I am easily overwhelmed. Not a good trait for a homeschooling mother of five intense boys, one adventurous girl and the wife of Superman, as my husband is affectionately called by our kids and who lives like it's true.
Handling my own thoughts, weaknesses, emotions, and dreams is too much on most days. Add in seven more human beings that I love enough to die for, and overwhelmed hardly scratches my emotional state when I stop long enough to think about it.
Tonight was like that. We've come away to our family "beach" house. It's really on the river but was christened "beach" twenty years ago by the oldest cousins, and it stuck. We came for just a few days for some respite from all the change going on in our lives. Our new home of just five months may prove to be temporary. New faces, friends, sports teams, church family, etc. are a joy and strain all at once. Emily and I are preparing for another trip as she begins her modeling/acting career. It hardly seemed a good time to get away. There's so much to do. So much going on.
But we longed for familiarity in all this change. And the "beach" house holds twenty years of summer memories. So we came here and felt home. Hunting for shark teeth. Camp fire by the water. Movies. Books. Angelo's pizza. Nutty bars and other junk food that we only buy here. Laughing more. Slowing down. Feeling more. And that's where it gets messy. Overwhelming. And I realize.
I can't do this. I can't keep all these people happy. I can't love them well enough to fill their hearts. Even here. Where life slows, and distractions disappear. Emotions still rise. Tears still fall. Hearts still ache for a love that can.
I think I feel even more helpless here. Because I see better. Hear better. Know better. That it's true. I am not enough.
That reality frightens me. Or frees me. Fills me with feelings of futility and dread. Or surrender and hope. Breaks me. Or mends me.
Oh, God, help me hear beyond my failure and fear. To Your promise. Your truth. You. And know that I am a vessel not a source. Created for the honor and beauty of loving these. Fill me. Pour me. Use me.
I don't need to be all. Just enough. I am not the painter of this picture. Just a pigment. A stroke. Applied precisely by the artist.
Overwhelmed, yes. But may it be by the grace that takes our mess and makes beauty.