van for you to listen to." "Acres of Diamonds" by Russell Conwell. Great. Thanks.
You gotta understand. I have been listening to "Farmer Boy" by Laura Ingalls Wilder on CD
in the van for SIX weeks on repeat with my kids. I'd go and try to turn on the radio and
one kid or another would plead with such scholastic-like virtue, "Turn on Faaaarmer Boy!!!"
I mean, how can you say "no" to that and instead turn on "Drunk on a Plane" by Dierks Bentley?
Not ANOTHER book on CD for the car, please?
But seriously, I was thinking, "Yea, I'm going to listen to this in the same way that I sit next
to you during as many World Cup games that my little heart can bear!" Just to be close - to share
his passions, dreams, excitement for something that is so beyond my own world.
I love my husband. So I will love listening to this lecture. And as it turns out...
a little more than I thought I would.
Story after story of men seeking fortune and treasure only to later discover that it was literally
RIGHT IN FRONT OF THEM as they sold millions away for pennies to chase after some dream.
Obviously I'm not sitting on an oil field (am I?) or have diamonds clogging up my creek bed (I wish!),
but it got me thinking about what is right in front me, right now, at this time in my life that
I do not want to miss - that I do not want to sell off for granted. What is my treasure?
I'm a mother, nurturer, educator. I stay home full time, a gift, a life, that my husband works so
hard to keep my reality. I'm not out climbing the corporate ladder or cashing in nice bonus checks
every couple of months. I DO, however, climb the bunk bed ladder every morning to tuck in blankets,
and the other day I found what I thought was a raisin on the floor... but no, that was a nice
bonus. Should have checked that BEFORE I picked it up. Live and learn.
I remember when Isaiah, my first son, was born. It was like I hit a brick wall. I had always had
a job, been in school, leading ministries - all of it to be replaced with the cries of a newborn
and endless rounds of breastfeeding while watching Food Network from my recliner in my air
conditioned apartment. It was a hard life.
I was used to being the star, the center of attention - the person everyone was going to for answers,
solutions, ideas for the next big event, ministry launch, retreat, etc. And now - I couldn't
even get the local nursing home to let me come in and do volunteer hours with my infant.
Seriously, that happened. Along with being denied to substitute/teach catechism class at
my parish. So upset. I AM OVER-QUALIFIED was ringing in my ears. God, use me!?
A year went by. Another year. Another baby. And finally one day I surrendered. I let go.
I was finally comfortable on what I imagined to be the "back burner" and understood that even
though I was "qualified" to do "all the things" that I thought I "should be doing" -
that God saw fit to call me into motherhood, to entrust me with these little lives
that truly need me MORE than the "next big ministry" at my church... at least for now.
I was used to leading Bible studies on the beach for throngs of college students, organizing
rides and details for homeless ministry, leading door-to-door missions downtown Chicago...
and now? Now I read "subject - verb" Bible stories to my children who act like they are
listening and then ask, "Mom, can I be a Ninja Turtle?" Jesus, baby... Jesus! Focus.
I love, hold, feed, clean, listen to these hearts, minds, faces, hands that have been given
to me and I no longer wonder. I no longer wonder if it is "enough".
I know it is.
Because as time goes on and I see my son break apart his last cookie to share with his brother
when he doesn't have to or my other son demands that I roll down his car window so that he can talk
to the homeless man on the street... I know that it is all sinking in. That there is fruit in this
labor. And honestly - as humbling as it is to admit - I preach it to them, but don't always LIVE
it - and when they decide to live it? Man, it gets me.
It's simple, but wondrously complex.
My treasure is right in front of me and its name is Isaiah + Judah + baby.