In which the daily life can be fearless in its own way, too

Brian has been horribly sick, when he bent over to kiss my head, he sneezed boogers all over my hair. I wondered if that is the sort of thing that warrants a new “love looks like” post. Evelynn had a bout with impetigo and it was not good, another round of antibiotics. Anne had a fever for two days. And Joe has had a rash all over his face, a snotty nose, a racking cough, and I have done a lot of laundry, a lot of late night writing.

I went to a Bible study at church and cracked open part of my heart for other people to see, terrified but hopeful. And I got together one night with two of my dear friends and we laughed so hard, I nearly cried, because the waiter was ridiculously good-looking and we were so obviously three mothers out for the night, and my friend said, with wonder in her voice, “Wow….just…good job on that one, God” and then laughed even harder because he was standing right there, long suffering, bless his heart. We shared stories and talked God stuff and foster care and writing and marriage and real-stuff-of-life and I loved them right down to the lines on my hands.

Yesterday we all drove to Regent for what is likely the last time. It felt like decades since we first walked on campus, just me and Brian, nearly 7 years ago. Now it’s been all of these twists-and-turns, all of these beautiful babies, all of the growing and the hurting and the moving and the figuring it out, all the glory and the mess of it, and it’s just over. We picked up Brian’s final coursework, signed off, and discovered he’s received an A on his thesis. I cried. We took pictures of J.I. Packer’s door since he wasn’t in his office. (His door is covered with Peanuts cartoons about theology. Who knew he liked Charlie Brown so much?)

We ate mediocre sushi at Granville Island, drove home in the fading light of the day with our babies in their car seats, holding hands in our minivan.  We watched Jon Stewart together after they went to bed with their teeth brushed, we kissed and coughed and kissed some more.

Just more. More coffee. More cleaning. More books. More mess. More toys. More noise. More need. More kissing. More laundry. More bills. More doorbells ringing. More meals to be making. More kilometres to be running. More love. More joy. More peace. More star gazing. More rain falling. More sparrows arriving. More leaves blooming. More more more moremoremoremoremore.

I worked this morning. When I came home, our babysitter had folded my laundry for me. I wanted to ask her to marry me.

Joe is so worn out and sick but, like most boys, unwilling to just rest.  I finally got him into bed at 3 in the afternoon. I woke him up at an hour later and he cried and fussed and stomped and whined for an hour, until I broke and gave him the now-banished soother just for one moment of peace, for the love. 

I want to be fearless.

I want to be beautiful, to make beautiful things, to create life and love and redemption. And I thought that looked like making chicken soup, chopping carrots and seasoning things with thyme. But I used the wrong pot and the house filled with smoke. I flung open the windows even though it was pouring cold rain outside. I snapped baby blankets around the house, shooing the smoke outside. I nursed the baby, I tried again to make soup. Anne and Joe decided they liked it and ate whole bowlfuls, Brian pitifully said he hadn’t been able to taste anything for two weeks but it sure looked nice.

I nursed Evelynn to sleep, she’s so long now that her legs hang off my lap, but she still needs me so much. I went to the library while Brian called his older sister. I came home, I had a glass of red wine, read a book. I decided to stop caring what people think about me and my motives on the Internet. I decided to have another baby. I decided that having another baby is probably not a good idea. I read another bit of my book, I ate popcorn.

Evelynn woke up, as usual, and I lifted my shirt in darkness to nourish her, her baby flesh curled around my stomach, criss crossed with silver stretch marks. I rocked her slow and I thought, as the chair creaked and squeaked, she exhaled and sprawled and finally fell asleep again, that, sometimes, the most fearless thing we can do is keep showing up.

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  • justamomandmore

    it amazes me how you make the every day into the most beautiful occurance with your words. always ending with encouragement. a nugget of wisdom i can carry in my pocket for the day. keep showing up. yes to this.


  • Steph

    After a particularly difficult day yesterday this is very encouraging to me. The day might not have gone as planned but I did show up.

  • Michael

    Well, that was a very graphic way to start a post! I guess today’s lesson is “Love is messy.” ūüėČ

  • Linda Stoll

    Oh-so-true.  We choose to keep showing up.  And He chooses to keeps showing up, too.

    I’m so glad we don’t go this alone …

    And congrats to your man on that A!!!¬† What a milestone …

    • Linda Stoll

      oops … forgive the grammar above … that’s what it looks like for me to operate on 5 1/2 hours sleep!

  • Mizmelly

    yes. this. thank you. again.

  • Kelly @ Love Well

    Ummm. Hello. I want to go back to the part about have another baby.


    You make art out of the ordinary, Sarah. That is God in you. Keep showing up, friend. We are the better for you sharing your gift.

