Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Love is Messy

An enjoyable mess...sometimes, it is fun!
A few days ago, I was awaken by cries in the night. I figured it was more of the same: croupy coughs and stuffy noses. As I scrambled upstairs to my little girl's room, there she was--afraid to move, clenching her little fists in disgust at the mess before her. Looks like the stomach bug came to visit us, as well.

While on clean-up duty, I had a flash of a memory in my mind. Myself, as a young child, sitting in my own bed, the same cries in the night...and then watching my mom, clean me up. I remember feeling bad that it happened, and that she had to get up and do more work. The sheets on my daughter's bed were the very same sheets that I used to sleep in...maybe the flowery print in this scenario helped trigger that memory.

Those sheets are in remarkable condition, for being like 30 years old. Reason being--at some point, they were put away in storage because they were no longer being used. After the divorce, I slept in that bed less often, going back and forth between two homes instead one. I'm glad to have several sets of my old sheets: they remind me of a time of security and routine in my family of origin.

In the struggle to parent my own kids, there is(at times)the haunting feeling of abandonment--lurking around me. In my heart, I've often asked, 'Mom, where are you?' I wish I could pick up the phone and tell her about the things that go on in our day. I imagine that we would laugh about this or that, exchanging some happy memories from when she was a young mom.

Love is messy. Love takes work. Love gives even when it seems there is little, to give. On the days that I miss my mom, I try to remember that she did what she could. In a turbulent time, she loved us in a way that was vital: by providing for our basic needs. It was a sacrifice that was necessary, and one that took time away from us. But she did it out of love for us. She worked so hard, and was an awesome nurse.

I also have memories of my dad, playing with us at the park. Going for countless bike rides, eating Popsicles while they dripped down our chins, attending our first Twins game, going to the Zoo. He is the most fun dad(and grandpa)ever! Life was challenging, but we had fun together. Somehow, we survived and by the grace of God, we now have families of our own to love, and have fun with : )

We have to fight for family life. In today's world, we have many demands on our time, and distractions that pull us away from what we unknowingly crave: meaningful relationships. There are some things that cannot be fixed or controlled. When I feel like life is becoming rather 'projectile' and messy, I go to my Creator and ask for help.

He is every thing that is contrary to my circumstances: strength--when weak...wisdom--when in confusion...peace--when afraid...let's go to God, who has open arms and loves us deeply...yes, even in the mess of it all.