Wednesday, October 17, 2012
"Mom, let's get into our space suits and fly around space." She says these words from the dark of the backseat of our car which rolls along the highway through the moonlit countryside.
I grab my imaginary helmet from the passenger seat. I tell her to buckle up because the rocket can get "rumbly."
"What do you see?" I ask as I steer our car around turns and navigate the almost empty roads. The stars are bright tonight and she is laughing with delight.
"I see the earth, mom! And the moon! And poodle!" She points toward the car headlights passing, the towers blinking, the sky black and twinkling above us. "So many stars!"
There are moments of parenthood that I know will make it into my "what we used to do" memory box. This is one of them. I don't know if it's normal or not, seeing as how I'm just me and not anyone else, but I rarely go to bed thinking, "I nailed it today. I'm an awesome parent."
More often than not, I find myself going to her and apologizing for losing my temper. I let some things go that I shouldn't. I see things in her that I know are in me and I feel too lazy and apathetic about it to address it, and instead, stare at the clock longing for bedtime.
But this night, after we've traveled through space and leaped across Mars and Venus back into our quiet apartment, she's listing out prayers into a prayer journal on my lap. Her words are alive and beating, and she's asking God to make her heart beautiful. To help make Mama's heart beautiful. And I'm realizing that if the best I can do is show her how desperately we both need Jesus to rescue our sin-prone hearts, then that's a good start.
My goal with her isn't anything worth writing about. I spend most days spinning the plates of owning a business and single-parenting a wild child, and by the end of the day, I'm not looking for my golden nugget of parental approval.
This is parenthood: One moment, I feel like I can't shoulder this burden on my own any longer. The next, I'm taking her on space rides and marveling at the idea of a God who created something so big, has come near to us, so small. I'm telling her I'm tired, and that I feel like I'm being ugly without any good reason. She says she is too and we pray. She asks for things that I can't give her and it tests my trust in Him who says He works all things for good. And then we read stories of the wardrobe and Tumnus and every sculpture we see waits for Aslan's breath to set him free.
Parenthood is a journey of my heart learning that I can't change a person. I can't save her. I can't set her free from her sin. I can't give her morals and expect her to excel, or give her rules and demand perfection.
I can give her brokenness. The Word that guides our hearts to where we find grace and the love that burrows into our heart. I give her paper to place prayers; I'm whispering teaching and hanging words of Truth around her neck, and hoping that they make a way into her heart to fasten and bind and etch there. And I tell her that God is steadfast, way more than I am. That he is listening, far better than I do. That just as much as she hates the ugliness in her heart, I hate the ugliness in mine, and maybe we can go to the Father together to discover his life-changing redemption.
I whisper "I love you to the moon and back." and she replies, "And back again." This is us. And then we'll put on our space suits and travel through time, because really, that's the best allegory for the ride we're on.
at 8:13 AM