I am not trendy, never have been. But I am into this one kind of shoes. And one of the pair I have is this beautiful dark gray. Sounds like me, right?
But hold on.
They're gray, but they're also covered with the most glittery multicolored sparkles.
It took a long time for me to decide it was okay for me to wear sparkly shoes.
It's taking me a long time to get use to a lot of things.
Rounding the corner, I could hear him. That shrill squealish screamish yell. The one that shoots to my core. The one that pierces the happy Sunday morning bubble.
I try to tell those I'm kind of running past, smiling to try to make things seem less hard.
"Excuse me... so sorry... he's playing my song!"
We've had some good practice choking down the pain. I grew up choking on it. Making things look nice on the outside. Another way I have to look back and thank God for being sovereign.
He had a great morning until the very end.
Now he's hitting. He's screaming. He's had trouble with potty issues lately, and in my heart, I know that's bothering him. Just like so many other things that we cannot change, we can only keep going.
I stand with my sparkly shoes blocking the door that he so desperately feels the need to throw. I'm learning that just minimizing damage is good. Sometimes I have to help him not hurt himself, but this time it's more taking deep breaths and being his calm.
Letting him know I'm there.
Mommy's here. It's okay. Mommy loves you. It has to be said with my hands. His ears aren't receiving information.
Bargaining is out the window. I tried. It failed. If/then didn't work.
In a fit of my own desperation, in a split second lull, I turn him by his shoulders and hug him. He hangs on me. In my sparkly shoes, I lift him into my arms. He's calm, and it's time to find Daddy and Granny and brother.
Can't get there without help. The help that is Christ's hands and feet with skin on to us... to Ryan.
Maybe it was the knowledge that this was the last week of CE for the summer.
Maybe it was the potty accident this morning that left me cleaning the bathroom in my sparkly shoes.
As we walk, I thank the Lord that I can carry him. Once we sit, I realize again that this is worship.
Carrying him to learn to worship is worship. Loving him this way... being his calm... is worship.
I've been asked if it wouldn't be better to have a children's church. If there were someone to take him off our hands so that we could worship. If there were something to make it easier... to maybe make it easier on the girl in me who loves sparkly things... the mother in me who agonizes with his screams... wouldn't we take advantage?
By the grace of God, no.
Throughout the service, I had two little boys who will grow to be men with their heads in my lap. I sat as still as possible for the one on the right, and stroked the hair of the one on the left.
I opened my arms to accept a beautiful little girl who will grow to be a lady right before communion. She, too, will be in my lap before long.
We walk to the front, thankfully accept the elements as individuals... but also as a family. We half-run back trying to keep Ryan from taking out the offering boxes as he runs to the back. Once we're back in our safe place, my girl sits beside me.
I cross my left leg over my right, and our sparkly shoes touch. I don't care how shallow it sounds... the daylight streaming through the window behind us catches the delicious glitteryness... and my heart smiles.
In the midst of our greatest trials, we forget what lies at our foundation. The wonderfulness that we can count on. We see the gray, and in the darkness of the fear of the future, we miss the sparkle.
But just when it's darkest, the light shines through, if just for a moment, and we see their spark. We see the glitter in their eyes, the warmth of his delightful smile, the golden-brown curls capped with a pink bow, the sweet red lips contrasted with bright eyes that curl next to me, saying, "I love you, Mom."
I love you, too. All three of you, your father... and through all the times, I pray that we will never forget to enjoy the sparkle.
After all, it's there the whole time.
Thanks be to God for giving us the things that make our hearts smile. And for glittery shoes. I really like those.