Yesterday morning at 7:50 my Eric threw me a life-line. I had been up since before 5:50 when my alarm was set to go off. It was a big day, following a couple of big ones. The night before I had sat down to write a Right Now... post that never posted because it was this awful whiny list of what I was doing right now. Shouting that I needed sympathy and a pat on the back and a long hug. And then where would the jewels in my crown be for my good works?
And my Eric threw me a life-line. He had scowled in the bathroom. I had mentioned that I would probably need to drive to church ahead of them. I needed to get some things done before Sunday School. It would be the third time in the last four Sundays, but today far surpassed the craziness of the previous weeks and was completely understandable. I'd just received an email adding one more thing to my plate that morning that would benefit from a few minutes in a closed office without kids. I needed to prepare in a space I could hear my own thoughts.
He left for the kitchen, to make breakfast. He always makes himself a hot breakfast on the weekend, no matter how hectic or tense it feels. I followed a few minutes later, walking fast, moving stuff out of his way or mine. I stopped, anxious to look at him and I ask, "Are you mad at me?" ready to explain my case, this was my work day.
He said, "I feel funny."
I lost my momentum. Dead stop.
I walked into his arms and after he had held me long enough for my turbulent spirit to stop too. I grabbed the life-line and muttered, "We'll go together as a family."
A decade earlier we had argued about this very thing. I told him how much I didn't want to be that family that drove to church separately because he was overcommitted and couldn't put his family ahead of church.
As we drove home almost exactly twelve hours later, my hand tucked under his right leg, where I like to keep it, when we are in the car together and I'm not mad at him, I thanked him. His comment had been without blame or anger. He confessed he didn't always have the right words to say what he was feeling. Do any of us ever? His words had been the perfect life-line for our family life. We drove closer to home in silence.
My heart was comforted and peaceful, somehow we would again find balance. He loves me. He loves us, our family, how we serve. We need to do it well. And we need to stop each other when the imbalance feels funny.
I like it when we do it right, this communicating. Because the truth is we do it wrong more often. But that moment, in the height of the pressure and the beyond my own ability to cope moment, our God gave Eric the very small way in. And today I am so grateful.
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And since some of you may be wondering, even if it really isn't the point, did everything get done? I remember my dad telling me, so long ago it almost feels like another life, there is enough time in every day to do the perfect will of God. I believe that, but it's so easy to forget sometimes. Or to think that we help God out by sleeping less, or leaving our spouses to get three kids ready alone on Sunday morning.
Yes, everything got done yesterday that God wanted to get done.
Some things ended being accomplished beyond what I could have hoped for. My faith community amazed me by collectively signing up to make 50+ dozen cookies for a memorial service next weekend.
Some things were taken care of by a shift of unforeseeable events. Our children's worship attendance was six kids, instead of twenty.
And the most important things got done because I didn't leave my family at home without me. I held my youngest as she melted down and shared her frustrated heart with me, her mommy. And I listened and heard her heart.
When was the last time someone loved you enough to throw you a life-line to save you from yourself?