June 21, 2014
Summer break. Aahhhh! I so need that. I’m tired of homework. Packing lunches. Packing snacks. Signing permission slips. Spelling tests. Projects. Multiplication facts. Tired of it. I need a break.
Lauren has found her break. Softball. She wanted to play even though she has never been interested in the game before. And softball is the only thing I’ve seen Lauren do, without knowing how to do it, without knowing how to fake it, without her leech-friend Anxiety tagging along. Lauren stole second base the first time she tried, and you can’t steal second if you’re preoccupied second guessing yourself. I think she has just gotten good at watching her coaches and trusting what they tell her to do. (Note to self…watch God and trust what He tells me to do.) Today is her first All-Stars tournament game. The song that will play for her on the loudspeaker at the field when she walks up to the plate…Hey Soul Sister! Softball is the break Lauren has needed. She needed time to relax and think about the calm and who gives her the calm. Selah.
Summer break doesn’t bring the same selah to Lauren as it does for most kids. She started to stress about summer camp, even though she went to it last year. Same kids. Same counselors. Same routine. Lauren started asking a million questions and imagining a thousand scenarios to worry about and I knew what that meant. Anxiety. She went to my jewelry box and pulled out my locket with both our pictures it. “Can I wear your locket to camp?” Of course. And the little pink frosted glass heart my Seattle friend gave me years ago. “Can I keep this in my pocket at camp?” Of course. Having those touches of home with her help her relax. Selah.
Recently at church we had the first of our Summer Selah meetings. The ladies fellowship groups are taking a rest from our regular meetings and we were able to pause and enjoy sweet fellowship. Our speaker was Garnet. The artist. She paints redemption. Specifically hers, but more generically mine, too. I’ve seen her painting of the woman at the well, and on Wednesday she brought Mary and Martha. I love me some Martha because I get her. Preoccupied and distracted. If anybody needed a selah, Martha did. Maybe after the house is clean and the dishes washed and laundry put away and lunches packed and homework checked and sofa cushions fluffed… I imagine Garnet mixing paint. A little brown, a little melancholy, a little resentment. Some green, some refreshment, some growth. Deep blue, deep regret, deep sigh. I found myself unable to relax into what was supposed to be my selah because I kept shifting from listening to Garnet’s story, to looking at the painting, to thinking about how it made me feel. From the painter, to the painting, to my feelings. From the creator breathing out her story of redemption, to this physical touchable masterpiece of that redemption, to the comfort of my soul. Father. Son. Holy Spirit. And I found it again. Selah.
As Garnet was wrapping things up, the rain started. It rained hard on the church roof. And for a bit, I closed my eyes, and it stopped being rain. It was applause. And isn’t that just like God? He started applauding even before the ending, because He knew how good the ending would be. It was thunderous applause. “The heavens declare the glory of God, and the sky above proclaims his handiwork,” (Psalm 19:1 ESV). Selah.
I need to remember to not miss those selahs in my life. On the first day of summer vacation, already bored, Emily walked inside while I was folding laundry. She had a fistful of flower stems in her hands. “LOOKIE! LOOKIE AT WHAT I GOT YOU!” And I thanked her for her sweet gift. Looking for the perfect vase, I reminded her of my rule. I don’t mind her picking any flowers in the yard, BUT if you can’t name them, you can’t pick them. It took some work but she finally remembered the flowers were day lillies. “Mommie, I don’t know most of the flowers. Will you help me learn them?” Of course. And I kept folding laundry. “Um…Mommie…like…now?!” Wait. You want Martha to stop folding laundry just to go outside and look at flowers? “Um…yeah.” Selah!