I woke up tired this morning. Yesterday, we celebrated the life of our three year old and all that he brings to our lives in an intimate evening with friends. He excitedly entered our room this morning ready to play with his lion and tiger as he curled up in the bed next to me. He asked me to hold his flashlight friend so that he could see his animals. I gladly obliged as it didn’t require much movement from me and he is simply creative at this age.
Eventually the requests came to go play with other toys and my husband willingly joined him in the family room. I let him know that I was going to lie in bed for just a few more moments. Once I joined them I quietly sat watching the boys play and create together and then it turned to fighting as it always does. Back and forth, back and forth.
At breakfast, my husband voiced his appreciation for the day and the fact that he didn’t have to work today. I was grateful too and I was aware in that moment of all the work that I was holding in my head that needed to be completed for me today. So, I chose to share both my excitement for him and the things in my head that were going to require my attention today. Minutes later, I found myself sitting and reading to prepare for writing and sharing my heart. I’m currently following a blog by Kara Tippetts, a beautiful and kind hearted woman facing cancer and dying with extreme grace. Her blog is titled Mundane Faithfulness and a recent conversation with a friend prompted her to share Kara’s story with me. A tear producing video was recently posted in which she shares part of her story and as the video closes, she says, “I know that I have cancer, and that I am going to die of it. But I also know that I have today and in this today I get to live well.” Kara is fighting for a soft heart in the midst of her struggle and encouraging her friends and strangers along the way.
Reading such beauty this morning left me in a tender and contemplative space this morning. Having asked for what I needed, or so I thought, I started to feel a little agitated as I was quickly pulled out of that space by the sound of little boys, spraying water, and lots of giggles. I looked over to the couch to see my husband basking in the sun with his eyes closed. I waited a few seconds and then I stood up, setting the computer down, and made my way to the bathroom. As I arrived, I saw my boys making all kinds of mess while watching the new tiger shark toy swim around in the sink. My oldest quickly looked at me with excitement in his eyes and asked if they could take a bath so that they could watch him swim around in a bigger space. I said yes and before I could reach for the faucet to turn on the water they were both undressed and ready to hop in the tub. I pulled up a stool and watched them as they laughed and giggled until they fought and squabbled progressing to a place where my oldest had to be pulled out of the tub.
The moments that followed weren’t pretty as he escalated and it was in those moments that I was so aware of our reality.
We are trapped.
Each of us.
We are trapped in this space of joy and suffering, hope and loss, delight and dissatisfaction, rest and restlessness, awakening and death. We live in this world with the hope of heaven and the reality of present brokenness. I felt this reality, the back and forth, a multitude of times before noon today.
The reality is that this trapped feeling is present daily in my life and it often blocks me from experiencing the fullness of what Christ has to offer. This lenten season as I am committed to exploring what it is that blocks the fullness of life in me, I am grateful for words like the ones spoken by Kara.
Truthfully, I am dying, (although I do not have a terminal illness), but I have been given today and I too get to choose to live well because of Christ in me.
Bethany Cabell is a Texas transplant, residing in Michigan with her husband and their two young boys. A lover of beauty, she lives life chasing after wide-open spaces: sharing her heart with others, in relationship with Jesus, and through music and photography. She tells her story here.