For the first time in our family's story, all five of us are in school this year. From the three year old to the forty year old, and everyone in between.
My back to school adventure is a two year program in Spiritual Direction. Confession: I took full advantage of this season to go back-to-school shopping for myself. Coloured pens. Notebooks. Sticky-notes. Glory.
But. I digress.
Two weeks ago I spent four nights at a retreat centre for my first Spiritual Direction module. During that time, we spent two full days in silence. You might remember that I consider silence a rare and treasured gift in my life. This experience was no different.
One of the gifts I received during my silence was a vivid reminder that God meets me in the midst of my everyday life.
When there are dishes in the sink, begging to be washed. And piles of laundry waiting for attention. When we are scrambling to get out the door on time in the morning. And there are phone calls that need to be returned. When there are meetings and classes and practices and to-do lists. And little people tugging on my sleeve asking for a snack (again). And then there's supper--what in the world am I going to cook for supper?
In all of that, God is there. Meeting me in the unpolished rough places of my daily life.
When I snap too quickly at my kids. When I choose to mindlessly scroll through facebook instead of exercising. When I let fear and doubt keep me from taking the next faithful step. When I believe the worst in myself or my loved ones.
In all of that, God is there. Meeting me in the unpolished rough places of my relationships and faith.
But He's not there as judge, with arms crossed, shaking his head.
He's there as friend, with arms open, inviting me deeper into relationship. The mess doesn't scare him, even if it sometimes scares me.
I think most of us could do a better job of being present in the mess with each other. Maybe that means letting our friends come over when the sink is piled high with dishes and there are legos forming an obstacle course on the living room floor.
Or maybe it means letting others see our faults and our weaknesses.
And not being scared by theirs.
My prayer these days is that I would notice God in the midst of the every day stuff, in the middle of the messes.
And that I would be present to those around me in their every day stuff.