Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Invited to interrupt

Glance at the clock. 9 o'clock. Breakfast dishes took an hour. A pan and a handful of plates and mugs.

Maybe it's settling hormones, more likely, it's frustration that brings tears to my eyes. 

Not about the dishes.

About the time. About the infant stirring. About the lost moment to workout. About the interruptions. 

The interruptions are the real weight.

My fists ball when I hear the bells clang against the back door. My face tenses anticipating another, mmmmmmoooommmmmm-aaaaaa. Crises. Kisses. Tattles. I need a new pencil. This one's not working. Sister was about to hit me. I found a mushroom in the yard. Come get it. I'm done outside. I need to big poop. waa-waa-WWWAAAAA!

So an hour slipped past before the breakfast dishes were nestled in the sink to dry.

This toddler season is our life. Hard. Good. Beat your head against a wall. Smile until your cheeks hurt. Parenting.

The relentless nature wears on me. DH comes home from a 12 hour work day and asks, what's wrong? Are you just tired? And I think, no. I've just had one year of my life sucked away. I feel like Wesley strapped to the machine in the pit of despair.

No. It's not that bad.

But it is relentless. Ceaseless petitioning.

My humanness, and probably selfishness, begs to finish a task, a thought, start to finish without someone talking to me.

Let the little children come to me. Don't worry that they'll interrupt or annoy me, that they will babble nonsensically. I want to hear and see them.

What I find exhausting, God finds delightful.

He invites us to converse. Pray without ceasing. Not a command, but an invitation. Please, come to me with every little thing. I want to hear it all.

Not like a frustrated mother in front of the sink pulling off her gloves to deal with yet another squabble.

A loving father waiting to hear every detail, never cutting off or glancing at his phone.

I don't treat prayer that way. More like a military exchange. Here are the facts. Lets get down to business. You to yours. Me to mine. Check back in with the results. Amen.

My underlying assumption is that he is too busy to converse. He would rather recieve bullet points during a set meeting time so he can resume his more pressing duties.

After all, he is The Lord God, creator of heaven and earth.

But I'm not told to prayer to 'God Most High, King of Kings.' I'm taught to prayer, 'our father.'

Father who loves me because I am his child. He is invested in me, in my every moment.

Father who has no need to multitask in order to include me. His attention is as infinite as himself. He is fully present when I speak. I don't understand how that works; I simply rejoice that it works.

Knowing who is waiting to hear from me, I can joyfully petition all my cares. Please heal the dog. I need my happy Abby back. Please keep Tim safe as he bikes home. Thank you for a moment of happy imaginative play. 

My grandmother prayed like this. Especially in her last years. Every time she got out of bed, she prayed that The Lord would give her strength to walk to the couch. My sister used to grin and say, I can always carry you there. But Grandmother never stopped asking or thanking. She understood the invitation.

My Lovely child, Pray whenever you want, as much as you want, about whatever you want. I am always listening. I am never too busy. I am never interrupted. I've never heard it all before. Please, pray without ceasing.

Casting our cares because he cares for you.

More than any flawed momma juggling duties and plaintives.

We pray because he cares.

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