A Different Canvas

The last two days have not gone the way I would have chosen. I’ve been dizzy and nauseated (no, I’m not pregnant), and thus been a very muddled wife, mother, and friend. The symptoms are explained easily enough by some existing conditions of mine — and experience says they’ll pass eventually — but I’m afraid it hasn’t been so easy for me to extend grace in the midst of them. Noises are too loud. The demands and unending questions of little ones seem unreasonably taxing. I let my impatience blaze up today, sparks flying, in response to a string of complaints.

But the backdrop of my grey haze makes the gleams of true grace all the more evident.

At night, when worst-case scenarios began to sprout up, I saw what a year of hard trust and learning to walk with my Lord in the wilderness of my own thoughts has yielded. Over and above the encroaching fears and wonderings about illness came a single thought:

We’ve already covered this ground. I know what to do if tomorrow brings relief. I know what to do if it doesn’t.

And I know His goodness will not fail.


One of the most frustrating things about any kind of sickness, I think, is our idea of how our days should really run. In this chapter of motherhood, every powerless minute seems a sorry waste: the errands I ought to be running, the books we should be reading — the fun we could be having!

Oh, but this is mothering too. In this moment, I have the opportunity to show my children how to lean on their Father and His all-sufficient strength. To show them that love and kindness are possible even when normal tasks and rhythms aren’t. The boundaries of my day may be drawn closer together than I’d prefer, but if this is the canvas that has been given me to fill today — it’s still possible to fill it with color and gentle words and wonder.

Let me fill it well.


Yesterday evening I sat on the floor of my kitchen acknowledging these things, asking that there may be more fruit born of the Spirit in times like these. I don’t do well with chronic nuisances. But because Your power is shown the more completely in weakness, let there be more, and not less: more patience, more kindness, more love, more joy. 

And as I could not remember the last time I had poured out my heart to Him that way, there was nothing to do but thank Him deeply for the circumstances that had brought me there.


So today begins with breakfast cookies fresh from the oven, and asking forgiveness from a small child, reminding her that both she and I have the choice to take joy no matter what winds blow our way. Someday we will know the sweetness of unmarred joy and of resurrection bodies, but right now we have the blank page of a new morning and afternoon and evening before us. And we have the Author and Perfecter of our faith: the Artist who knows how to fill it right out to the corners with colors we’ve never seen, and glory we’ve only begun to glimpse.

My Lord — it is an exquisite gift.