When the busyness of the day has ended and the last charging footstep has quieted into the night, I find myself compelled to look in on my children, still and softly breathing, while they sleep.
I have been with them all day. I have been pursued into the very corners of my home, I have served all the needs and all the wants until I have nothing left, so why should I seek them out for one more look, one more glance at the faces I know so well?
Because when the stillness comes, I am able to see my life like a picture. Every detail is captured in a single snapshot and I am able, finally, to pause and consider. I am able to see that my life is beautiful.
Even in the chaos, in rooms littered with Legos and laundry, I am overcome. I stare at the beauty captured by the quiet and I am compelled to worship.
Sometimes it takes the darkness to see.
The light brings the hurry, the motion, the stream of images that cloud my vision like a movie playing out on a big screen. It moves at such a pace, I do not know where to look. I am unable to comprehend it all. I am surrounded by beauty, even overwhelmed by it. But I am rarely overcome because the urgency of this world hurries me out of worship. It keeps my feet in the clay when it’s my knees that should be on the ground.
It is hard enough to slow down and consider the beauty of these days, to find and reflect on the things that keep our hearts soft and our eyes drawn up in worship. For there is mud and mire all around us, but in every day God gives us a glimpse of glory, a rainbow over a muck-brown world or a crumb of manna in the desert.
The trick is to notice.
Because it’s easy to notice everything but the beauty. We notice the bills that need to be paid and the hair that needs brushing, the chores that need to be done and the dinners that need to be cooked. We notice which child is wet and which child is sleepy and how the baby is out of diapers.
And all that noticing gets us nowhere because it keeps our eyes fixed to the stuff of earth, to the mud and the dust and the dreariness that we never seem to overcome because we are made of it.
But all around in this earth grow bushes afire with God, their roots sinking down into the same dirt that muddies our kitchen floors and stains the Sunday clothes. Can you see them? Lift up your eyes. Bend your knees.
When we begin to notice—to see—the flaming beauty of these days, we are changed. It’s hard to be concerned about that pebble in your shoe when you’re standing on holy ground. But it is a joy to stand in the mud when there’s a rainbow overhead.
Here in our homes, children of Abraham, children of God, we are standing on holy ground. We are raising eternity. We are impacting forever. We are reflecting in actions and words the very image of God. In our daily work and daily bread we find shadows and pictures of glory, simple still-life portraits of the hand of God.
Can you see them?
This series is about taking the time to see, really see, the beauty in the everyday moments of life and motherhood. It is about finding that little piece of holy ground in the middle of the mess and fixing our knees to it.
You can expect, over the next 100 days, to hopscotch across the holy ground with me, to find joy and delight in the beauty of the every day, and to pause there to worship. My hope and prayer is that you will respond, first to God and then to me, with snapshots of your own.
Come mothers and fathers, come friends, and notice with me. Take off your shoes, forget about the blisters, and delight in these days.
They are beautiful.