Wednesday, November 03, 2010

Little Deaths

We've had two rainy days in a row, and I am in heaven. The cool, overcast tones mixed with the warmth of the brown, golden, and burnt orange hues of late fall make me feel peaceful and a bit melancholy all at the same time. And, I love it.

My heart is so full. The leaves are, for the most part, dead. Most have already fallen. But, I see beauty in their death because I have faith, great faith that says, deep within me, that somewhere in the dormant death of winter there. lives. life. And, come spring, death will bring forth from somewhere deep within itself, beautiful, vibrant, amazing, fresh, and colorful life!! The process cycles over and over, and I am astounded year and year.

And, it is my prayer that God is doing the same work in me.

May my soul be His garden.

Little deaths. I am a selfish creature if ever He created one. I love peace and the calm life. I was the baby of the family, quite doted on, really. And, then, I grew and married. I prayed to be selfless, to put others first, but given the choice, the opportunity, I still wanted things my way. Erik was easy to be selfless with because he has always been so selfless with me. So, I gave, and he gave, and we were very happy. Enter Joshua. . .

Suddenly, someone wanted me to get up with him at night, every night, and several times at night. He woke up early, interrupting my quiet time. He cried forcing me to cut conversations short. I didn't realize it then, but the process of death was beginning.

And, it continued. . . two children, then three, then unexpected number four and now five. . . What is alone time? It has been so long. Slowly through each child, each phase, each year, I have died little deaths. From the death of attempting to look like I have it all together, to the death of my little ones are perfect angels who never do wrong, to the death of superficial peace ~ the kind that comes from a quiet, calm household, to the death of a clean, organized home and car, to the death of time alone with my husband, to the death of being able to go and do as I please, to the death of my young girl body and the time to primp and fix up, and on and on. . .

Little deaths. But, when I think about it all, do you know what I see? I see that the things that are dying are meaningless in the grand scheme. And, deep within this dormant state, where I am nestled in at home not out and about like I used to be, there is life growing in my soul. And, the things that are growing are not meaningless. No, they are lasting. So, these little deaths are precious to me, and though I fight them tooth and nail, I am thankful beyond words for how they are shaping me. The patience that God gives allowing me to teach and train my young men all day without a break. The peace that only He could give that allows me to be stirring chili in a kitchen full of wild indians and feel so blessed, so complete. The joy that comes when I hear the pitter patter of feet on the steps from an early riser waking just as I drink my first sip of coffee, quiet time not happening ~ at least not in the old sense of the words. Now quiet times, I realize, can happen all day off and on, as God speaks and I listen.

I am different because of these little deaths. Though they are hard and at times I hate them, they have made me stronger, better, and, most importantly, closer to my Strength Giver. So, as I look out the window and gaze upon the fallen leaves, I pray that God will continue to be my Master Gardner. And, I have faith, deep in the depths of my soul, that one day, one fine, fine day, spring will come and maybe, just maybe, beautiful fruit will burst forth from my soul!!!


Monkey Momma said...

*deep sigh*

I SOOO needed to have someone write a piece like this. Because it is exactly what I'm experiencing, but I will cringe as I admit this: I fight it so badly! And I only have two. That quiet time, the peace, if I don't get it, I'm the worst momma and wife in the world.

I decided to quit my FT job and stay home about two months ago and part of what helped me decide was a sermon about motherhood. The pastor said that motherhood was "complete annihilation of self", much like what Christ did for us. I realized that my decision to stay home was not about my being with my boys to teach them about Jesus, but my being with my boys so GOD COULD WORK ON ME. I am so selfish and I was about to hit a serious learning experience.

It's been hard. Fun, but really hard. I'm still working on producing some of the personal fruit and somedays I want to give up completely.

Anyways, thank you for the encouragement. I just really needed to hear that in spite of your always cheerful and grateful posts, you have struggled with the little deaths as well. :-)

by Cheri said...

I read this on a poster today:

30 years from now, it won't matter what kind of shoes you wore, how your hair looked,or what kind of jeans you bought. What will matter is what you LEARNED and how you USED it.
Thanks for sharing some of the lessons you are learning.

Peace to you.

amyswandering said...

This is my first visit to your blog - a friend of mine linked to this post. I can relate to this so much as I spend my day surrounded by five little (& not so little) ones. I wouldn't want to be anywhere else! I've enjoyed looking around - I will be back :-)

Sarah said...

I love this, sweet Erin. Apply it to our entire conversation today, knowing those little deaths build character and that's the most important thing, not all the other stuff! I'm going to print this out and put it in my Bible--great wisdom from a dear friend :)

Beth said...

This was very encouraging to me. We also have 5 little ones. It was refreshing to be reminded of the divine purpose in the deaths we die.

(I found you through Christian's links :-)

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Hi! I live in a sweet country home overflowing with love, laughter, and little ones. I have been blessed to journey these days beside a man that I love, respect, and admire. He is my soul-mate and best friend. Together we are seeking to raise our seven children to be lovers of God, to be wise and discerning, and to be all that our sweet God created them to be. I am in the goldfish and cheerio stage of life, but I am keenly aware that these days are slipping right through my hands. This blog is my attempt to keep our memories safe for years to come.


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