Puzzled toddler eyes studied the inner workings of the shower fixture. Little fingers still learning their full capability pushed, pulled and prodded. Finally… when he couldn’t answer how it all worked… he disassembled it all. Pieces tumbled loose… separated… ineffective. What worked moments before, worked no longer. All of the components, the potential, remained … yet it was now beyond this little man’s capacity to reunite the pieces into working order.
Countless times we question God’s ways and timing for our families, our schooling. “How?” urges a mama’s soul in moments still. Without question, He placed the conviction upon my heart to educate these little men in the heart of our home… but then the “How?” question pops up like a jack-in-the-box that won’t stay hinged… by friends, family, strangers… ourselves. Just as soon as I think I have it all figured out… everything springs loose! Life is messy… unpredictable… unscripted. And precisely when all the inner workings are finely tuned… the world tugs… for goodness sake, we tug at ourselves… until the pieces fall scattered, with no assembly instructions. Jobs are lost. Marriages dissolve. Spirits grow restless. What worked yesterday no longer works today. And we peer into tomorrow with a whispered, “How?”.
As moms, we not only long to know the “how” of today and tomorrow, but we want to execute each step perfectly… even the rocky paths dimly lit we’ve never trod. Many months beyond what I might have anticipated, I watched gangly boy legs pedal a bicycle still armed with training wheels. With full awareness that it was time to shed a safety net no longer necessary, he let his bike linger unused in the garage corner. Without absolute certainty that he would demonstrate mastery from his first attempt, he chose not to try for so long a time. Perfection. It robs with its doubts. But faith equips.
Faith enables. Faith conquers. Faith isn’t a set of fail-proof assembly instructions with no nagging little pieces left over in the end. Faith is one more step into new territory… and another… and another… until you’ve not just walked the journey… you’ve scaled highest peaks and grabbed the flag. It’s a breathtaking place to be… until He calls you higher… closer. Faith is hanging up the red cape and pressing on without the answer to “How?!”.
As a little girl, I discovered the word “tenacity” like a gem among letters ordered and reordered. My old 1828 Noah Webster dictionary reminds me this evening that tenacity is that which binds… the opposite of being fragile.
So when moms ask me, “How?”… I share the answer I found in prayer, having uttered the same word on knees humbled. If the Lord places the conviction, He has already made the way. He is how. I don’t need to know any more than that.
Savor every step of this amazing climb… it’s a path hand-carved for you, beloved.
(And just in case you’re tempted to sew your own cape and fly solo, you may treasure these printable verses from An Abiding Mom as much as I do.)
Susan likes to play with words, in the dirt, with her food… usually not all at once. She sings and dances with giggly treasures as a licensed Kindermusik educator and provides art instruction through a regional homeschool ministry. You can find her at Prairie Lily Arts and at Twitter as Prairie Lily Arts.