They’d been up since before 5am, carrying on like wild ones are known to do, fixing hair and tucking in shirt tails. Taking on the posture of the kids from across the street and practicing cool slang-filled phrases, they spent long minutes in front of the bathroom mirror, hooting and hollering like any other day.
The girls worked to cutify their khakis and white shirts while the boy admired his face in the mirror and I stood in the doorway quite uncertain of how I should read the moment.
So I quit trying and I lived it.
The kids fixed their own bowls of cereal and glasses of milk and the Man joined them at his spot at the end of the table. They all laughed as he gave a daddy pep talk and I fell in love with that man all over again.
The homeschooled kid from next door met my girls on the porch at a half past six and walked them to the bus stop one street over. I watched them giggle all the way to the stop sign, the latest stray running along behind them and I etched the sight in my mind,
Counting gifts: no tears, peals of laughter, good friends who share in the joy of the moment.
The boy and I sat on the porch for a while longer before his bus was due to arrive. He adjusted and readjusted his belt and smiled at me, too grown up for words. I asked him if he was scared going to school all alone and he answered with a shake of his head.
I believed him.
I hugged him goodbye and then watched him stride on down the street, alone, to his bus stop.
And I stood on the porch and counted again: one strong boy, confident gait, compassionate heart.
Quiet can sometimes break a heart, making it soft towards Jesus, gently bending the soul towards the loving arms of Truth.
But sometimes, quiet can provide just enough space for the mind to begin to fill a heart with angst and regret and should have done betters.
Because I’m sitting right there on the edge with you.
You are enough and all of life begins and ends with You.
You, who have given me a house and a heart full, You have called me to mother these children.
You have named me good enough, strong enough, loved enough, equipped enough.
You have put your very nature in me and even at my worst I am still Jesus Christ in Lori Harris.
I give you my quiet house, my achy heart, my thoughts I can scarcely hold captive and I trust You in this very moment.
I trust You to redeem any time I’ve squandered,
Right any poor decisions I’ve made,
Release me of any angst that chokes the living out of my life.
You love my kids more than I ever could.
You see the big picture, the larger community, the scarlet thread running from our home all the way to Baskerville and Parker.
You know how this turns out.
And I trust You with the beginning, the middle and the end.
Use us, me, to make much of You in the smallness of this everyday life.
Increase our faith, enlarge our territory, and embolden us with Your story.
Make our lives count. Make us brave. Make us servants.
Make us wholly Yours.
And for all you mamas who are trusting Jesus with your children in the public school system for the first time, let me know who you are. I’d love to put some names and faces together.