It’s not the four kids, or the homeschooling, or my own school. It’s not the writing, or the housework, or the shortened days of winter.
No, it’s a choice. Because I have always been this way.
Once the second child came, I stopped motivating myself to leave and connect. It takes great effort for me (a rather unstructured woman) to wake, feed, and dress myself–and do the same with the children–so that we can leave.
So, here I am–Monday through Saturday–and I feel somewhat lonely. Very lonely. This past weekend I decided that was no excuse. If I struggle to leave the house with the kids, and I crave the opportunity to love people, then I am going to just have to love people right on through my door.
I made the decision last night to choose love each day.
As I journaled, the spunky and gorgeous faces of two little girls came to mind. They had been begging to come over — and if I slowed down to think about it, I had been dying to have them. So I texted their mom at 11 at night and asked. I was choosing to show love. I fell asleep to the image of ponytails in the yard and fresh baked cookies in the kitchen.
This morning, after school and a cup of coffee, my doorbell rang. It was a friend from town who had come to look at some work we needed done on the house. Normally, I’d let Nathan handle it and disappear upstairs. But this morning I wanted to sit and listen. This man reminds me of weathered skies…his silver hair the cloud to his ocean eyes. His face has aged with the grace of cedar–wrinkles softening the tales of hard times.
And as the man talked I was able to inhale his passion for Jesus. I offered him coffee, he offered us help. And he told me, in a random statement not connected to our talk, that God is a God who chooses love.
My doorbell rang and I opened it to a neighbor. She is always in a bind. Always one step behind of where her life needs her to be. She and her daughter fight with as much passion as they love–and their choice words echo through bedroom windows on summer mid-nights. She needed my phone. Money for a car inspection. Someone to listen to her talk. I needed a neighbor, so I stood there and let her talk. Because I choose love. I choose to connect.
My phone rang tonight and the voice on the other end took me on a journey of 2,000 miles. His boy laugh has become man-grown and I miss the days when my house was full of teenagers and my life full of drama. He barely needs my words of wisdom any longer, but I am grateful that he lets me speak them anyway because somehow, I have joined the village in raising him and the thought of his adulthood makes me realize my own boys are growing. And I want to cry, but he laughs–the laugh that lets me know I have spoken truth that has pierced his heart, but I realize it isn’t me…it is God who speaks to him.
I am nothing. I am broken.
My husband is downstairs and he is frustrated. I need to choose love one more time today, but this one is the hardest. We are sandpaper and salve. We are splinters and band-aids. We chose one another so long ago and the journey has been one of growth and healing, laughter and searching. We have chosen each other again and again and our love has grown. So I sign off tonight, with the intent of choosing love.