“So what’s your big take-away?” he asks, for the third time in two hours.
I look at him from my side of the car and for the third time in two hours I respond with the same thing, “I don’t know. I haven’t had time to process everything.”
The kids toss crayons and squabble over coloring books in the backseat and I think about running away.
There is no easing back into my life, no tiptoeing back into the crazy that is my world.
I curl my legs under me and turn to the window, closing my eyes. What is the one thing that I think God wants me to take away?
I run over the notes in my head, but I find that my thoughts turn to faces, and not to words.
I’ve spent 44 hours with military wives, some on the move every few years and some settling into retirement after years of service. Their world is foreign to me.
But it is also very much home to me.
We pull into our drive and unload the car, just to reload it for church in another hour. I have a small window of time in which to dress the children in clothes that fit, to fix ponytails, rub the weekend’s dirt from 6 little faces, and in minutes, I’m knee-deep in our life.
Thad leaves the house ahead of me. He carries the black bags of church stuff and I follow behind him with a quarter of our church in the family car. In a wild silent pep talk to myself, I mentally prepare to serve the children again tonight. It’s just the next thing. It’s just the next thing.
I slide the car into a parking space and these kids of mine tumble out across the yard at the YMCA. I lock the car and drag myself across the same patch of grass. I teach my oldest to run power point on a wall blanketed in the afternoon sun and she begs for me to please do it. “Just tonight, Mama. I can’t do it,” she says, her eyes pleading with mine. I nod to her, knowing full well we will have no need for power point on a wall covered in light.
Visitors arrive and we have no one to greet them at the door.
Communion bread nearly hits the floor because we somehow managed to forget the plate and it’s hard to serve communion on a napkin.
Thad leads worship because we are a man down and midway through the set, we decide to come unplugged. Literally.
We come home and I serve my crowd a late dinner.
I wash faces again and dress them for bed and then I put myself to bed before 9.
Sometimes sleep is the only remedy for an overactive mind.
This morning, I wake before the sun. I make coffee. I turn open the blinds.
I do the next thing.
I think on things foreign to me and things that are much too home to me and the cost of following a man that God leads.
And there it is, the take-away that Thad was talking about yesterday.
I follow Christ when I choose to follow my husband.
Even when he feels led to do things that I don’t understand, in places that I don’t quite get excited about.
I’m aware of time and I pour another cup of coffee before my littles bring chaos to my order.
Oh, how I wish my take-away were to drink more coffee and do something for me.
Because, y’all…following don’t come easy…especially in my neck of the woods.
*And a quick thank you to the Protestant Women of the Chapel and to Reta Selitto for including me in their weekend retreat. You guys are a special group. You exhale Jesus, move in service to one another, and extend grace in heaps. Thank you for showing me how to follow Christ more intimately by following my husband, no matter where the Lord leads him.