Miranda’s naps this week have been significantly shorter than usual – less than ideal for this mama, who spent most of last week’s free time preparing to talk to a group of women at church about caring for widows and orphans and about adoption (more on that later) and is now trying to get caught up on some work hours. I’m not sure exactly what’s going on with her sleep – whether her teeth are bothering her (she has multiple molars coming in), whether she’s still adjusting to the time change, whether her daddy’s workshop noises have been disturbing her, whether she’s preparing to make a more permanent transition to shorter naps or away from naps altogether (please, God, let it not be this yet!), or whether it’s all just a fluke.

In any case, tonight she was in bed reasonably early, and Matt had a meeting, so I took advantage of the opportunity to get in another bit of work time. As I was wrapping up, I was listening to these words, from Mumford and Sons’ Awake My Soul:

How fickle my heart and how woozy my eyes
I struggle to find any truth in your lies
And now my heart stumbles on things I don’t know
My weakness I feel I must finally show

And they struck me freshly tonight. How fickle my heart, as I spend one evening journaling to my daughter about how much I love her and am enjoying parenting her and telling her of all the amazing things she’s doing these days…and spend the next evening talking dejectedly to Matt about how I wish she’d just listen and obey – or at least disobey with a purpose. Seriously, my child, I explain to you that after you eat one more bite of banana, we can watch your beloved Letter Factory DVD, and you want to spit out multiple pieces of banana and peanut butter onto the floor and lose all Letter Factory privileges?

And now my heart stumbles on things I don’t know. God, I want to understand – and I don’t. I sometimes think I can begin to wrap my mind around at least the concept of a grand meta-narrative. And I understand that I can’t see how the intricate threads of each of our lives weave together to create the larger, complete and beautiful picture You see. But God…why does that mean that millions of tiny children have to live for years – if not their entire lives – without parents and without love? And as Miranda asked me today, why couldn’t Cai Qun’s birth mommy take care of her? And why can’t the other kids in her orphanage have families coming for them right now, too? Why is it so easy for us as human beings to use other human beings, people created in Your image, as pawns in our own little games and power struggles? I know You’re in control, God, and I know You’re good…but sometimes my heart still stumbles on things I don’t know.

In these bodies we will live,
in these bodies we will die
Where you invest your love,
you invest your life

God, let me live and love well. Let me be ready to stand at death’s doorway and say, “O death, where is your victory? O death, where is your sting?” (1 Corinthians 15:55 ESV). Let me know, deep in my core, what is trivial and what is important. Responding to my supposed-to-be-going-to-sleep daughter’s fifth cry from her bed of, “Mommy? Mommy!” better fall into the “important” category. Holding hands. Enjoying the fact that she likes to help me sweep the floors even if that means it takes twice as long. Helping her find clothes that will work when she tells me she wants to “do my 2 shirt thing again, Mom,” like the day when Daddy dressed her and had her layer two shirts and camo pants.

And let us live lives that are about loving and serving and pursuing you. Let us be willing to ask the hard questions and have the hard conversations and do the hard things. And let us REJOICE in all of that, knowing that this world is not our home, and pressing on toward You.

awake my soul…
awake my soul…
awake my soul…
For you were made to meet your maker

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