A few weeks ago, I was having a really rough day in the "office." Everything that could
possibly go wrong on my shift, the shift that never ends as MOMMA, went wrong. I held it
together for so long, determined to be strong in the Meltdown Sea - for my kids, for my husband.
I've got this. I always think I've got this.
When I was probably 7 or 8 years old I received one of those name cards that they sell at every
other Christian bookstore across the nation. My name is Brittany and that means "STRONG."
I kept this gift, this beacon of identity, tucked away in the Bible that I would read every day;
a reminder that God made me "STRONG" and come hell or high water,
I was going to live up to that name.
An imprint on my childhood heart. An innocent, beautiful gesture of a card that I let go to my
head - that I let weave a pattern of strength that sometimes remembered it's Original Maker...
and other times not so much.
I came out of the kitchen that afternoon, knowing it was only 3 o'clock - wishing it was closer
to the hour that my husband would walk through the door with his strong arms, heart, to hold
whatever was left of me from the day. The hour of mercy. The hour our God finished it on the
cross - proving His strength for us, lovingly pleading with humanity to let Him carry us. Weary or not.
In this very hour, it was my 2 year old that gently whispered his desire, a request:
"Can I hold you, momma?"
With tilted head, boyish, moppy blonde, his big, blueberry eyes met mine and I loved him even more.
I crumpled onto the couch and he reached up to put his tiny arm, so small, but made big and strong
in his act of love, around me. He rested his sweet head against my own arm and didn't say a word.
I think I'll stay here awhile.
There was a time in my life when I thought it would be so romantical to be a cloistered nun.
I seriously would dream of St. Therese the Little Flower - seeing her hand me rose petals, the classical,
brown scapular. Oh to be tucked away from the eyes of world - so fast and furiously spinning -
to be held in the arms of heaven, to be still and attentive to what matters most.
"I pay tribute to God by paying attention." - Ann Voskamp
I've slowed down this summer. Purposefully driven to heighten my senses to the holy, simple
miracles that take place in my everyday life. God reminds me that my name means "STRONG",
but He is stronger. He shows me Himself, hidden, quiet, generous in the faces and hearts
of my children, and so many others around me.
When I'm quiet enough, vulnerable enough, empty - but desperately willing to drink deeply of
everlasting waters - I can hear the call.
It's not a cloistered monastery, and I do not wear the veil of Carmelite.
A different kind of "Vail" was chosen for me, and the roses on my dining room table remind me
that my home, my heart, can still be stolen away from this world... if I'm ready to be held
by the God willing and waiting in the most simple, unexpected places.