Yes - each time I notice it when I don't hold it together.
I notice it in a messy home.
I notice it in a laundry room overflowing and a van needing to be cleaned out and plants dying on the front porch.
It's in a kitchen not stocked and a child not being schooled and a husband not being loved.
It's everywhere when I don't hold it together.
Children fight instead of play and love and even the dog lies lonely in the corner and I lie awake in the dark and despair.
It's everywhere when I don't hold it together. Cause when Mama doesn't function the world seems to stop spinning order and just slings chaos. I see the way they look at one another and hear the whispers so why doesn't someone just come on out and say -
Mama's not holding it together.
It's falling apart. That's what it is. And it's everywhere when I have days that I feel shook up. Like a syndrome that shatters.
Like a three day migraine but this is the fourth day of not holding it together and where is a migraine when you need one? I could count it as excuse but excuse is only that I'm refusing grace and accepting despair tied in a knotted black ribbon.
I'm late for the Pooh movie - cause I forgot the Pooh movie - the only one I wanted to see in the summer showings. When I come in Sandra has bought my tickets and saved my seats and listens when I complain before I ever even say hello. Maybe I never said hello?
And then a stranger shows me grace and I don't even think she knew it or intended it but just like I used the buttons on his shirt for an impromtu math lesson my gentle Father uses this stranger to remind me that He catches every fall - every one.
I place my order in the drive-thru and she tells me $9.79 and I have a five and three ones and a dollar in change. And no card. I'm looking for my card and Izzy's digging for change and I'm looking for my card - the one I still can't find - and I'm remembering that I read somewhere, can't remember where, that only amateurs rush. I remember hating that when I read it and I'm looking and thinking only amateurs rush when she rolls her eyes and asks me
Is that nine dollars?
Yes, but I'm trying to find my card.
Here. Just take it. Nine's fine.
There was no smile from her, no poor lady she's having a really bad day look on her face. No sympathy - just move the line along.
And I take the bag and wonder if I'll make it home before I cry cause my darlins' will think there's something wrong and there is something wrong but not what they'll think.
Cause now it's shame. Because it is grace that is everywhere and my Father has a way out all around me and just like Elijah when touched by an angel God shows me that he indeed does care about my struggles and loves me deeply. He loves me and He is saying she's having a bad day and He whispers a sweet love story to me.
And I listen. And I ask for courage and faith. And maybe just a little bit of that sweet life in the hundred acre woods?
And I think I heard my Father say -
Soon, it's coming soon, my child.