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Saturday, May 14, 2016

Stuck in the dandelion field

This morning I journalled that I feel stuck. In the earlier days of twin-parenting Ryan said to me that it must feel like I have a two-headed monster on my back that I just can’t shake.  It was an accurate depiction that I find resurfacing.  I find myself thinking that most people just really don’t understand how difficult it is to be a mom with twin babies.  Of course, everyone has their “thing” that most other people really just don’t understand and this is mine.  I’m not sure if the evenings “off” and finally actually getting decent sleep and having nap time breaks from the twins has just given me a taste of freedom and left me wanting more. Or the fact that we achieved these milestones, but it is still so hard. Whatever the reason, it is tough because I can’t really get away from these babies unless they’re sleeping.  These babies are wonderful, but they need so much of me and demand so much of me.  Allison won’t take a bottle and even if she did leaving the twins alone during the day with someone else is tough because I know how hard it is even being one of their (Allison’s) two favorite people and I don’t want to overwhelm anyone.  So this brought me to journal today that “I feel so stuck and stuck is the worst place to be."

And then I sat with this idea (in the lovely break of the twins’ morning nap because Rayna is with Grandma) and decided that perhaps stuck is not the worst place to be.  I may want to try and get “unstuck” but sometimes stuck is just where we are. In those times of being stuck we need to acknowledge where we are and if indeed there is anything within our control to optimize our situation, then we need to voice our limitations that disappoint us so, and finally we need to release our two-headed monster to God so it doesn’t crush us.  Stuck is just where I am right now and thankfully I know this is temporary. (I am compelled to think of my mother who is also stuck but in a much more permanent way.  Cancer has wreaked havoc in her bones and her body aches a weighty ache that makes it hard to get out of bed.  She is stuck in her body that is failing her. Stuck. But not crushed.)

Let me explain this more.  You see my life right now is a dandelion field.  Rayna loves to stop and pick dandelions when we’re out for a walk and right now there are fields of them.  My Dad commented about our dandelions when he was visiting here, “you have such a beautiful province; but you sure don’t like to get rid of your dandelions do you?” They are an eyesore to him and he can’t believe our city doesn’t spray them.  It doesn’t aesthetically bother me that there is an overgrowth of dandelions along the sidewalks and in the fields and on unkempt lawns.  But they have certainly annoyed me.  When we go to the playground or to the river for a walk it takes FOREVER because Rayna stops for all the seeding flowers.  And when I tell her, “no more dandelions” I can see her writhing inside that she has to resist the almost uncontrollable urge to pick and blow them.  Sometimes we do need to get going so we can get home before the twins have a melt-down; but often it’s just me. I feel the need to get to the playground if that’s where we’ve said we’re going, to get “unstuck”, if you will.  However, it is in the dandelions that Rayna is having fun and experiencing the simple joys of a flower that others call a weed.  It is more fun to her than going down a slide or actually making it to the scenic river trail.

I’ve been trying to incorporate 5 minutes of silence into my day.  Call it silent prayer or meditation; I am seeking moments to be still.  In the stillness I hope to hear God, I hope to relax my tight jaw, I hope to let go my inabilities and my unchecked to do list.  During one of these silent prayer moments I began to think about my life as a bouquet.  I realized my bouquet right now is dandelions.    It is not a stately bouquet.  It is not even simple and inexpensive like carnations and baby’s breath.  It is weeds.  And in fact it is more than a bouquet, it surrounds me.  I am immersed in the dandelions; I am in a field composed of weeds.  What I do right now feels a lot like weeding (please appreciate that I do not like gardening and so I am comparing this to the least enjoyable aspect – I assume-  of a hobby I don’t even like). On a daily basis, a lot of what I do is maintenance. It’s keeping my children alive and simply caring for the very basic needs of 2 babies that cry and poop and don’t sleep when they’re supposed to.  I’m getting ragged and exhausted.  I’m in this field where it feels very hard to relax enough to see beauty like a child, to embrace the joys of these weeds around me.  Some days if I look really hard I see glimpses of beauty.  Other days I can’t see it at all.  And then when all goes smoothly and the kids are particularly cute I embrace it with ease and blow flower fluff all around me like its confetti at a party (these days are precious but all too few).

So how do I move from here to there without moving at all? How do I garner delight instead of dread when I wake up to the same routine, to the same demands, to the same challenges of motherhood?       

The other day as I was sitting with the twins looking at the river, enjoying some nature time, there was construction noise in the background. And I heard more than the noise, I heard God speak: “Sit with me- in the dandelions- even when there’s noise and you’re seeking peace.  I am building something on the periphery of your dandelion field out of your view.  Trust me, it’s worth the noise.” You see I’m in this dandelion field and it is necessary and, cringe, beneficial; but it’s not where I’ll be forever.

And as I’m stuck in my dandelion field filled with noise I am assured that I am being told to sit with God so He can embrace me.  So He can pull me in tight and reassure me.  His arms are big enough to squeeze me tight and secure even with that two-headed monster on my back.  And when its time to be released from His embrace I am assured that if I choose to I can become like a child and see the beauty in simple moments, like Rayna sees beauty in dandelion weeds.  And this can happen even in this place where no one else may understand what’s going on inside and around me.

Matthew 18:3 (The Message)

 …Jesus called over a child, whom he stood in the middle of the room, and said, “I’m telling you, once and for all, that unless you return to square one and start over like children, you’re not even going to get a look at the kingdom, let alone get in. Whoever becomes simple and elemental again, like this child, will rank high in God’s kingdom. What’s more, when you receive the childlike on my account, it’s the same as receiving me.


Isn’t it brilliant? (And the irony is not lost on me that children can teach me so much to help me in raising my children.) I am stuck in the dandelions and I am oh so blessed.