I opened up the blog today, the poor long lost and forgotten blog, and took a deep breath as I settled into my chair. There has not been nearly enough coffee, or sleep, or chocolate in these past few weeks to both tackle toddlerhood, graduate school, everyday life functioning, and writing, but I have missed you.
Sam is officially an 18 month old – WHHAATT? His new hobbies include locking doors, pulling things down from the countertops, attempting to put on shoes, talking about shoes, attempting to ride the dog like a horse, talking about the dog, eating like a dinosaur, talking like a dinosaur, and running laps down the hallway. He is basically the greatest. This week he said, “I wub you mah” (Sammy version for “I love you, mom.”) for the first time and I told him he could have a pony.
Graduate school started 20 days ago – WHHAATT? Two thoughts enter my head often: “Get your masters, it will be fun!” said no one ever.” and “How did I pass nursing school the first time, again?” In all seriousness, “Every day I’m hustlin’,” plays in my head every morning around 5:30am; it’s my new theme song.
School has taught me two things so far that, should I bust it in this program, will forever impact my life. The first has been the reminder that I have an epic husband. Really, I do. I hated him a little at first for pushing me to go back to school, but I hated a lot of things in the wee hours of the morning these past three weeks. He has been the best cheerleader, the best dad, the best baker of frozen pizza, and the best maid. He knows the dreams I have for my life and he also knows that I’m a scaredy cat who will talk herself out of pursuing those dreams; not on his watch. He knows the calling God’s placed on my life and the anthem of excuses I have for why I am inadequate, and he pushes me out of the nest with a kiss and nuggets of truth. If husbands are to be a reflection of Christ’s love for us, then I know that I am loved with a gentle, butt kicking, grace-filled frozen pizza kind of love.
The second thing I’ve gleaned is that the grunt work is hard. Taking the next step can be hard, especially in the midst of tremendous brokenness, need, and weight. I look around at my country and I am grief-stricken. I look at my overwhelmed schedule and barely-in-the-black bank account and feel helpless to do anything but intercede in prayer and advocate for with words. I am reminded that there is a great responsibility in faithfully taking the next step God puts in front of me. You don’t change the world because you set out to do so, you change the world by being faithful in following Jesus one step at a time. One test at a time, one project at a time, one meal, story, cuddle, bath, bedtime prayer at a time. Each step that I take in love is a step further from fear, and that is how we change the world. Each step that I take in truth is a step further into freedom, and that is how we change the world. Each step that I take in grace and mercy is a step further into justice, and that is how we change the world.
**You can stop here to avoid political opinion.**
My heart is heavy with the president’s latest executive order concerning refugees. Images of Syrian refugees fleeing to safety have flooded my mind and heart, specifically the one of a toddler’s tiny body washed ashore. In my mind, I wondered what the world has come to when we stare at our own children, when we nurse them at our breast, when we rock them at night, when we dress them in the morning, and then so easily turn our backs on those in need of refuge. Those children, whose parents’ hearts for them are so closely aligned with our hearts for our own children. Those children who carry the God-given capacity to change the world just as ours do. I am convicted by my complacency, by my privilege that affords me the ability to go about my days without the discomfort of discrimination, war, famine, and injustice. I am reminded of the ugliness of fear and the incredible capacity for foolishness that we bear when we operate out of fear. I am compelled to live better.
We have dressed up fear-driven self-preservation with a bow and called it patriotism. We have thrown the full weight of the White House behind a pro-life banner merely to spit in the face of life days later. The hypocrisy of men who have proclaimed Christ as Savior yet directly contradict the words of Jesus for professional policy and national security is one for which words fall short. The silence of many representatives and senators who call themselves Christians on this issue is cowardice of the most deafening decibel.
God have mercy on us in these days if we claim Christ crucified and risen, and yet love our comfortable, privileged, ostrich-like lives more than faithfully, fearlessly welcoming, loving, and serving the least of those among us. There is no fear in love, and there is no faith in disobedience, but there is a heck of a lot of power to change the world one beautiful step at a time.
PS: Find out how you can contact your state and federal representatives here: https://www.usa.gov/elected-officials