When words fail
Sometimes my head spins with all there is that demands the pen. At the moment I feel like I’m trying to shovel concrete in order to make room in my head or heart for anything other than #bringbackourgirls, and yet there are these other things, important things, mixed up in there as well. They circle and swirl, looking for a place to land.
1. It was International Day of the Midwife this week.
Oh, how I love and adore our midwives and birth workers and want to shout their praises from the rooftops. Did you know that the United States just dropped from 50th to 60th in the ranking of maternal health world wide? Yes us, in America, with our money and experts and seemingly limitless resources. This is not ok. We need our midwives (and doctors!) and the expertise, care, and birth education that they offer… and we need them desperately.
2. It’s Teacher Appreciation Week.
Oh, how I want to sing the praises of Mrs. Hurley who inspired me to read—actually read—when I picked up Ayn Rand’s The Fountainhead in twelfth grade, and write literary essays with fervor. (She’s the first one who called me a writer. Thank you Mrs. Hurley.) Or Mr. Watli in the fourth grade who got me hooked on Holocaust history and was perhaps the first one that exposed me to injustice in a way that unlocked my heart forever. (He also taught me how to play chess, so there’s that. Thank you Mr. Watli.) Gosh, I love dedicated and creative and empowering teachers and want to shout their praises, too.
3. It’s Mother’s Day on Sunday.
Oh, how I want to highlight so many different categories of women who should be honored this precious day (women who have lost babies, women who are infertile, women without mothers, women who give birth on dirt floors, women who mother under heavy hardship or a terrifying diagnosis), and give practical suggestions for how to honor and bless them. Because really, Mother’s Day should be about more than having someone fold our laundry or serve us breakfast in bed. (At minimum I have to mention how ridiculously easy it is to make or donate towards $2 clean birth kits, which can help save the lives of birthing mothers in rural Nepal, or how you can support the distribution of solar suitcases in developing nations to help caregivers assist in childbirth more safely.) To mothers and mother-hearts everywhere, I salute you.
4. It’s #bringbackourgirls urgent TODAY and every day until they are found.
Oh, how I can’t get past this story of the 200+ abducted (and still missing) girls in Nigeria which is haunting my thoughts and weighing my heart with holy indignation and the hope of a Savior. I know these four ways to help #bringbackourgirls and yet I still want to do more.
Sometimes the weight of the world rests so heavily on my shoulders that I feel almost paralyzed with the desire to want to doooooo something to change it. I want to write until my fingers bleed in hopes to multiply the message further while simultaneously wanting to curl up under a blanket and mindlessly watch HGTV while eating copious amounts of chips and salsa in hopes it will all just Go Away.
A few days ago I had some dental work done. Sitting in the chair with no small amount of fear and trembling I turned on the news, knowing that the reality of what’s happening in the Ukraine and Nigeria and fires and earthquakes ravaging our communities would help bring perspective to my minor dental woes. I turned up the volume as my dentist turned up the intensity of the instruments, and yet still, I only endured so long before flipping over to Love It Or List It. (HGTV might forever my mind-numbing indulgence.) But even then I couldn’t stop churning over the heartache of the abducted GIRLS who are being mocked even as they are trafficked into sexual slavery.
Friends, I’m learning that the best time to pray is when we have too many words… and when we have no words at all.
So instead of burning the midnight oil writing about All The Things until my keyboard gets worn thin, I’m instead committing to pray more, lean into God more, and trust that my words (and sometimes my lack of words) will find a resting place there within His heart.
My overflow and my lack – none of it makes God uncomfortable (even though most of it makes me incredibly uncomfortable).
So to you friends – happy Midwives-Teachers-Mothers appreciation week and OH DEAR GOD would you please free these young girls.
And because we all need a smile to break the pressure sometimes, give yourself a giggle by reading this. Or this. Or because I just returned from New York City (possibly my favorite place on EARTH), I laughed my way through this illustrated NYC survival guide and thought you might enjoy it, too. (You’re welcome.)
Maybe like me, your heart is imploding and you desperately need help in keeping perspective and seeing the joy and fun life has to offer, too. Ultimately at the end of the day, I know that Love Wins. And I’m counting on it.
Remember friends, when words fail. . . pray.
And then go outside and get some fresh air.
Off to the park with my kids,