I am Running a Race.
It has Changed.
It is Different.
It is Better.
My son could barely walk home from school, could barely stand, was in severe pain and white as a ghost. I sent Jake with Grace and the baby to walk a street over carrying popsicles to say thank you to my dear friend for taking on three of my kids while I rush to make an emergency doctor appointment. Jude looked awful. The doctor pressed on his stomach and immediately it appeared he had appendicitis. Oh Lord please. Here we go. Sending text messages. Juggling plates and knives. Staying “mom calm”. Jude said he needed to go to the bathroom before we head from the pediatrician to the hospital. And somewhere between the bathroom and the ER waiting room, Jude starts to look better, and he begins to tell me he thinks he really just had to poop. He said that he really was feeling much better, and he jumped up and down to prove it, and then danced, and then jumped some more. And I know I should’ve been relieved. And I know I should’ve been thankful, but my afternoon just got hijacked y’all. And three hours and plans to go buy valentines with my kiddos are gone. And I have just used all my mom magic to secure 900 people’s dinner, childcare and a possible sleepover all via text messages for a kid who just really needed to poop. I may or may not have said some choice words in front of Paul, the ER nurse, who acted like he did not notice.
And then I’m reminding myself it’s all really ok.
Homework will get finished…or not.
And baths will happen…or not.
And someday we will laugh about this…or not.
My kids had peanut butter and jelly sandwiches in their lunch today with white bread y’all. I didn’t even try to fake that…just bought the white bread. It was cheaper. They had a twinkie for dessert, and most likely 90% of their lunch will kill them, but the lunches were made…and I had a smile on my face the whole time. I may have told my daughter to just knock out 1/3 of her homework last night, and we would tackle the rest later. I may have re-heated breakfast tacos for dinner, and made brownies at 9pm while three of my four children were watching a TV show and let them eat an entire pan way after bedtime because we were laughing and happy and whatever y’all…just plain whatever. And I totally made us late walking out the door today because I was talking to my baby and my oldest and lost track of time and then couldn’t seem to hurry. I may have given up on all the things that used to make ME feel so good about ME…because they don’t matter anymore. They never really did.
And the Best Mom Pageant is Over.
And I Can Cross My Fingers for Miss Congeniality.
And the Two Year Old is Wearing Footy Pajamas for an Outfit.
And I Pray More Now than I Ever Looked Pretty Before.
And Nothing is the Same.
And It’s OK.
It’s Really All OK.
We sat with Lucy last night at The Ballard House (a home for people seeking life saving medical attention), who goes in for a 5 hour surgery today. She is scared. She said so several times. And her husband, who drove 11 hours to be with her, tells us the drive was worth it and he has big old man size tears in his eyes. And I’m praying for Lucy…who I just met because I don’t want her to die y’all because her husband loves her so dang much. This Tuesday morning we had a phone bank for Rescue Houston….and my house was filled with prayers and phone calls in my kitchen and living room…there were voicemails and HOPE. We offered a help line number and a chance at freedom…a chance to girls trafficked on the internet. And if we are not calling into some little girl’s hell, and telling her someone actually knows she is there, well, then who is calling? A small army of women send sack lunches everyday to Generation One Academy…a school in the Third Ward of Houston…50 lunches…5 days a week…filled with prayers and scripture. Little bellies are filled. Little people are not forgotten. We’ve asked people to donate new bras and panties this month so girls who are rescued can throw away the underwear touched and tainted by men stealing their innocence, and feel a little better…maybe just a little…but it’s something y’all. It matters. Stepping out of my living room and into someone’s living hell. It matters y’all. It’s the LOVE LETTER Jesus keeps trying to send. And He’s trying y’all.
“Dear children, let us not love with words or speech but with actions and in truth.” 1John 3:18
And how can I go back to being the BEST homeroom mom, the BEST carpool driver, the BEST and most organized at managing my everything (and maybe yours too) when all that really matters is LOVE? This crazy Jesus LOVE telling us to dig deeper and LOVE bigger and not just with words but with ACTIONS y’all. Real live living actions. How can I hurry and worry and push to be all the things I used to care about when all that matters is whether prisoners are freed, children eat, the sick are hugged and loved, pats on the backs are given, random acts of kindness are daily, the LOVE of Jesus is free with no price tag or judgment or only-if-you–follow-Him-too added to the goody bag…just LOVE for Jesus’ own sake? Just big life changing LOVE. Because people are dying y’all. They are dying out there in this world, and no words or speech are going to save them unless they are fed and freed and not forgotten. And our lives, no matter how ordinary or boring or busy or exhausting, are still meant to be this LOVE Letter to the world. And that LOVE Letter is written to me and you and our kiddos and our spouses and the person bagging your groceries and the waitress who forgot your tea and the homeless man selling newspapers and the front desk clerk who never smiles and the bully and the beauty queen and the person who smells bad and the person who talks even worse and the people who are nothing like you and the people who are too much like me and the organized and disorganized and lonely and hurting and healthy and healed and hopeful and hopeless because y’all here’s the deal…this LOVE speaks louder than anything you have ever said. Anything.
So, I invite you, give up with me today. Give up on your BEST and your BRIGHTEST and your MOST BEAUTIFUL you…and get dirty with me. There is a rag tag army of Jesus Freaks forming and there is room for you. We are determined to hand this LOVE Letter to every living soul, and we are going to do it with food and water and bras and school supplies and adoption and free dental work and running races and phone calls and laughter and knowing your name…and their name…and doing what Jesus came to do thousands of years ago….LOVE. And it’s changing the world.
LOVE BIG Y’all.