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Goodness and Grayness

It’s a gray Friday morning.

My four children are stomping their feet and chanting nonsense around a kitchen chair (which they are also using as a make-shift drum, hammering it with colored pencils.)

Tonight, my husband and I will attempt to tone this act down, make it sit quietly in a hushed, dimly lit sanctuary, and be reverent.

I can hear myself now.

Sit, without fidgeting. Listen, without fussing. Hold on, it’s nearly over. Think of tomorrow, the church egg hunt. Think of Sunday morning, baskets and ribbons and He is Risen, He is Risen Indeed!

For all that I’ve ever done for you, please. Just. Be. Still.

If I’m being honest about the whole thing, this year, this moment in my adult life, this moment in my spiritual life – I need this. Too many gray mornings, too many gray moments. I am craving the black. The finality, the absolute, the reminder that in one sacrificial moment, all of history shifted.

For me.

For the woman who just snapped at her children for not being quiet enough for her to think clearly while counting the scoops of grounds into her coffee filter.

For the thirty-four year old girl whose head and whose heart are feeling farther and farther apart, as life pulls her every which way.

As a child, I think I always imagined that faith is secured in adulthood. The grown-ups in my church seemed to have it together, they seemed to know how to raise their children. They seemed to have a trust and an understanding that I certainly hadn’t yet figured out.

As a teen, I think I had some vague, naive and unspoken belief that sin wasn’t as tempting after you said I Do and had children, and that if I could just grow up, it would be easier. It would be bliss.

What a cruel wake up call to be mid-thirties and finding every opposite to be true.

Growing up doesn’t bring the clarity I hoped for, and it certainly doesn’t tone down any temptations or miraculously make you disciplined, (or patient, selfless, or saved in-and-of-and-by-yourself. ) You can be  an adult, dress the part, wear a wedding ring, have children wrapped around your knees and looking up to you for answers between the hymns- and you can still be a mess.

The questions grow more clear, but the answers more opaque.

So, here I sit, on a gray Friday morning that will slowly carry me to the Good (but somehow, always “black” in my mind) Friday service. To the cross.

And I know that I need it.

Maybe more than ever before.

Listen, without fussing- my wild and wandering heart.

Sit, without fidgeting – my scattered and frantic brain.

Hold on, it’s almost over – Melanie.

It’s coming.

He is risen. He is risen indeed.

Just. Be. Still.

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Writer, Photographer, Wife, Mother to four rambunctious and amazing children.


  1. One of my favorite scripture studies is to watch the progression in the heart of Paul from “in regards to legalistic righteousness, faultless” to seeing himself as the worst of all sinners…begging for the thorn to be removed, yet boasting in his weekness so that God’s grace may be revealed. I believe that the closer we grow to the heart of God, the more acutely aware of our sin we become. At this point we either go the ‘denial, act right, try and look good route’ or we learn to rely more deeply on that amazing grace! I didn’t grow up in a religious or spiritual environment…but I raised my kids in one. And my prayer was not to ‘set an example’ for them, but to have enough courage to live my spiritual struggle honestly and humbly in their seeing. It’s hard to know how much to draw them in…to what and when. Your heart, and the way you express your spiritual self, never fail to move me. To slow me down. To get me thoughtful and seeking.

    • Yes! The “closer we grow to the heart of God, the more acutely aware of our sin we become…”

      Thank you, for this reminder. It’s a comfort, really. Not that I want to be more aware of the sin and the broken places, but that there’s quite possibly a *good* reason why they feel more visible.

      Closer to the light, less room for the dark.

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