The Soft Drip of the Challenge

By on September 24, 2012

For a bit of time during the last few weeks, I felt much like a tin water bucket left out in the rain, where each soft drip eventually wears away the outward coating, rusting and thinning the inner foundation, until it finally the soft drip has worn a hole. I don’t know why, but there is something about poetry, how it captures the groanings of the soul so much better than prose. As the challenges drip, wearing the thin skin covering my soul, I wrote poetry.

fuscias, oranges yellows and purples
flowering for me,
Blessings from the Father
But I have no heart for flowers today
No heart for the downpour of the rain
Greening my grass
No taste for the Worchestshire and lemon
Mixing with the pork
No taste for the chocolate hidden in the drawer
No heart to hear
The cricket choir, or the turtle dove
Callint

My mother’s heart it grieves
For struggling sons
struggling independence training
struggling to find their place
in the race

How do you have the heart for
God’s love letters
Or blessings left along the path
Except to know He sits beside me
And if I believe hard enough
He holds me hand, catches the tears
That flow inside, letting me fall apart
For a few minutes
Until He puts me back together
Dries my eyes
And tells me not to give up
On His children
He loves so much.

Do you ever have days like that, where you just fall apart, just cannot fathom how you will handle tomorrow’s schedule? When you really want those answered prayers now because the challenges are growing, grOWing and GROWING? Those moments where it takes effort to just stop, where you just want to go crawl into bed and sleep the stress away but what you really need to do sit on the porch with the Father? No bird song blessings – just you, the Father – and a bunch of quiet? I have those moments. . . .

When I was upset and beside myself, you calmed me down and cheered me up” (Psalm 94:19)

  1. Well, the Father, He sent me to the dr for an abscess – the results were increased energy level, no pain.
  2. Making myself knit a few rows, even though I had to back lots of stitches out – because I just couldn’t get it right. Making myself find the sweet moments in just the knitting – I needed that.
  3. Sitting on the porch, wrapped with a quilt, watching the stars, listening to the katydids, letting the stress evaporate.
  4. The baby turning 12 in the midst of a few good friends, ice cream pizza, gummy worms and lots of noise – from after school until 10 p.m.
  5. A red beet, yellow pineapple and honey fruit smoothie for a 7 a.m. ride to a soccer game.
  6. That I made myself make that smoothie even though it would have been easier to have given up and let the chaos steal something delightful.
  7. Trees swaying under a blue sky in a 6:30 a.m. autumn breeze on a Sunday soccer tournament morning.
  8. 3 white geese, mouths wide open, reaching for bread crumbs
  9. an impossible schedule, parceled out into a manageable size
  10. not the moment of my son scoring the first goal at our tournament, when he usually plays defense. Not that his coordination and foundational strength have kicked in from years with a stomach problem – and now he can literally out-run any other teams offense – from behind. But that after half time, after he had scored, he took his usual second-string bench seat – and the coach said, “What are you doing?”  He answered, “Sitting on the bench.” The coach said, ‘Get out there; we need you.” There’s a whole post in there about never giving up, no matter how bad the challenge – never give up the hope or the dream. Don’t we all feel like sometimes we’re bench sitters, not first-string players – and serving God, well, we want to do a first-string job. My son, he needed a moment like that, a moment of over-coming.
  11. the other son, being the youngest and littlest, the first time being a bench-sitter – shoulders set, mind set – to take up the challenge to get off that bench and not letting the challenge make him feel it is a permanent place.
  12. Somehow in the chaos of this weekend, of all the schedules – there were moments of comfortable peace just hanging out with the boys.
  13. The birds are quieter now. I guess their chicks have left the nest. They keep their voices down now. Today, though, when I took a break for sit with the Father, to find Him – I heard the birds singing a sweet autumn song – and I heard it right after I read this:
  14. “You hear those little goldfinches chatting in the undertones without ever stopping? –Bird voices. –Talk to Me like that, ceaselessly, sotto voice. –Soul Voices” (Evelyn Brown, He and I)
  15. A student-worker wearing a t-shirt, ‘Ask Me My Story” – and someone did. He gave hist testimony – how awesome is that!
  16. That happened right after I read this: “Look at the stained glass windows. Some are in the shadow and have kept all their colors to themselves. Others have surrendered to the sun and are completely lost in its light” (Evelyn Brown, He and I).
  17. An answer to a prayer unfolding, relief from a son – trying to wait with grace in the unfolding of it.
  18. A soldier reservist son, finishing up a job – and finding a civilian one to get him set-up for taking college classes.
  19. A candle lit – a message to the chaos that I will not let it control the atmosphere and mood of where I am
  20. Windows, in my office, in my kitchen, outside my bedroom window – letting me see the blessings of God all around me, constantly moving, constantly there – even when the challenges bring me low, He stops in the midst with me – and we sit together, the Father and I.

Our day. . . when I shall work in you more than you work” (Brown, Evelyn, He and I)
The soft drip of the challenge . . .and I can no longer hold it all together in this rusted mess – so He holds it together for me.

 

Originally posted on Blue Cotton Memory.

About Maryleigh

Maryleigh is a child of divorce become whole as daughter of The King. Married for 27 years, mother of 5 boys to men, she has been a college composition instructor, teaching college-bound composition to homeschool students, journalist and freelance writer/editor. Maryleigh is the author of Blue Cotton Memory, a blog about the faith, love and politics of raising boys to men and creator of Standing at the Cross Roads, a program designed for teens and college students to break/prevent cycles of dysfunction by understanding the gifts and plans God has each of us. Her website: http://bluecottonmemory.wordpress.com.

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The Soft Drip of the Challenge