"The Lord is my chosen portion and my cup; you hold my lot. The lines have fallen for me in pleasant places; indeed, I have a beautiful inheritance." -Psalm 16: 5-6
This verse is inscribed on the sidebar of this very blog. It is also highlighted in my bible and on my Instagram bio. Indeed, I have a beautiful inheritance. It's an important reminder.
Earlier in the summer as I was reading another Narnia book with Caleb (The Horse and His Boy), we got to a part which described the stare of King Lune. Caleb interrupted the story to pose an instant competition. "I can do that, easy". Then he gave me a steady, seemingly unrelenting stare. His six year old face showed no expression. Just a silent challenge, with his almond brown eyes and the tiny bit of baby fat that hangs on his cheeks. He cracked a little, laughing. He lost the challenge, and then somehow declared that actually, I lost.
I look around our house a lot. Our life is little. We school. We work. We laundry. We eat. We meltdown. We rest up. We are now twenty nine and six, on the cusp of milestone years. And indeed, whether we always recognize it or not, we have a beautiful inheritance. I prayed for this, years ago. I prayed for exactly what we have right now. Autonomy. A home. A job. These basic things that can be hard to attain are the things I submitted to before God and listed to him as needs. I didn't need it right then. I asked for it for another time, a time to come. And as he does, in HIS TIME, he provided.
We lean on him for everything. It's hard to feel a sense of control all the time, when our hard earned security is shaken. It is Christ, who holds our lot, and he has a plan beyond the ordinaries of the every day.
In the midst of this, I never really know what Caleb thinks of me. I just do the mom thing-I show up, and if I have food, my status of likability instantly skyrockets. All of a sudden, I am wonderful and the best. But when I do all the boring stuff, like make sure he takes showers, it's a drag and I am far less cool. Luckily, it's not my job to be cool. It's my job to be Mom. And as hard as this can be at times, it is always an honor.
Last week we were reading one of my absolute new favorite children books called Last Stop on Market Street by Matt de la Pena. Intertwined in those gorgeous, colorful pages are life realities of a child and his Nana, taking the bus while learning about the not so basic vibrancy of the people and the city in which they live. This wise grandma teaches her grandson service, humility, strength in being happy without, and seeing beauty in the seemingly ordinary. I love it. Caleb likes the book too-though not to the degree as I. Last week when I had picked it out to read again, Caleb huffed while stating, "OF COURSE YOU'RE GOING TO PICK THAT BOOK! You're all about service. I WISH YOU WERE ALL ABOUT FOOD!!" Surprised, I answered incredulously, "Service? I wish that were true. I think you have it backwards...I'm all about the FOOD and need to be MORE about the service!!" Still, if my son thinks this-I'll take it!!
It's easy to carry around the guilt of motherhood. Am I doing enough? Do I need to make the bible more exciting? Do I need to create (potentially cheesy) Pinterest activities that help teach kindness? Am I present enough? These are some of the questions I ask myself. We've got to give ourselves a break. Maybe the internal script should look more like, "I am enough." Why is this so hard?
The other day we were reading (yes another book related anecdote) about the diversity of families. The last pages talk about how families can be big, small, happy, sad, rich, poor, loud, quiet, and so on. And it ends asking, "What's yours like today?" Again, Caleb huffed and sighed. If you wonder what a verbal eye roll sounds like, just talk to a six year old who boasts that he's actually a teenager. Yes, he has made sure to inform me of this. In any case, Caleb sighed and said, "You're going to say Loving. Our family is loving. BUT, I say we are medium". I have yet to really ascertain what he means by "medium" and will broach this topic again. However, if he thinks my answer is that family is loving, I am well okay with that. More than okay-I am grateful. Somewhere along the lines of work and single motherhood struggles and all of the rest that goes along with life, he sees that his mom apparently values service and loving. I gotta say, we can do a heck of a lot better in both. But maybe right now, I need to tell myself, we are good; we are enough, and in this "medium", we find God. Praise be to God.