at the risk of sounding somewhat depressing, i want to take a second to recognize that life is hard. i was texting with one of my friends the other day and i mentioned that it is amazing how ordinary raising a family is. i mean, people do it all of the time, and yet it feels like it should be something that is rare and only done by the daring few. when people find out that you are a mom and you are raising children, they should be shocked and amazed at your discipline to take on such a feat. you know, like how people react when they find out you are running a marathon.
so often the idea of "family" is hard, grueling work. it's the work of training hearts and scrubbing toilets, of paying bills and making meals. i've always dreamed of what it could look and feel like to build a family, but it sometimes feels like the actual down in the dirt business of building a family gets in the way of my dreams and ideals.
i tell my kids every day that almost everything i do and every decision that i make is because i love them. it's just that so often they get in the way of the things i want for them or the mom that i so deeply desire to be for them. it would be so much easier to be a good mom if i didn't have kids.
it's incredibly easy to get sucked into the mundane grind of life.
-drown in laundry.
-try not to get mad about how hard it is the keep the house kind of clean.
-tell my kids not to fight.
-wonder if all kids in the world fight like mine do.
-wonder if i am screwing them up.
-get stuff out for dinner.
-try to greet dave with love and joy without letting him see the exhaustion in my eyes that tells a story of a broken woman who wonders if she can sustain this day in and day out grueling business of raising a family.
a few weeks ago we were in a cycle of this very real daily grind. the kids were sick, i could not for the life of me keep any amount of laundry clean, people were waking up at all hours of the night and i would catch myself daydreaming about grown children.
we had planned a ski trip at the end of said week. i even told my sister in law that i wished we weren't going. it just sounded like too much work and there was so much other stuff i was needing to catch up on.
well, we went. we woke early, threw ski gear in the back of the odyssey and grabbed coffee on our way out of town. what followed was one of the most beautiful days in the life of our little family. there is a mini lift at the base of mary jane mountain at winter park called the galloping goose. we rode up and flew under that thing a gazillion times that day, the kids getting faster and more daring with each run.
avery tested the waters of her budding independence by navigating the lift all by her self. she would smile and wave down at me and ashton after she had sped down and hopped back on without us like a pro. there were continual shouts of "good job, sissy!" and "way to go, ian" and "this is so fun, mommy!"
dave and i kept chatting about it throughout the day "this is amazing." "they all love it." "this is so refreshing." "we needed a day like today." after we closed the lifts down and ate thick crust dripping with honey at beau jo's, we piled in the van exhausted, but satisfied.
the grueling work of family building produced that beautiful day. a day where we enjoyed each other, had fun, breathed in and out the fresh mountain air.... no one was getting in the way of anyone else's dreams....this was the dream.
i've been reading searching for sunday and days after our ski trip i read some beautiful words about Jesus' first miracle.
"It may be tempting to dismiss the miracle at cana as a mere magic trick, an example of Jesus flexing his messianic muscles before getting to the real work of restoring sight to the blind and helping the paralyzed off their mats. But this is only because we have a such a hard time believing that God cares about our routine realities, that God's glory resides in the stuff of everyday life, just waiting to be seen."
she goes on to talk about how sacrament is a way to encounter the mysterious healing of God's peace and love and joy through something very ordinary.
"but our God is in the business of transforming ordinary things into holy things, scraps of food into feasts and empty purification vessels into fountains of fine wine. This God knows His way around the world, so there is no need to fear, no need to withhold, no need to stake claim. there's always enough, just taste and see. there is always and ever enough."
after i read this chapter, i handed the book over to dave and said "you have to read this, this is talking about our ski day."
the whole day we could never put a finger on why the day was so beautiful and so powerfully refreshing and that's because it was holy. it was God taking something very ordinary and giving it trans-formative power in the life of our family.
i'm incredibly thankful and in love with a God who is very present and real in our routine realites, i'm overjoyed that His glory is found in the stuff of everyday and that He takes a random february ski day and makes it sacred.