Thursday, April 21, 2011

on holy thursday

Speak to me Buzz! Buzz, can you hear me?!

This picture perfectly encapsulates my week. Maybe his nose is to the carpet, foot raised, in mid-tantrum. Or maybe he's dead on arrival, a rescue gone awry. Either way, one thing is certain: the super hero once beloved in this house has crashed.

It's Holy Thursday, and never have I felt less reflective. My Lenten intentions have been feeble at best. I'm missing services tonight because a sleepy infant at bedtime trumps all. For me, Lent has been a wash this year.

To make matters worse, all three children are going to be baptized on Sunday. All I have done to prepare is buy white polos and lasagna noodles. I wanted to read with them about baptism, to pray and talk about what they were doing and why. Instead I threw a toy out of the back door (how's that for modeling self control?) and spent most of Tuesday crying, most of Wednesday on the couch. Company will be here in the morning, and I can't even remember the last time someone vacuumed the floors.

It's Holy Thursday, and never have I felt so weak.

It makes me wonder if maybe this Holy Thursday I understand more clearly than ever my need for Easter. All day I have thought of Rich Mullins: "With these our hells and our heavens so few inches apart, we must be awfully small, and not as strong as we think we are." Never have I been so aware of my need, of my utter deficiency. I am spent.

And tomorrow I will remember Jesus, crucified.

Because I was never going to be able to save myself. God understood my frailty - our frailty - much better than I did.

It is in this moment that I will welcome my children into the family of God. Worn thin as I am, on Sunday I will hold them as we remember the Resurrection, and invite them to join in our hope. It's only a starting point, of course, and ultimately they will decide to accept that invitation or reject it. But on Sunday I will stand with them before God, more aware than ever that I have nothing to cling to but His grace, extended to us through Christ.

Welcome to the Gospel, little ones.

Grace and Peace to you.


Cindy said...

Once again I must comment on your beautiful prose (and the fitting picture no less). You have a gift with words, even when you are tired and spent.

Happy Easter!

Mrs. Shehane said...

Stephanie, you are the gift. I love you. Can you take anti-depressants when you're breastfeeding? It might be something worth looking in to...

Kendra said...


I remember when the twins were about 2 months old, and I was in the middle of one of my (all too common) epic meltdowns, and I cried out "why can't I do this??" and I heard God remind my heart that I can't do anything without Him. That when I am weak, He is strong. And that in order to REALLY be the kind of mother I want to be, I am going to be humbled, often, in order to show my children a servant on her knees, fully aware of her dependence on Christ.

THAT is a real life example I can set for them. Showing them perfection and strength at all times (which is my true hearts desire) is not only impossible, but it would be setting impossible standards for them to live up to.

Grace and Peace to you as well. (And I say skip the lasagna. Order some pizzas and use paper plates =).)

Lisa said...

Ugh, I had the same experience, minus two kids. Holy Week was the worst behavior week I've seen from Olivia in a long time. But Easter came anyway, and we all survived with some Easter joy intact. Hope yours was joyful as well!

Laura Mielke said...

first time in MONTHS that I have opened my lap top to do anything. my "smart" phone does it all for me but I miss the days when I would curl up in bed and surf friends' blogs to see what is going on with everyone. so tonight, nick has left for a bit to run a couple of errands and I am in bed at 8:20 (WOW) and yours is the first post I have read since February and let me say how I literally teared up reading because i realize just how human we are. Saturday morning I ran a "resurrection run" 5k and came home feeling, understandably, TIRED but the feeling never went away. a crick in my neck turned into a left side of my body searing pain/headache/fever and on Sunday as I sat uncomfortably in Easter service all I could think of was getting home, putting the babies down for a nap, and getting on a heating pad. Of course, Sunday afternoon was really spent cleaning the house in prep for company. but all today i kept thinking... holy crap... easter has come and gone and i was sick the whole time... cricky, cranky, and tired? so, like you said, we acknowledge that Christ is risen, and celebrate in all the small things that add up to this big beautiful life.