I whirl ice and coffee and vanilla creamer in the blender, my own version of iced coffee.
The clock on the stove reads 6:33 am.
I grab a straw and go about the house opening blinds and switching on lamps, gathering toys and stacking books. I wipe a thin layer of dust from the table by the window and I straighten my stack of books.
The first one arrives at 6:45, the second soon after, and I hear my phone chime with a text.
“They’ll be there early today. Exam,” it reads.
I glance at the clock to check the time, knowing they will arrive nearly an hour earlier than usual.
I run my hands over my face, knowing that the morning has evaporated and I will have no time to write.
I close my eyes and I could cry because I have no time to think or read or write and for a good long moment I’m mad at God for snatching my time.
I serve breakfast and wipe up spilled juice and the baby cries to be fed.
My tribe tumbles down the stairs, one at a time, each one pouring cereal and milk and I notice that both boys need a haircut.
The girls squabble over the dollhouse and the smallest one screams at everyone who touches her and I replace batteries in broken toys.
My phone dings with incoming email and messages and texts and right in a row, 3 people send me links to things I need to read to become a better writer, lessons learned about creating, consuming, and criticism, and how to get published.
I tear up because don’t they know I can’t even think straight and try to lose these 16 pounds and be a wife and a mama and a childcare giver and a partner in ministry and a friend and a mentor and a life coach and a cleaner upper AND use my small gift that everyone feels the need to tell me how to use???
The baby wails to be fed again and it’s nearly lunchtime and I slam the pans and I wash my hands and I don’t even want to write.
Do you hear me, God? I didn’t even ask for this. Write? Are you kidding me? I got nothing. Nothing except for whatever You’re doing here on Avent street and I didn’t sign up for this gig. Don’t you know that when the man said Anything, Anywhere, I didn’t say it with him? And haven’t I been faithful to keep telling this story, anyway?
I carry on in my mind and I burn the chicken nuggets and squirt ketchup on the side of the cabinet. My head pounds with all the things I want to yell and can’t.
I stare down the clock on the wall and realize that nap time is just 90 minutes away. I bite my tongue and withhold the thanks I should so freely give.
I withhold it because I know this thanksgiving thing, this counting gifts, this way to joy in Christ…this is the only way to open my hands to God’s anything.
And I don’t want His anything today.
I hold tight the kitchen counter and my knuckles whiten as I grip the edge and I feel Him come close.
Close enough to rest His hands on my fists and press them gently open and pull me into His side…
And I am undone.
He has come after me again and I give Him my fears and my anger and my gift and I can speak but one word,
Anything, Lord. I’ll do anything.
Today, I’m giving away 2 copies of this little book by Jennie Allen. To be entered in the drawing, leave your “anything”, that thing you need to surrender to God in order to live a life that matters, in the comment section. And then prepare to have your world turned inside out and upside down.
I’ll announce the winners on Friday!