“For everything there is a season, a time for every activity under heaven....A time to cry and a time to laugh. A time to grieve and a time to dance.”Ecclesiastes 3:1, 4
“But Jesus said, “Let the children come to me. Don’t stop them! For the Kingdom of Heaven belongs to those who are like these children.” Matthew 19:14
To all the people trying to have a nice Friday evening at the food court, I apologize. I was me doubled over in laughter with my friend as our kids raced Nascar-style around us. It was me walking hoards of children up and down the corridor looking for some food joint, any food joint really, that was still open. It was me ignoring the whines, gut punches and falls while the smallest one drank out of every. single. cup. Sure, our planned nice-family-dinner hadn’t quite worked out and here all twelve of us sat in a food court in the midst of chaos but I once heard said ‘the table doesn’t have to be extravagant because the people always are’ and it holds exceptionally true tonight.
It’s been twelve years since the four of us sat together on couches comforting one another in our season of loneliness. Desiring children yet the medical reality forecasting something completely different. Understanding fully the path we each walked, we prayed, entrusted the future to the Lord, and committed to rejoice with and encourage each other.Years have come and gone. Information shared via blog or online. Christmas cards crossed paths, all while prayers remained.
Tonight we are the chaos in your midst. Eight children in 6 years between us (yes you read that right), gifted by God as the fulfillment of His promise to provide. Some of these gifts came sooner than later, some from different cities and some as complete surprises but each a unique and tangible mark of God’s hand in our midst. And so I laugh and smile (and break for timeouts) and embrace the dirty looks because I am completely enthralled with the presence of my friend. No judgment or comparison between us. Just two moms walking in the grace and love of Jesus, laughing and sharing life...and thankful for husbands who are feeding our circus.
As the ever-moving amoeba of now-best-friends swirls with glee around us, I can’t help but feel the smile of my Jesus. “Let the little children come to me,” he reminded his closest friends. “The kingdom of God belongs to such as these.” They aren’t a problem, they are the purpose. You see us sitting in chaos, I see us sitting on couches. Not much has changed really. We still intimately understand this season of life. We still desperately need Jesus to walk us through each day and we still commit to rejoice with and encourage one another.
Who knows what twelve more years will bring? Gray hairs and laughter are a given. Maybe stories of redemption or celebrations of new beginnings. There might be tears of sorrow or frustrations at choices. Whatever that season brings, our friendship will remain...and maybe dinner will be better than a food court.
Who can you encourage today in the midst of their chaos? Do you need encouragement? Pray and ask the Lord to supply your need.
Father, I thank you that you bring along encouragement in my seasons of drought. This life of motherhood hasn’t quite worked out like I planned, but you are always faithful. Thank you for reminding me to steward well the gifts of children you have entrusted to me.