"A man of knowledge uses WORDS with RESTRAINT,
and a man of understanding is
I'm watching and writing as I see my Redeemer keep bringing all of life 'round. I am seeing what I can see of of the "One Who Sees Me." I open wide my heart to believing there is more happening underneath it all. So this Small Belle Speaks what she sees and hears and rejoices in.
Post title: The Hardest Thing (posted 12-8-08)
When it’s all over and we all stand up, I know what my heart is supposed to be doing. There is just a lot going on to keep me sitting lazy. Lines form in the rows as one at a time sliced bread is dipped into either wine or juice. Children enter the room twirling and doing knee bounces to the music. I look over at my love. Head bowed. Hand on my knee. Other hand on his forehead. I turn my head down and start blocking. My to do list thoughts. My chair being knocked by the family behind me. The singing that has started around me. Though it is my favorite song, I have much to say to the Lord. I need to say it. I need to lean in. My thoughts resist. Even trite thoughts and make believe prayers fill my mind. I end them to start real life ones. The conversation feels hard. But I need to do the right thing in this moment even though it is a hard thing.
Last Tuesday as the usual group lit into a conversation about raising children, what she said struck a bell with me. Sometimes it takes up her whole morning to discipline one thing and those hours are gone, but she didn’t let the thing – whatever it was – slide. She let it take up her morning to deal with it. This was her love for her child.
I had already been thinking about this lately. That the right thing to do in my life is very often the hardest thing for me to do. Rarely does doing the right thing or the obedient thing or the selfless thing feel easy. It’s a pulling and a fighting and a submission hold of the flesh.
My daughter didn’t want to eat lunch today, like most days. Her boney legs dangled from her booster seat. She ate some after doddling a while and then finally got a bite too big and threw up the entire meal. At dinner we did all we knew to do to get her to eat. Act like ridiculous ADHD cheerleaders for every single bite. Probably like twenty seven of them. And every bite was followed by our bright eyes, as we wildly slapped her hands over and over and threw her arms up in the air multiple times. You could see she thought of quitting numerous times. But then she’d see my eyes start to light up. She’d prep her lips, clear out her mouth – as is her usual habit before each bite – and open up wide, looking at us expectantly. She finished that container. Bite by bite. Cheer by cheer. And we wanted to collapse at the end of that darn meal. But she’d eaten. One container of yogurt. And our hearts triumphed. It wasn’t the easy thing. But it was the right thing. And I knew it was how we could love her through her stressful trial of mealtime.
I feel this pushing to do the right thing all the time. And it feels awful, how difficult it seems to choose that, but nonetheless the challenge towards it comes again and again. When I am writing a friend an email reply and know they don’t need to just hear “I’m praying” but instead need to know if there is any encouragement or counsel from my heart. When my husband and I cannot seem to get our thoughts to overlap in harmony and it takes hours of talking to wind our hearts together. When the girls disobey for the thirtieth time that day and I choose not to ignore but again and again go to teach and discipline so that their hearts understand what is right and good. When I have wronged someone and I feel that maybe they would just overlook it or maybe they have even already forgotten it, but I know in my heart of hearts that I am called to confess and reconcile with them. When someone insults me, to overlook their words and do the work of seeing their pain and misery under the conversation so that I can absorb the blows. When I would rather “get something done” but little beauty girl is saying “up” and handing me books.
I don’t want to do the lazy thing. As I “sit there” and all of the distractions and wills of life call around me for my attention, I know it will be difficult to bend my knee and bow my head to die to myself. To block the thoughts that becon me to be about myself. And to say and do the things that the Spirit in me is requiring me to do. In those moments, I want to put my will in a submission hold until it passes out and does the right thing. Even though usually it’s the hardest thing.