There is a part of our family’s weekday that has hit the jackpot for me in hidden treasure moments.
As the clock ticks closer to the 2pm hour, my husband and I debate who will get the “opportunity” to “enjoy” the car-loop and pick-up our older boys from school. Somedays one of us may appear eager to risk our sanity and make the voyage. Most days, however, I take the journey where many moms travel. My husband works a late night shift for most of the week, so he heads off to work moments after our boys make it home. Somedays, I just want him home to see their faces as they explode through the front door. I know as he looks into their eyes he is gently reminded that what he is doing matters. It is important. He is needed and our family would not function without his strong-willed work ethic. And…I don’t enjoy a half-awake husband behind the wheel of our crowded minivan, steering through an obstacle course of clueless minions, lunch boxes, lost pets and quick-escaping teachers.
No. Seriously not going there.
Did I mention that our kids are at two completely different schools?
Two completely different pick-up routines.
Two different times.
Two different schedules.
One crazily exploding brain.
(Yes, you do the math.)
Some afternoons are flawless. God smiles down at me as I mysteriously hit every single green light. My wonderfully behaved children greet me with anticipation as they start spilling details about a successful day.
But that’s not exactly the case on most days. No.
Our normal scenario has me waiting at every single light because my van seems to reach the intersection just moments before that shade of reb burns a daunting evil laugh that radiates my patience-chord. Of course there is a traffic camera. As I find my parking spot at school number one, I learn he had a horrible day because “Frosty the snowman is gone now.” Of course he is. Christmas is done and over with. Decorations have been packed away. But no, the moment he noticed his beloved plush friend gone from his classroom shelf at precisely 8am that morning, his day melted quicker than Frosty ever could.
And continued to melt as we tracked to the van.
And as we tried to buckle his seat belt..
I even heard mild, gentle sobs coming from the backseat as we pulled away from the scene of the snowman crime.
Yes, This was serious.
Three red lights later we are at the next school in bumper to bumper carpool chaos. The dad in front of me did not read the carpool manual because his vehicle is clearly out of place. The lady behind me can’t get off her cell phone. The white truck beside me is daring to rear-end the side of my van, inching for a slight advantage to the cluttered minion of children.
And Frosty is still gone.
The van door flings open because the safety patrols have finally figured out our van is the only vehicle that requires a PE workout to open correctly…no easy automatic door openers here! My child – thank goodness they brought me the right child this time – appears dismayed.
“Mom you are kinda late today” he says.
“I love you” I respond. It’s our code for mommy has had a crazy past few moments, so let it go or prepare to deal with your nightmare.
(Don’t judge me – you’ve been here too.)
As the radio station grows a bit staticy at a – you guessed it – red light, all of the sudden an announcer breaks the silence with an important message: “Our prices are thumpity thumping all the way down too…goodbye Frosty!”
Laughter from one child. Complete distress from the other.
Four more red lights and our tires reach the driveway. All eyes focus on the big front window that stretches across the horizon of our living room. In unison we breathe in together. Yes, thank God we made it.
We made it through another unpredictable, adventurous day out in the world and we are home.
But we are all so tired now.
We need to be seen, heard, held and loved.
Though life may be messy, we know it’s always safe to come home.
[tweetthis]Though life may be messy, we know it’s always safe to come home. [/tweetthis]
We know someone is always waiting.
For my older boys, their youngest brother is usually always there, peering out the big window, waiting eagerly for their arrival. What a welcoming expectation my boys have for one another!
Frosty might be gone. Mommy might be late. But no matter what happens out there, we can always come home and smile. (And we do.)
I know you may pull up your driveway, look at the cracks shining through the mask of your front door and count your miracle blessings that the walls of your house don’t talk. You may not feel safe to come home. You may not even want to keep coming home. It seems too hard. You feel too alone. You feel like there is never a “safe place” to run to in your life.
Oh, but there is.
Even if it is not at your physical home right now (because I’ve seen God change unsafe places and make them completely new, grace-covered Promised Lands) you can always keep running Home to His rest. I feel the same explosive welcoming each moment I intentionally spend time with God. No matter what occurs in my life, I know, trust and rely on the mere Truth that I can always run to Him and feel completely safe… each and every time. No matter what.
It’s ok to smile.
It’s ok to breathe in deeply.
It’s ok to just rest.
It’s ok to be known past the smiles, past the tears and past the unrest.
It’s ok to be loved completely, unconditionally for who you are. Because, you are His child and you are always home with Abba.
Anyone waiting for you to return home today?
There is still time to submit your writing into the launch of “Shoulder To Shoulder” encouragement guest posts starting in February. Click here to learn how you can join in!