When You Want to Do This Right

When there is a planner with days scribbled on and scratched out and circled

And something to go in the oven, and stirred on the stove, bought at the grocery store, a list to be completed,


A suburban, full plus one, to drive to school in the gray and snow, a little one in the front seat blinking hard to keep the tears in,

Only an already-gone moment to discern whether to speak, or be quiet and listen


To do or to simply be available.


When the shoe shelf turns into a heap of strings and colors, all different sizes jumbled into one

And time moves closer to later than you want it to be

A kitchen crowded with five humans and a dog, each one with stories from a day with people

Only one supper’s length to share it all in words and smiles


To give, with hope that God really will provide what you need.


When you just want to do this right


And nice words from days already gone spread thin and dry up, so you sip at your coffee and find something to tidy but what you really want to do is tidy your soul, but you can’t, so you want to escape it all instead and buy a ticket to Tahiti.

You read Nehamiah, “the joy of the LORD is your strength“, and realize that the sorrows of the world are not your strength- who knew?

And sing “Jesus, Lover of my Soul” as loud as you can over the toddler boys dumping and stuttering and laughing and needing.


When you just want to do this thing right


And no one walks in your front door to tell you, with authority, that, in fact, you are.


Take heart, dear sister or brother, that we are not home yet.


And if anyone tells you that home is here and you can find it,

shut the door gently in their face.

And get back to circling, writing, cleaning, driving, speaking, cooking, listening, and loving.


For your strength does not lie in the filling the needs that crowd around you, not much unlike those chickens when they see you carrying that bucket of feed-


your strength lies in Yaweh- The LORD.


The joy of the LORD is your strength.


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