What starts in the morning, swirling steam through the inner thoughts of this space. This writing.
When I say that I am strong, I mean this: I have been broken in a thousand pieces. I have been fused back together by grace.
When I say that I am treasured, it is because I am loved deeply. Completely. Unceasingly.
In the 14.5 years that I have been married, I have said things I should not have said, done things I should not have done. I’ve ripped him with barbed sarcasm; I’ve let anger win over love.
But also, I have stayed in this thing all the way. I have sat cross-legged on the living room floor until we worked it out. I learned how to cook his favorite meals.
Our jokes are getting a little frayed around the edges now, but we still laugh, doubling over in the kitchen over something not-that-funny, while Azaelea runs in circles around us.
Every Sunday night, I want to plan the week’s meals. Healthy meals. Good meals. Recipes I’ve perhaps pulled out of glossy magazines. I want to make detailed grocery lists, painstakingly noting each ingredient. But I have to try.. have this extra effort. Because around four o’clock on Tuesday, the beginning of the week, I realize we are out of milk, lunch was wasted and I forgot to buy pepper, so we have frozen pizza for dinner :: picnic-style in the living room instead.
The kids are hungry, and I am trying to finish reading an article, tweet a blog link, jot down a beautiful sentence. I am always saying “Just a second.” I am always multi-tasking, always letting someone down, always a little bit unbalanced in my priorities.
But I can’t stop spinning the words under my eager hands, because this is my calling too, just as I am called to hold these children, teach them, wipe their tears. I get up when the world is still dark. Start their breakfasts. Pack school lunches. Drink too much coffee. I write imperfect things.
I try to knit with my Grandmothers needles & wool and it looks a little off. The quilt she made years ago will never be mimicked. The squares don’t quite match in all the corners; the hurried seams are coming undone. But a son naps under it anyway on Sunday afternoons, his breath peaceful under this threadbare display of love.
We are drinking wine while the dishes sit, unwashed in the sink. I am sitting with Daryl watching a movie instead of catching up on laundry. And it might seem like the bread of idleness, but I know better. I am learning that what seems like waste is really love.
Azaelea reaches up first thing in the morning, says, “Mommy, hug.” I walk in the kitchen and Kai smiles like the sun, and this is how they call me blessed. Ethan and Asher beam over clean socks & full bellies. Daryl puts his arm around me as we walk, and it’s a thousand words of praise.
When I say that I am noble, I mean this: crow’s feet and stretch marks and orange hair, with strands turning white with age. I mean that my floor is covered in crumbs. I am still choosing the same outfit three days later, still trying not to nap at two in the afternoon. My kids are wearing worn out jeans to school, & they like them that way.
I mean that I am enough.
Just like this.
Just as I am.