Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Trading Nickels

"The life I have chosen as wife and mother entrains a whole caravan of complications." 

I sit here with my oatmeal and my tea, a slow start while the train screams and the wind howls.

Three times today, I've checked to see about all the fuss. Through my kitchen window sit two brand new homes, carbon copies of my own, empty and waiting. The trees stand unwavering and still. I see no evidence.  But I hear that wind, a lonesome and dreary sound. It makes me want to crawl back into bed, but I tried that already, and here I am.

I know wind is an invisible thing, but I'm not sure what to make of this moaning. Hiding under the covers moments ago, God spoke just one line, about new mercies in the morning. I'll tell you exactly what I told Him - I have my doubts today.

Sometimes life feels like two nickels in a tin can. It can feel empty for all the space between, but those two coins rattle around and before long, you swear they're making a song.

Right now I might be choking on nickles. My can is packed so tightly, I don't hear a thing.

The nickels are words and feelings, pain and hustle. They're service and dreams, uncertainties and daily bread that somehow has to get baked. Some nickels are actual things, and I want to sweep them into a tidy pile and toss them out the door. I want bare corners and empty drawers. I want clean floors and children, but it'll cost me.

My can is filled with good intentions and the persistent longing for meaningful community. It's heavy with understanding my job, and heavier with uncertainty about how to do it. It's crammed with burdens that aren't exactly mine, yet feel familiar for all the miles I've walked with them pressed against the shoulders of my heart.

This is life. The days that feel beyond us might be the truest gifts.

As sure as I pray for a little more space in my can, the winds of change blow. Old nickels are traded for different ones.

I exchange things like the physical presence of my oldest son for the anxiety that creeps in after he's off on his own again. The break was nice for a minute, but I sure felt safer with him here.

I juggle parenting a two-year old and parenting her mom, all while I do my clean best to parent Calvin, Ruby, and Siley.

Day by day, we check things off the list. Just as those nickels start to dance, something new pops up and life goes quiet again while stare at the ground and plow on through.

Through the pane, the trees seemed to have leafed out overnight. I'm not sure I noticed until this very moment. They're kicking up just a little as the wind sings its dusty tenor. This might be mercy, the brand new kind.  It almost looks like a dance.

Limbs bow and leaves sway, but they're not going anywhere for a good, long while. This is their season, their A-game. They're prettier in October, but they didn't come to look good. They came to clean the air, throw us shade, kick up a breeze when we need it most.

We've got jobs to do, too, and who knows, tomorrow might find us with some wiggle room. For now, the only thing I know to do is to keep my ear pressed against the Holy Spirit and pray I have the courage and fortitude to dance when He comes sweeping through.

Happy Tuesday, Amigas. You dance, I'll sing.

*Amazon Affiliate links used. (Do yourself a favor a find a copy of Gift From the Sea. I'm not even half-way but it's already been such needed reflection in the midst of all my current crazy.)