“Would you like to hold my baby?” Chamberlain uses an exaggerated, high-pitched English accent whenever she plays this game, and holds a doll out to me. “His naaame is Jeeeesus.”
“Oh, sure – are you Mary?” She nods. Because Mary was British, don’t you know.
Afton looks at the doll. “That’s a pretty small baby. Is it a runt?”
“What is a r-r-r-runt?” Rolling her Rs, quite impressive.
“The smallest animal in a litter. You know, like Knightley.”
“Ooooohhoho, noooo!” She laughs like the Queen of Hearts. “My baby isn’t a r-r-r-runt, he’s a human!”
It was a normal day. You know, the kind that begins with a cat stepping in your coffee cup (with hot coffee in it) and ends with a different cat stepping on a freshly-painted windowsill and leaving oil-based tracks on the kitchen counter. But the rest of it was normal, except for three moose running through our backyard at a gallop, and after that, Cham asked if albino moose poop white nuggets.
So, besides that, totally normal.
Totally normal, like chugging down the highway and the new TobyMac song comes on the radio. We stop at the light and the Stagecoach is bouncing in time to the music. I look in the rearview mirror and Reagan is happy-flapping, grinning like someone in Wallace and Gromit.
Totally normal, like purging a bin of hoarded pajamas in five different sizes for a six-year-old who is in tears because the size 4 pair of mouse jammies can’t be given away because – ready for this? – it would make the mouse sad. Inspired by the Holy Spirit, I convinced her that the mouse is afraid of the cats on her other clothes. Boom — donated those jammies. Hashtag winning.
Totally normal, like walking back to my car from the library and remembering that I have no phone, I left it on the charger at home, and suddenly start imagining all sorts of terrible scenarios involving abduction and the police having to trace my whereabouts by a breadcrumb trail of pages of the books I’ve checked out – a history of folk art, a Nigella Lawson cookbook, a bunch of children’s sewing patterns, the latest Mitford novel. Several years of studying criminal justice in college, and this is all I have to show for it.
(unedited photo of pre-coffee stupor)
All of our days are normal here. Yours too? Nothing too exciting, and we honestly kind of want to keep it that way because, well, we’ve had too much of the one kind of excitement to last a good long while, thankyouverymuch, and we really don’t want to take the risk of that happening again.
These small days run together in a stream, flowing past us. And I wonder if they bring us closer to…what? The house we’re looking for? The breakthroughs we’re praying for? The goals and deadlines we’ve been working toward for years?
It’s easy to feel hemmed in and restless. We’re antsy for the next chapter, the ocean that’s deep and wide that we hope to eventually drop anchor in. And don’t even talk to me about mom-guilt, enjoying these days because they go so fast – moms already know this. The baby is ten months old and has four teeth already, and I’m pretty sure he’ll be driving tomorrow.
We plug through these oh-so-normal days, sitting in one place watching the river go by, and we maybe have the deep but not the wide – and sometimes we feel small and insignificant, and wonder where we are going…or if we are going anywhere at all.
Blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord,
whose trust is the Lord.
He is like a tree planted by water,
that sends out its roots by the stream,
and does not fear when heat comes,
for its leaves remain green,
and is not anxious in the year of drought,
for it does not cease to bear fruit.
– Jeremiah 17:7-8, ESV
We wonder if maybe we haven’t had breakthrough because we’re doing it wrong. Or because we’re not ready. Or because we’re not good enough, not big enough, not important enough for anything more than totally normal.
But maybe it’s none of those things. Because you’re not too small, or insignificant. You’re not a runt, you’re a human.
Maybe we’ve become resigned to our situation. Maybe we’re not desperate to hear from Him anymore because we’ve given up. Maybe we’ve gotten impatient with the process and we’re not trusting Him to finish.
Maybe we see this stream of days as an obstacle we can’t cross, when it was intended to be our provision, our foundation – and eventually, the road that takes us to the ocean faster than our own feet could carry us.
More on doing what is right in front of you – when you’re limited, stuck, and can’t move – in the newsletter coming in just a few days. Subscribe here.