Spring has sprung.
It's 75 degrees and I'm watching the gloriousness from my window...all of it. The sunshine, the blue sky, the bikers, the runners, the kids walking home with their backpacks, the birds chirping and the tiny green plants forcing their way up to greet the world.
That's with one eye.
With the other, I'm watching my 4-year old daughter snuggled up with her blanket, eyes closed, fever managed, finally sleeping. She's been sick for the last five days. Prior to that, her older brother and sister missed three days of school last week (unheard of in our home) because of similarly high fevers, yucky coughs, and general fatigue.
I've made lots of trips to Target. Cart filled with ibuprofen, acetaminophen, bananas, popsicles, bleach, Lysol and Clorox wipes.
I haven't made many trips out the door with my running shoes on or to greet the sunshine. And so, it's been a rough start to spring for our clan. Praise God for friends who bring iced coffees, sweet sunshine balloons, Dove chocolates and kind texts that remind me that I'm not alone.
But through this Lenten season, I stumbled upon a book that I've fallen in love with called "Savor," written by a mother who knows how hard it is to savor the moments when you're trying to simply survive them. In this daily devotional, she writes about the power of the bittersweet. Here are her words...
"Bittersweet is the idea that in all things there is something beautiful
and something broken, that there is a sliver of lightness on even the darkest of
nights and a slice of hope with every heartbreak. Bittersweet is the
practice of believing that we really do need both the bitter and the
sweet and that a life of nothing but sweetness rots both your teeth and your
soul. Bitter is what makes us strong, what forces us to push through,
what helps us to earn the lines on our faces and the callouses on our
hands. Sweet is nice enough but bittersweet is beautiful, nuanced, full
of depth and complexity. Bittersweet is courageous, gutsy and earthy."
Boom. Tears in my eyes. This has purpose. All of it.
For a type A, crazy-ass control freak mama like myself who really at the end of the day has absolutely nothing to bitch about, this resonated. We have no idea what will come in this beautiful, messy, unpredictable life we've been given...so why not savor it, all of it? Why not take everything it has to offer, especially the hard and the unfair...it makes the sweetness, that much juicier. It feeds the soul in ways that we could have never felt with the same abundance before we knew the hurt.
So, as she's sleeping and I'm realizing that it's 3pm and I'm still in my pajamas, I say thank you for the bittersweet. It's making me the mother and the woman that I am today.