever has it sunk in the way it did tonight.
When God promises you big things, He doesn't walk away. Even after waiting 25 years. Even when everything else seems lost, no possible way. Hope is drifting away, people are laughing because you still believe. You hear the thoughts in your own mind telling yourself you didn't hear right. And yet, He's still there, your story sitting in the palm of His hand. A smile contentedly sitting on the lips of the Creator. He knows how this is going. While I long so much to turn a few pages so that I can see how this season comes to a close, I am so incredibly thankful for moments when He just so lovingly blows my mind. Jesus, descendent of Abraham, the man who gave up and tried to make it happen in his timing. The man who had to lay his own son down to be sacrificed. The man God made an incredible promise to. And He loves me just the same. Pretty sure this story is already written. May not have a fairy tale ending, but I know He's gonna be with me the whole time.