While I was away, I heard funny words sputter from the mouths of my babes tenfold, while watching them play baby, superheroes, husband and wife, and I watched him as he marched around the house in his two- sizes-too-small Spiderman costume, hands on his hips, saying, I'm not playing; Brooklynn wont marry me.
While I was away, my three year old told me I was pretty, and has made it a daily event to crawl into my bed each day before sunrise. Though he likes to be cuddled and snuggled and held, he hardly told me goodbye when he walked into his new classroom of six other 3 year old boys, just a few weeks ago. He's so sweet, his teacher said, he's so snuggly. This I know well, as I wake in the morning with my arm extended toward the headboard and a Spiderman clad toddler taking over my side of the bed.
While I was away, I realized that having or doing exactly what I am, is exactly what my five year old wants, too. Are you having Greek yogurt on top of your soup? Then I want some, too. I realized that when the boy receives a wood craft at checkout from the Home Depot cashier, that I must ask for two, because the girl believes the crafting world is her territory. I realized that she likes to be where I am, standing on the stool as I cook, talking in my ear as I sit, motioning me to get out of bed as I wake.
While I was away, I took myself off of my anti-depressants. I also decided to quit having a drink and no longer crave coffee three times a day. Thankfully, I haven't an addictive personality, unless hoarding books, running and loving Jesus are addictive--I'm okay with that.
While I was away, I decided to not go back to school to finish my Masters in Teaching, but pour myself into my work in prevention. Tomorrow, I meet with a man who has built a life around helping hurting teens, prevention and bringing an awareness to suicide. I plan to ask him about his faith and how he shares it? And I expect to see that in this work, the brink of devastation thick in the air, while hope rises.
While I was away, I considered shame and how debilitating it can become, how it takes lives and stirs them, shaking them upside down into a tornado of lies and fear, and how, if one can see even a sliver of hope through it, a rainbow awaits her on the other side.
While I was away, I thought about my book proposal and those few chapters that envelope a pain that I knew so familiar, and wonder how I can weave into it The Light? While I was away, I happened upon this idea a small handful of times--"The more scared we are of a work or calling, the more sure we can be that we have to do it," and I cling to it, even in my baffled-ness.
While I was away, I grew spiritually, and have been working on the ways I can better lead. I've considered my fear of public speaking and decided that I will no longer fear it, but embrace my unpracticed-courage. I'm ready to be more, say more and do more, even if my nature depends a lot on solitude and not an ounce in the spotlight.
While I was away, I decided to not settle--not in this life, in circumstances, not in the plans I have for my family and the wants that I have for my children. I contemplated friendships and what I must give to expect what I expect. I have set my sights high and expecting a life anointed--a life where God unfolds his favor while we are guided and lead by Him.
While I was away, I lived, loved and grew; I was nourished and renewed and relieved.
And for these things, I am happy. For it is the times we are away, the heart grows fonder, the roots grow stronger, and the love runs deeper.
Friends, thanks for allowing me to be away.