I am weary and want to collapse in defeat, of lost sleep and timing beyond my control, and the responsibilities that come with these gifts I’ve been given. Wanderlust and my restless self are met by the last weeks of pregnancy and the blazing inferno of a southern summer. It’s a combination big enough to make me tremble, but I try to solider on, until the dark hours when I toss and turn, wanting to scream for relief to fall upon my aching body.
Of losing sleep before I will lose more in the months to come.
Of carrying these dreams that roar into spaces too small.
Of not knowing the why and how of today.
So, I pour all these words into the pages of my journal, where thoughts are prayers, most earnest prayers.
The wanderlust begs for going and doing and seeing. Life requires that for today, we stay and be and wait. My every part aches with the promise of new life. I must wait in expectation for the day, beyond all my control, beyond all my ways. It will come, yes, and all the speakers of clichés will throw their words around and they do nothing for me, but stir the fight inside.
And after a tragic night of sleep lost, I want to weep under the weight of it all and I do, then a few hours of respite come and two gracious children allow me to ease into mothering on this Monday. I see no other option, but gather supplies and paint. If I will not stand before the crashing waves, if I cannot bring my restless before the restless of the sea and there be still, I must. I must meet him today. I cannot do this day without, because my soul longs to breathe, and it needs a space to roar and be held by the one who knows.
Before the canvas, I watch the paint run in thick, watery streams, falling down, down, collecting on the drop cloth. I sweep in passionate strokes, honest of prayers and in doing so, the heaviness is lifting. Restless finds shelter in the words of the song I hear, as the colors grow.
My life is yours/ My hope is in you only/ My heart you hold/ For you made this sinner holy/ Your glory is so beautiful/ I fall onto my knees in awe/ And the heartbeat of my life is to worship in your light/ Your glory is so beautiful. (Your Glory- All Sons & Daughters)
He says, come who are weary, so I splash my weary on the canvas and watch the greens, yellows, and blues come alive. And I remember that these restless ways have been entrusted to me, by him alone. I remember that the roaring dreams and wild questions, the insatiable search to look deeper, to know, to seek—this is who I am. And who I am… is weary. Weary of the responsibility of these gifts. Weary of the waiting. Weary of the way they don’t always mesh with the routines and rhythms of each day, of each season… this one, especially.
These most beautiful lives, full of potential, requiring such attention to growth, encouragement, and understanding. Daily, we pour into who they are and who they will be, vessels waiting to be filled with whatever we offer. And I long for them to know a world, so rich in meaning, beauty, and truth. I roar my prayers for them, for all of us, into the silent spaces of dinners, play, discipline, and time. How do I show them, that life is beyond a simple existence, bigger and more beautiful than gathering and striving on this covered earth, things and status and security. And how I long to collect my little tribe and say, darlings, let’s away, the big world awaits and we must tell our story. But, sometimes, my soul doesn’t find space to breathe in the now and the waiting and I feel heavy under its weight.
Today, I cannot carry it. Come all who are weary, and I do. Covered in paint, shifting in discomfort in the hard chair, I continue. And from the kitchen, I hear my children happily play together in imaginary lands, a gift, indeed. I am weary, meet me here, I say. My soul longs for space to breathe, I can not carry the roaring inside, I say.
Come all who are weary, he says.
The painting evolves. I am emptied out and held by the one who knows. In a moment, I attempt to paint in a style I don’t do well. Realism is not my strength, I know. I admire the skills of those who can, but I know my strength lies in a representation, an impression of what is. And I fear that all my hard work has been lost to a rather awful looking mountain, an actual mountain in the way of what was a beautiful color-washed sky.
But, in the nature of watercolors and I’m sure the nature of God, I take a cloth, dabbed in water and begin to wipe away the strokes. This could be another mistake, but little by little, the mistake disappears and what remains is something I never set out to create. I continue to smear and wipe away so many of my deliberate strokes, finding that under the layers of all my hours and intentions, is a work of art that tells our story.
I am humbled and breathless.
I know it’s done, because the artist knows.
And he says, oh my darling restless one, look, there’s room to breathe here.