“Sure, have her come over”…I almost regret the words as soon as they leave me.
The house is a mess. I’m in my mom uniform, not near the cleaner, more put together me that walks through the doors on Sunday. It’s most likely pizza for dinner. And I’m tired.
Sometimes it’s all I can do to keep it together around here…and barely at that. With a husband who continually gives and 5 young children who giggle and run and fall and cry and have an amazing ability to turn my daytime neatness into joyful chaos within 10 minutes of after school fun.
The walls of this house are comfort to me. It is our sanctuary. Not a quiet one, but a safe one. A place where life is messy and loving and forgiving.
I have perfected the art of protecting our time. Early in our marriage I fought hard for that privacy, that desire to have time to ourselves. The pressures of ministry can be strong, I had heard. I took on the role of defender of our schedule…partly out of wisdom, partly out of fear.
It is important to be wise with our time. Our children find safety in family time, in undivided attention from us. We laugh and cry and argue and make up and we love and hug and tickle and play games and we are here.
And hasn’t He created all of this in us so that we can share it? To not only tell of the fun, of the unconditional, sometimes hard, love that happens within these walls? Could it be that some of the most real, most powerful ministry happens here?
For me, it is the harder, more personal side of what we do. To let people in. To let them see the mess, the imperfections. To not only be transparent, but to be vulnerable.
But He sees and He knows and He takes my weaknesses and turns them into something beautiful.
So she comes. And we talk. And she sees messy bedrooms, evidence of a rushed morning. She observes bickering and hugs, scrapes and kisses. We laugh over coffee. It is stretching for me and if she knows she doesn’t say. I see the connection spark in her eye, the longing for friendship in a new city.
And I’m thankful. Thankful for a God who covers for me. Who desires willingness over perfection. A God who uses me to touch another life.
And transforms mine at the same time.