• Dana L. Butler

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This past week has been an absolute blur.

We’ve had nearly the entire interior of our home painted and our painter still has more to do later this coming week.

I’ve spent the week shuffling and shuttling kids around, trying to keep little hands out of wet paint and away from ladders and fumes.

All while preparing to host my baby girl’s first birthday party, and how can this be happening? This year has both crept and flown by and it feels surreal that she’s someone turning one.

From home to mall to Target to grocery store, I’ve hiked and pushed stroller and held small hands through parking lots, and I’ve grown more aware by the day of this limp I feel in my heart.

I am more in touch these days with my brokenness, my weakness, than ever before. 

See, I come face to face with it daily, and I wonder if all the various difficulties and pain life brings aren’t for the purpose of waking us up to how deep our weakness runs.

Boy, am I ever awake these days.

I struggle to know how to love my son rightly, how to channel his strength and shepherd his emotions. I struggle not to cave to stress when my head pounds and my kids both pick the same moment (after moment, after moment) to be ultra high-needs. I struggle to let the pressure influence my tone of voice as I instruct little hearts.

I struggle to selflessly love my neighbors. Heck, I struggle to selflessly love my husband, this incredible man who lays his life down to serve me day-in and day-out.

I struggle with fear as I step out into deeply caring for souls. I fear “doing it wrong,” drawing hearts to myself instead of leading them to wholehearted dependence on Jesus.

I struggle with shame over my physical weakness. I shouldn’t have a headache again today. I shouldn’t be this weak. And my capacity to be social and do playdates and corral my kids here, there and everywhere shouldn’t be so much more limited than all the other moms around me. I know I live before the Lord, for His approval, but I’m telling you, the questioning glances [and yes, even words] I get from my mom-friends at times when I have to leave a gathering early or not show up at all — they can still bring the red right to the surface of my cheeks and shame can just have a heyday in all my blaring limitedness.

So yeah, I’m living aware of my weakness these days. I mean, sometimes more like bowled over by it.

BUT.

I’m walking through the parking lot of the grocery store down here in the hood the other day, and I’m aching with desire for this season of waiting to be finished. For our home to sell. For God to move us quickly toward life in Colorado. But it’s not happening quickly the pain of this season feels acute.

Yet rising up to match it is this

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