I rush around the kitchen. As I reach for bowls and plates, my chest tightens. With every scream, nitpick or fight my children’s breakfast interactions grate on me as my adrenaline increases, like a slow burn.
Finally, one more: “Mom, I don’t wike dis food and I don’t wike dis pwate!”
And I’m done. I run off to the bedroom to scribble some notes on the cognitive distortions worksheet my therapist gave the previous day.
Because there isn’t a cell in my body that isn’t determined to unlearn the rhythms I use to survive, but there isn’t a chance I can stay another moment in the fray, fragile as I am.
When I return, all apologies I see him counting out twenties from our grocery / gas money stash, his lips moving as he does mental math. He walks around the table, into the kitchen where he holds me and presses two twenty dollar bills in my hand.
“One for Gas, One for you blow on whatever. When’s the last time you just had some time off? Not to work or produce. Just go be you. I saw the your to do list and I’ve got it, I’ll get Noelle to school and I’ll clean the sinks and toilets. When you come home, dinner will be done. Just go baby, I got this.”
He is the number two reason I will beat this thing, this anxiety, these inner lies.
He is my partner, supporter and very best friend. I didn’t know how deep love could go until I married Kel and every year? It gets better.
He’s the one whispering God’s truth by proxy.
To me? The hands and feet of Jesus so often look like Kel’s hands and feet: strong, broad and kinda hairy.
It’s not always scripture and it’s not always prayer. Sometime it’s just telling me that I’m good enough in a way so tender that it sinks in so much deeper than any bible verse he could text me.
I used to get on him again and again, if you’re a pastor shouldn’t you be reading me the bible and praying over me when I get like this? Always and forever quoting scripture and suggesting we hit our knees again?
And he does, And we do, but we’re fooling ourselves if we think that loving like Jesus only looks like verses on 3 x 5 cards and prayer circles. There’s learning it, and then? There’s living it.
Jesus didn’t love people through primarily through prayer, he loved people by leading them to healing, by feeding them, by washing their feet.
Kel grew up with a father who worked hard and showed his love with his time and his hands so Kel? He shows love that way.
And these days? Washing my feet looks like giving me a time out while scrubbing our disgusting (middle of potty training a little boy who does not point it down) toilets.
So I will unlearn these lies slowly, with small and large graces directly from God and at the hands of his people but if there’s ever an awards show for whatever this is that I’m figuring out… most of my thank yous will go to Kel.
If you liked this and would love to connect more, use this form to have new posts delivered neatly into your inbox.