Love and Other Fruit

Everyone feels benevolent if nothing happens to be annoying him at the moment”- C.S. Lewis
…And somehow I find things to annoy me at any moment, so I rarely feel benevolent. When faced to rejoice always and praise God and love my family…I often balk, pout in a corner, and eat a cookie to console myself. The elusive call of perfection, the rainbow castles I build in my head that make my suburban home seem tragic; these things steal my joy…and they aren’t even things!

Stir my chronic discontent with a heavy dose of the regular annoyances that come from having two small boys and a dog and a husband, and you will find me on any given day grasping for gentleness…and other fruit that so often eludes my grasp.
Sometimes I feel like my branches are bare, and life is a failure. My life…
Please, someone, stop giving me your boogies.
Other people: for the love of Pete, please sleep past 6 a.m.
WHY do certain homosapiens think it’s fine to leave socks strewn about like a smelly Hansel and Gretel bread trail?
“If anyone says, “I love God,” yet hates his brother, he is a liar. For anyone who does not love his brother, whom he has seen, cannot love God, whom he has not seen. And he has given us this command: Whoever loves God must also love his brother.” -1 John 4:20-21
So I stumble through the days, praying for grace and patience, and more patience, and a tad more patience…and at night, more grace.
He hears me, and sends me love notes in the tomato plant that will not be killed (despite my best efforts), and in warm cherry tomatoes that I snap off the vine and munch as I trek to and fro to the garbage can.
I look for it, always, searching for affirmation that God does love even me.
I find extravagant grace in the faces of my children.
God sends gifts wrapped in cowboy hats. Did you know that?

And there is no reason whatsoever that I deserve to look at this little face everyday…and no reason that I should be allowed to hear, “MA-ma” sounded out in the wee hours for the first time.
And I watch my boys play and suck their thumbs and poke each other in the eye, and I know that there is no required test to qualify you for parenting because no one would pass the test, Children are too precious for mere human parents. God is love.
But here they are, and here are cherry tomatoes, and an abundance of socks, and a million other things that pile up into an avalanche of grace and love. And, when I think about it…
He loves me everywhere, even in dirty sock trails.
I pray some more and eat another tomato. I want to love Him, because He first loved me. So, I’ll keep collecting boogies and gathering up socks. I’ll focus on love and forget frustrations.
“And so we know and rely on the love God has for us. God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in him. ” 1 John 4:16
holy experience

16 thoughts on “Love and Other Fruit

  1. Boogies and dirty socks . . . evidence of grace and love in disguise. I'd sit and eat cookies in the corner with you. I completely get that. It's just not easy being a parent . . . impossible really to love that perfectly every day. But with God, even impossible things are possible.

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  2. So glad I found your blog!

    I know a certain homosapien who happens to use our coffee table as a clothesline for diry socks…oh, do I get what you are saying!

    I love the idea of forgetting frustrations and focusing on love.

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  3. You've got an talent to make me get all teary-eyed over such wonderful words of truth. As always, I needed that today. TODAY, yes, more than you know, I needed those words. For real – MORE than you know….wanna take any guesses?

    And through it all, you reminded me, God is love and God is grace – and that's all I need for today, for this moment, forever.

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  4. I often want God to speak loudly and clearly, and instead, He speaks to us in the ways you have described. Then, he helps us listen. You have captured well a day in the life of a mom trying to love Jesus.

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  5. what a beautiful post, joann… i feel a sisterlyness (word?) with you in my constant struggle to find satisfaction in the mundane housework and chores. thank you for helping me to see this is a gift, to have this life with these chores in front of me. 🙂

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