~C picked this flower for me a week or two ago, before the cold set in and snow. I love how kids adore dandelions and totally see them as flowers and not weeds. I know I did when I was little, despite my father’s view that dandelions were pestilence in need of eradication from our lawn.
As an adult, I adore when they are freshly picked and lovingly given to me from one of my kids. But I have to admit when placing them in a bud vase or small glass I cynically think, they are going to close up in 15 minutes and look dead and ugly.
Here it is though two weeks later, puffed up and beautiful on the kitchen sill overlooking our bright yellow playhouse. It is magnificent, glorious, –transformed. Anything but dead and ugly.
I tell you the truth, unless a kernel of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains only a single seed. But if it dies, it produces many seeds. -John 12:24
I like to think of myself as that pretty yellow dandelion displayed with love in a little humble vase. But I know that it’s only half the story, that the ugly Lisa underbelly has got to die, so I can be like that white dandelion transformed and ripe for sharing all the best parts of itself on the winds of grace…
Today was a lot. Today I felt like a pregnant mom with 5 boys.
First there were two 9am dentist appointments. Not just cleanings, but big stuff, a filling for one son and a tooth extraction for the other son. There would be novicaine involved, and no nitrous oxide to ease things like our old dentist used.
I got up early to feel more prepared for this extra busy morning. There was unexpected snow, an angry screaming preschooler out of sorts wanting daddy even though daddy already left for work, ~K mad and stompy about the two brothers that weren’t going to be on the bus with him because of their dentist appointments, scrambling to appease everyone, feed everyone, get the car warmed, the baby fed, diaper changed, dressed. Then slippery roads, can’t make it in to drop the preschooler off at school safely, cars slip sliding all over the road. A quick change in plans, ~R will just have to come with us too.
We make it to the dentist only 10 minutes late. The two older boys go with their respective dental assistants as I play in the waiting room with my 4 yr old and 1 yr old, keeping them occupied and somewhat happy. I chase ~O a dozen times as he toddles mischievously down the hall toward the exam rooms.
I pray, pray the two boys/patients will be ok and not scared or hurt during their procedures. But I have to trust. There is just only so much of me to go around.
Both boys come out about a half hour later, each with numb mouths, but they look ok and I am proud of them for doing it without me. We get in the car and drive 20 minutes to drop one at one school and then the other at the other (where of course ~R my 4 yr old wants to go to his preschool class, which isn’t going to happen because there is only an hour left and I am tired). So more patience as I coax him out while holding ~O in my arms. Promises of making chocolate chip cookies finally take hold of ~R’s imagination and and we make it back home. Once there ~O takes a nap, I read to ~R and fall asleep in 5 minute snippets as he allows me to.
It has been a day where every child has taken from me in anger or in need and I have felt steadily pressed upon for something all day.
I am tired, I am weary, I feel like a wilting dandelion sitting in a cup.
It is so hard to remember that on days like today, where I manage to give with grace, that I am closer to the white dandelion than the wilted, that in giving I am transformed.
Jesus does it so perfectly. Man he is good. It’s never about him, he gives in abundance.
I can’t say the same for me.
But I can get up each new day, sprout my bright yellow petals and try…