I type with one hand, pecking away while my left arm encircles my peaceful child, content as long as she's near mom. By the extended time it has taken to type that first sentence she squirms with hunger making a liar out of me.
Across the dimly lit living room, we both collapsed in self poured-out exhaustion. I told Aron that all of life feels very thin right now. My frame looks fragile in the mirror, and its that time after the fullness of pregnancy when my hair falls out in clumps scaring me half to death I might really lose it all. For the health of my girl, I have chosen to eat only a handful of foods, and 3 months on end of eating to live and to nourish my child, and I feel thin in nearly every dimension.
I think it is the accumulation of much of life pressing in, but three children has been more challenging than I imagined, and I feel thin - my resources simply not enough for all their needs. My patience has been so thin at times, and my day to day often feels like a hamster wheel, running myself ragged and never going anywhere. All the while knowing these moments are my life, and they are a gift.
And so I stand over stove and pray through tears, "Jesus, come. Be thick among my thin."
And he does. He blankets me in presence and patience and perspective and hope. I pour grapeseed oil in my oatmeal, adding calories wherever I can, and I feel him nourishing my heart this way: taking my thin, pouring over me the richness of his Spirit giving me all I need to thrive for today.
This journey of motherhood, it is a constant pouring out of self. And I would be empty if He weren't constantly, moment by moment filling my hollow places so I have something to offer the lives at my feet.
I don't want to waste these hardships, and I feel myself bowing to them. A younger me would fight them in frustration, knowing this is not how life is supposed to be. But God taught me something right in the middle of labor, 8 centimeters of excruciating pain. And each wave seemed unbearable and I writhed and twisted and fought against the pain so hard. I sang, no, I pleaded somewhere between earth and outer space, "I may be weak, but your Spirit's strong in me. My flesh may fail, but my God, you never will." And I felt Him gently coach me to submit to the pain. To allow it to accomplish its purpose: to open me up to new life. As the next contraction came, I simply went limp, allowing my body to do what it must. The pain remained, but somehow, enduring it was easier now that I wasn't fighting against it. So now I remember James' words to consider facing trials pure joy because of what will be accomplished through perseverance. And Paul's words about God's discipline, so painful at the time, but only for a little time, for our good, that we may share in his holiness. So I whisper prayers in my thinness, "God let this hardship change me. Help me to allow it to accomplish the good it should. To birth new life in me."
So thin in my flesh just now, but as I explained to Aron, "Never before has Jesus' words been more alive for me, 'I am the Bread of Life.'" I feed on him, and he nourishes like no food can.