Reporting from the trenches

My weeks are a giant smear of book reports and microbes and long drives and needy little hands and pulling weeds. On Sunday, my one day of rest, I serve in our church congregation's nursery. Nursery as in little people…not little plants. This involves two hours and 10 plus babies and most days I limp out to the car, covered in snot and half-dressed. (This is only a slight exaggeration). It is rocking my world and effectively teasing out all of my crumbs of flawed character. One week I'll feel encouraged by the progress I've made internally--in realizing what a privilege it is to be serving these little kids, of whom the Savior himself said I need to learn to emulate, and with whom he surrounded himself often. And some weeks I'm just not feeling it. I feel instead like I want to run. Like I don't want to be challenged in this particular way, and I want to switch to something….different. Better. Less hard. More important. More spiritual.

But what is more spiritual than confronting weakness in yourself and not running? In choosing to see it in a bright light, to not turn away but to acknowledge it, apologize for it, then hand it over to the Lord? I'm accepting that this is the most spiritual place for me to be serving. It is eating away at my pride and self importance. It has obliterated my false sense of confidence--the kind that comes from everyone telling you that you're wonderful. It is making me dig, week after week, to feel useful, appreciated, like I matter. It has been the incessant crack that is making new space for light to enter. 

Things I want to remember: this learning process, and these moments...

 Watching my girls play in the light of the barn window.

Watching my girls play in the light of the barn window.

 That frizzy little mullet.

That frizzy little mullet.

 The way they love each other, then hate each other, then love each other.

The way they love each other, then hate each other, then love each other.

 Little hands always re-arranging / undoing / moving.

Little hands always re-arranging / undoing / moving.

 My first batch of home-grown sauerkraut. 

My first batch of home-grown sauerkraut. 

 Daily garden candy. 

Daily garden candy. 

 Always leading the way, always laughing.

Always leading the way, always laughing.

 Morning walks….to spy on the alligator in the pond,

Morning walks….to spy on the alligator in the pond,

 to climb our favorite tree, 

to climb our favorite tree, 

 to talk about what dreams we had and how silly they were and why the grass makes our feet all wet in the mornings. 

to talk about what dreams we had and how silly they were and why the grass makes our feet all wet in the mornings. 

Holding on to every second of this life. The beautiful and the messy. 

This entry is part of an "11 on 11" series I'm participating in with some photographers whose work inspires me: Sara Kaleho (MN)Sanna Lee (MN)Marie Sant (UT)Kelly Sweda (CA), and Brandi Tejeda (CO).We all post 11 photos on the 11th of each month, just for fun. You can continue the blog circle by checking out Kelly's post....some beautiful West coast scenery and a blonde little dreamboat of a daughter.