space & the cheese grater.
my one and only goal for the past 4 days was to fold the laundry. yet, four baskets of laundry still sit in my garage, unfolded. the trash is literally overflowing out of the bags and onto the floor. i’ve tossed the last 3 dirty diapers onto the welcome mat outside my front door, which i’m sure is a very delightful sight and smell for all visitors. i never realized that the pile of dishes mounting on the counter could scream at me and tell me that even after the longest day, i still have more to do. i made myself pasta for dinner and felt so much anger. i just can’t keep up. enough work, effort, and energy never seems like enough. i had the kind of anger that snaps out unpredictably. like when my kid accidentally rams into my shin or makes an unexpected noise this fierce rage instantaneously sets off inside of my chest, up my throat, and spews out ugliness all over their little hearts, sending fear across their faces. pouring the sauce into the pan i stir. the boiling begins and i stir. the rage inside me stirring. i add the salt, the pepper, and the white sauce bubbles. i add the butter. i reach for the cheese grater. the one that my brother-in-law bought for our household when he lived with us ages ago. those were harder days. not because he was difficult to live with but his life, with all of ours, were on the mend. i remember nights where hearts were broken wide open and tears were worn unashamed. it was a long year, that year living on crystal springs place. i felt exhausted and heavy most of those days, many demands and few too many thank-yous. i worn thin that year, in the size of my clothes and the shaping of my heart. and one day nate came home with a new cheese grater. our cheese grater had far out lived its days as a wedding gift and would nearly slice your finger with every glide. he pulled out this gift from the target bag and set it on the counter. he bragged about getting the most expensive one because ours had sucked so bad. since then we have used it everyday. and, even tonight, with the sauce and my heart roaring i grate the cheese. back and forth my hand moves and this mechanical motion moves my rigid anger to tears.
i wonder how God infuses Himself into all the unseen and ordinary actions of my day. How can His Spirit dig deep into our knuckle clinched fists to bring relinquishment and rest. How does He establish value in the loneliness of labor, doing laundry and dishes and diapers. how can fixing meals, mending melt downs, meeting demands, and drinks spilled be done in freedom with the absence of frustration. how, when i have given every ounce of ‘enough’ that i have, do i still fall so short of being enough. i’m not sure if i have an answer, but i know that in this moment, the one with me crying over the cheese grater, God made space for me. space. the way one blows a balloon full of air, He breathes space into my soul to be filled by Him. space to slow my escalating anger. space to find meaning in the mundane. space to to be open. space to be stilled. space to see how He carried us through harder times. space to show me that i was seen even in all the unseen moments of my day. space to see that there is much of me still left to learn.