I’m recovering from a sinus infection and everybody else in my family gets sick. I’m tired and worn out, but trying to regain some kind of normalcy to my routine. The baby coughs at night and can’t sleep unless I’m holding him. This is new. He’s never liked being held while he’s sleeping. The eight year old is taking it in stride. She’s playing on the iPad, lying on the couch, dozing in and out of the day. The husband is running a fever and every two hours has cold sweats. He’s coping though, and we enjoy a nice evening chatting and laughing and spending time together.
Instead of reading the last few chapters of my book when I go to bed, I hold the baby and run my fingers through his hair. I watch him sleep. I’m overwhelmingly grateful for this time. I’m so lost in his face that I don’t even think about the “me” time that I’m missing out on. Until my shoulder starts to hurt from the way I’m propped in the bed. Now the pain is getting sharper and my tired body is achy and I don’t know how to move from this spot without waking the sick boy in my arms. I should put him in his crib so I can get some sleep, I think. But I don’t. I just slide down and cradle him. I make space for him. I’m his mama, making space for him is what my heart makes me do.
I wake up feeling like I was hit by a Mack truck. The first time the boy sleeps with me is also the last, I promise myself. I scroll through Twitter while sipping coffee. It’s the first cup of coffee since I got sick. When I’m sick I drink hot tea with lots of honey. So I’m enjoying this coffee while breaking my heart open to the troubles of the world.
Sometimes these troubles are just so heavy.
I’ll begin with a lighter trouble.
Today, I decide to end my relationship with Target. After not being able to find decent length shorts for my daughter and realizing their girls’ clothes are at least two actual sizes smaller than the boys clothes with the same size tag, I see that they’re selling t-shirts that say Trophy in the women’s department. I’m almost certain I don’t even need to explain why this is frustrating. People can certainly create and sell at their own fancy, and I can choose where to shop. So I tell Target on Twitter that I’m done making space for them in my paycheck.
I meditate on this and my heart says I need to make space in my soul and in my life for women who are all more than mere trophies. Even those who are proud of their trophy status, I know there’s more to them than that. I invite these women and their pains and their joys into my awareness, into my purpose, and into my prayers. I will #WholeMama to them, as I do to my children, my family, and myself.
Today, I am making space for Sandy Bland. I am making space for the #sayhername movement. We all need this movement, friends. I hope you can understand why. I am making space for #blacklivesmatter. And I’m just about exhausted from trying to explain the necessity of this one. I’m making space for the black lesbian minister who asks me if there is room for her at my white privileged table. I’m making space for the girls and women who find themselves in the termination rooms at Planned Parenthood. I’m making space for the women who perform procedures in the termination rooms at Planned Parenthood.
In the most uncomfortable places with the heaviest troubles, I’m making space. It’s what my heart makes me do.
As this prayer keeps coming into play for me, I end this post with a Benediction from St. Francis. Because, in the end, isn’t this what it’s all about?
May God bless you with discomfort at easy answers, half truths, and superficial relationships, so that you may live deep within your heart.
May God bless you with anger at injustice, oppression, and exploitation of people, so that you may work for justice, freedom, and peace.
May God bless you with tears to shed for those who suffer from pain, rejection, starvation, and war, so that you may reach out your hand to comfort them and to turn their pain into joy.
And may God bless you with enough foolishness to believe that you can make a difference in this world, so that you can do what others claim cannot be done.
– Benediction of St. Francis
Agere Contra, friends