Today was my day to sleep in. We have no extra kids at the house, no school, no plans until it's time to don the costumes and set out with high hopes for gobs and gobs of chocolate and sugar. It's a free day. Yet it's not quite 6 am and I've been up for almost two hours thinking about soup.
It's pouring outside. I'm sitting here at the computer with a prayer book and a hot cup of coffee, hoping Hubs made it to work before the rain really picked up. I love the rain so much until I think think about him riding his bike up the dark hills to go to work while I'm at home with a cup of hot coffee and dry roof over my head.
I made a giant pot of soup for dinner last night. Full of kale and onions and tomatoes and beans and bacon and Parmesan and noodles and love. I suppose you could call it a minestrone, but since I'm terrible at following recipes, I think of it more as a clean out the fridge kinda soup. A really delicious way to clean out the fridge and have lunch for the whole weekend since it's such a big pot, kind of soup. But then 4:15 am rolled around and my eyes flashed open. Because I forgot to put the soup in the fridge.
Hubs alarm went off a little while later and I got up, knowing that if I didn't do it now, that pot of soup would be sitting in the compost bin all week long since the trash pick up comes so early. I sat on the edge of the bed watching him brush his teeth, calculating how much money I was about to go dump in the trash, listening to the gentle patter of the rain of the roof.
It was just sprinkling when I opened the front door and saw our enormous and slightly scary spider friend in his web, hoping I was prey for a moment. He's really kinda creepy, but I like him too. It's such a simple thing, remembering to put a pot in the fridge before bed. It's the second time this week that I've had to throw away a substantial amount of food and all my failures as a wife, mother, human being seem to be simmering in that empty pot in the ever overflowing sink.
It is so easy to remember the failures.
The list grows and grows in my mind about all the ways I just don't measure up. How I waste food and yell at my kids and my house is always a disaster and I never remember to write down my thankful list and I snapped at Hubs and I forgot to give the dogs their pills yesterday morning and on and on and on.
But this time, I'm fighting back. Because perfect isn't something I ever want to be. And I remember that when I am in the throes of the days and things are going south fast, that is when I cling to the hem of Jesus most fiercely. And why would I want to be anywhere else?
As I dump the soup in the compost and the rain drips slowly down my back, I ask Him, where are you in this? Where is the grace? Where is the good? I've learned by now that I will find what I seek. And I'm done looking for ways I'm a failure. Not that I can gloss over life, not that I cannot learn from my mistakes, but in the sense that I refuse to let the failings of my days chip away at my soul and my self worth. Because I am not loved more when my house is clean, when my clothes are folded, when the dinner is perfect, when happiness reigns in the household.
The beauty of this whole thing is that I am loved regardless.
But I know that I will find what I seek. Which is why, no matter what the truth is, I need to choose to see the good. And so I pray with St. Patrick this morning,
"Christ beside me, Christ before me;
Christ behind me, Christ within me;
Christ beneath me, Christ above me;
Christ to the right of me, Christ to the left of me;
Christ in my lying, my sitting, my rising;
Christ in the heart of all who know me,
Christ on the tongue of all who meet me,
Christ in eye of all who see me,
Christ in the ear of all who hear me."
He says he loves me no matter what. That each morning is new. And I know no matter what happened yesterday, what happens today and what may happen tomorrow, I am loved wholly, by the One who knows every thought, every action, every choice. And if I can just stay there, clinging to the hem of his robe, there I will find the grace and the good.