  • Tara_pohlkottepress

    i think this to myself sometimes too. you have to be your own type of fearless to think you can create an enviornment, a life womb to raise people who love life, love others, love themselves.¬† We’re kinda ballsie. and i kinda like it :).

  • Lovefeasttable

    True that! I think that showing up takes courage and has the makings of a hero.

  • Megan (FriedOkra)

    Yes.  Me too.  Amen.  (Hug.)

  • Jenn

    Words, beautiful words. Stunning, the ordinary made sacred. 
    Oh and I totally hear ya on the baby thing….:)

  • Gregory Jeffers

    This is beautiful. Sarah, you give me so much hope. Thanks. 

  • Katie Noah Gibson

    This is breathtaking, Sarah. You are fearless – and thanks for reminding the rest of us to keep showing up. xoxo

  • Leah

    Sometimes I think the everyday, mundane acts of love need more fearlessness (than a big thing) to keep doing them, keep persevering when selfishly sometimes it would be easier to quit and pursue something with more glory involved. As always felt refreshed by your sharing :)

  • Lindsey

    This is so, so lovely.  Thanks for the reminder.  

  • Vicki Judd

    Beautiful. Just beautiful.

  • pastordt

    Good golly, Miss Molly – this is just wonderful, rich, true writing. The size of your gift just bowls me over as I sit on this side of the screen, Sarah. Bowls.Me.Over. I remember days/weeks/months like this – and you are so right. Just showing up is an act of grace, a miracle of courage. Putting one weary foot in front of the other. That’s what so much of this life is about. Praying Brian recovers soon, that the smell of burnt thyme dissipates, that those silver stretch marks will sing to you in the darkness, reminding you of how rich this life is. How ridiculously rich. Thank you – for so many things – but today, thank you for telling the truth with such love.

  • Michael Knowles

    “…sometimes, the most fearless thing we can do is keep showing up.”¬† I thank you for honoring the day-to-day in this post.¬† There is indeed sacred in the mundane.¬†

  • Sara Thompson

    Well that just rocked my face off.

  • Lizabeth

    Nailed that one Miss Sarah. I’ve always thought 90% of life is JUST SHOWING UP!!!


  • denise

    “sometimes, the most fearless thing we can do is keep showing up.”…
    You have no idea how much I needed those words today.

  • Abby

    Amen amen. Heres to showing up. It is so hard sometimes.

  • Lisa Bartelt

    Wow. This is just what I needed to hear today. We’re 3 weeks away from my husband’s graduation from seminary. We’ve been married 5 years — he’s been in school the whole time. We’ve two babies (now 4 and 2), two moves, one across country, and countless trials. I have no idea what the next months will look like, and today I was feeling kind of blah about life and like I was failing at so much. But I show up, even on the less than stellar days. So, thanks for those wise words. I discovered your blog through Lisa DeLay and appreciate your perspective and writing style. Keep on, sister!

  • Jenn

    Oh Yes. I’ve lived this daily at times – just to keep showing up and trying. Thank you for this awesome bit of encouragement.

  • Kim Van Brunt

    Damn, girl. You had me in all of the poetry of the ordinary and then you just. rip. my heart out. with that last line. Forget what anyone else says about your motives, because you can listen with different ears and see with different eyes. And what you’ve done this week has been fearless. (As in, cooking soup with actual carrots that you chop and thyme? Just wow.) I love how you notice it. That’s really what I want to do with my writing, is just to document. document. document. get it all down, everything I notice, see smell hear taste touch. Thanks for the reminder of what I’m doing, what I long to do.

  • Lindsay

    Simply beautiful. Hit me right down to my soul. Thank you, Sarah, as always.

  • Nurse Bee

    Can I just say how much I love your blog?  Thank you!

  • Rhetoric Femme

    It’s as though you crawled inside my mind and crawled up against my own inner monologue as it sighed about how it wants to be a braver mother.

  • Sharon O

    No one ever said mommy’s have an easy life. It is a journey unpacked every day. Some are good and some are not so good. Take hope it does get better. From an older mommy who has been there too.¬†

  • Janae Maslowski

    Thank you so much for affirming the life-value in just showing up, again and again. You encourage me so much, some areas of my life are hard to share with others {in particular the mundane that culture tells me I shouldn’t have to deal with}, but you always brave the way and I appreciate being able to walk in your steps for a brief moment. It rejuvenates me. Much love to you, Sarah. xo

  • suzannah | the smitten word

    This is sacramental. I love how you press into the holy in the mess of living and loving. Reading here makes my soul exhale.

  • joannawang

    Love this! Thanks for encouraging me!

  • Erin Adams

    oh amen to this, Sarah.  The realness of life.  And it takes courage.  God has called us to greatness, walking a crazy path of faith, which usually looks much like all this & still praising Him.  Right?
    This is beautiful & I am a bit teary & I wonder how I have been such a slacker on reading your blog lately.  You bless me!