For weeks it’s been a struggle to roll myself out of bed, to put my feet on the floor of my life and get the job done. My mind is a constant whirl of the things I want to do and the things I have to do and the things, that in my flesh, I simply don’t want to do.
By nature, I’m a starter-upper of things, a dreamer of next steps, a builder of teams to get jobs done and sometimes, my house feels like it’s closing up around me. I can literally see my world from any one of the 29 windows in my drafty old house and yet, the seven or so little people dragging out every toy in every daggum bin and basket all over the inside of my house, keep me hog-tied to my home, just trying to keep everybody alive.
Some days, I find myself staring out any one of those drafty windows like a crazed woman who is being held hostage by ankle biters and toy snatchers, that I wonder what my neighbors think. Do I creep them out? Have I become that weird white lady with all the wild kids, married to that man who knocks on their doors? Surely, not.
I spend hours each week watching all of my neighbors that I know, but don’t really know, come and go on their bikes and in rickety strollers and hooptie cars. I know their names and the houses that hold the stuff of their lives, but the nagging sensation that there is more to my neighbors that I want to know is always hanging around.
But at the root of all the nagging and the staring is the lie that what God is doing out there, on the other side of my windows, is more important than the work He is doing inside my windows.
And Tuesday was a reminder that I thought I didn’t want.
On Tuesday, I woke to the promise of snow and a house filled to the brim with my people and the people from down the street and the little people who spend their days with me.
And not just any snow. The kind of snow that brings downed power lines and school closings for years and vats of snow cream. The kind of snow that’s ripe for snowman making and muddy boot making and cranky, we’re-stuck-inside-forever making.
The kind of snow that slows our sleepy little town to a crawl and sends this mama to the couch in search of a book.
That kind of snow.
But by 11am, the impending southern-style blizzard had filled my house with 14 children, one being the 12 week old babe from down the street.
I could write you a small book on all the ways the events of Tuesday messed with me. I could tell you about the crying and the tracks of snow through the house. I could tell you about the most awful, paint-peeling smell that will eat your face off if said snow-tracker-in-ers decide to take their shoes off and stay well into the evening. I could tell you about the cookie eating that happened in places where cookies are not to be eaten. I could tell you about how the boys ganged up on the girls and doors got slammed and fingers mashed.
Or I could tell you about the baby snuggling and the way she found her hands. I could tell you about how one boy ate 12 cookies and 3 glasses of milk because we don’t have no milk at my house. I could tell you that the boys maintained the fire in the fireplace for hours and felt like men for days after that. I could tell you about how the smelly socks and baby things got laundered because snow causes me to nest and how little people hold their heads a little higher when their clothes are clean. I could tell you about the 2 girls who got a lesson in how to swaddle a baby.
Or I could tell you about the mama who turned her hands to serve the neighbors Jesus sent into her home and learned that sometimes, being closed up in a home is the best gift she can give her neighbors.