All At Once

"I'm done. We can just live in a pigsty. Apparently, everyone likes it better this way".

This bitter proclamation spit out of my mouth just an hour after morning snuggling on the couch and the sense of full-heartedness in the being together under a roof that keeps the warm in.


"She really is amazing...and right now I feel as though she is very much maturing." I said to my mom regarding one of my children who shall remain nameless. 

Fifteen minutes later, I'm (literally) pulling my hair as my face burrows itself in my palm to stifle a silent scream as I find yet another (messy) creative endeavor this child has begun and abandoned within the five minute conversation I had with said mother (this one involving an entire bag of steel cut oats, water and multiple kitchen appliances. I'm still flicking them off the bottom of my feet). 


"Now children, I need to tell you something. Uncle Mitch is very, very sick and he is not going to get better. We are going to go be with him and let him know we love him."

This, in the car ride to a beloved Uncle in his last stage of a sudden battle with cancer. Several serious questions later, someone says the word-of-the-year "poop", setting off very silly, very distracting mayhem in the back of the van, to which I hear myself threatening to pull over if they cannot settle down.


This is life.

It is always all at once.

It feels as though there should be a time where everything lines up in sync. 
Someday, we are told, the lion will lay with the lamb, and conflicts from mere thoughts in the mind to massive wars between lands will no longer exist. 

For now, all we know is:

Joy is wrapped up in sorrow

Peace and pain share a bed

Orderliness and creative chaos are constant cronies

Maturity is joined at the hip with growing pains

Success is found in successive failures

And on and on and on...


For whatever reason, I became wide awake at 1am this morning. I laid there, wondering why and if I should just roll over, grab my phone and let Jimmy Fallon entertain me back to sleep. After remembering how much I despise the phone that I love, it was decided that it must be time to talk with God. Perhaps it was the Spirit that woke me up.

It was then two words came, almost like a breeze into my mind. They were heard the same way the long chain from my favorite childhood swing would creak back and forth, back and forth as I would lean back and close my eyes to stay still in the middle of the motion. 



I laid there in the wee hours of this morning and let those words gently go back and forth, and as they did they were applied to my failures in my grieving my dying brother in my strong sister in a beautiful, brave cousin who is on her way to life with cancer in her past. As the words swung over the faces and circumstances brought to mind, I was eventually lulled back to sleep. 

This morning, as every morning, my good man asked how I slept. 

"Very little", I replied.

"I'm sorry to hear that", he replied, knowing how a good night's sleep is beneficial (read: essential) to his "spirited" wife. I was sorry too. But then I remembered the spiritual swing ride I had been treated to and it occurred to me:

Sleeplessness awakens spiritual opportunity.

All at once, it was not all bad.



Liria said…
I used to get so irritated at these middle-of-the-night wakings until it dawned on me that it may be the only time I have COMPLETELY uninterrupted time with the Spirit. Plus there is something truly wonderful about falling back asleep while talking to the Lord.
debi said…
Beautifully written. I'm sorry to hear about your brother in law. So much pain in's in the hard we often find the outpouring of grace and love...and yes peace.
Onward you inspirational Momma!

Sarah Gingrich said…

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