The house is finally quiet. I just gave the kitchen counters a last wipe down. Set the dishwasher. Cleared the corner of the dining room table that tends to accumulate school papers and work notes. Made sure snack boxes were packed and waiting.
I switch off the living room lamps and hear the soft sound of rain dancing on the metal roof. The day is done. And truth be told, so am I.
It’s been one of those days. You know the kind, Momma. I’ve been checking the clock and praying it was almost bedtime since 6:52am when my littlest little tried to flush his underwear down the toilet. One of those days.
I quickly shower. The redundant act of bathing simply one more chore on the day’s to do list.
I field an escapee looking for a sip of water. Another who can’t find his blanket.
And then, I throw myself headlong across the bed. For just a moment, I don’t move. I don’t think. I barely even breathe. I let the day quiet around me. And for just a second, I let myself surrender to simply rest.
I spent an exorbitant amount of time at the supper table waging war with my middle who refused to eat his sweet potato tater tots.
Yep, it was a ridiculous battle I chose to fight. I’m certain it was petty, and I should have let it go. But after a long talk about being grateful for the meal set before us, he half-heartedly licked a millimeter of the far corner of the very side of the tot and then declared it disgusting. I maintained my composure and asked him politely to simply try them. He only had to eat four. Four tiny tater tots. We sat in a deadlock for far too long until finally, exhausted, we both had nothing left to give.
He had half chewed the tater tots I’d asked him to eat so that now they truly were disgusting.
I had chewed half of my bottom lip in an effort to keep a firm grip on the waning remainder of my sanity.
In the end, it wasn’t even about tater tots anymore. It was about principle, and I’m not sure either of us really won the battle.
I nearly never have this back and forth with him. He is a rule follower and a people pleaser and a do good-er, and yet it felt strangely reminiscent to a time when he was only two. He’d done something I’d asked him not to do, and I told him that he would need to say he was sorry. He refused. For forty-five minutes (that’s an eternity when you’re battling a two year-old), I would send him to time out just a couple of feet away from me for a short length of time. Then I would call him back over, hug him, and ask, “Now, what do you need to say?’
And He. Would. Not. Budge.
Forty-five minutes of stone cold stares. The silent treatment. Until finally, I called him over, hugged him, and before I could even ask… I realized he was fast asleep on my shoulder.
And somehow, in a strange way, that seems to be a familiar description of how life can be sometimes. I find myself fighting and running and pushing until I’ve got nothing left to give. And then, I fall.
Headlong into the silence. Face first into the stillness. Floundering into the quiet.
And it’s here that I wonder, what if I was never meant to keep running? What if I was always meant to fall?
Rather than running from judgment, I fall into mercy.
Rather than running amid anxiety, I fall into peace.
Rather than running after projects, I fall into purpose.
Rather than running on fumes, I fall into grace.
When I’ve got nothing left to give, when my best stone cold composure is failing me, when I can’t even quite remember how this all started, I find my way into the arms of my Father, and I fall.
If you are tired of the running. If you feel like your composure is failing. If you don’t have anything left to give, maybe it’s time to fall…