“Are you seriously wearing shorts today?” I ask him as he sits down for a thrown together breakfast of scrambled eggs and toast. “It’s ‘wish it were summer day’ at school.” He’s got a Hawaiian shirt on, too and I laugh as I scrub down the frying pan. It’s definitely ‘I wish it was summer day,’ in my winter-worn heart, too. “And look what I found in my pocket!” He pulls out a crinkled Disneyland ticket. It’s faded from washing but there’s the faint outline of a castle on the front. I wish it was summer and I wish we were all in shorts, running around a theme park from roller coaster to roller coaster. But it’s February. It’s a bleak Monday morning in February. He’s strapping on a pair of sandals, and I’m in my sweater and leggings and boots because no matter how much we all wish it was summer it is a snowy February Monday and we might as well get through it as comfortably as possible.
Maybe there’s a way to do more than get through? Maybe cold weather doesn’t have to mean cold hearts? Maybe there’s something beside sunshine and beaches that will warm our frigid insides?
There’s this feeling that comes over me on Sunday evenings that I’ve begun to expect. After the Netflix binging and pizza eating and afternoon naps are over and we open our planners to look ahead to the forthcoming week. A sinking pit that takes home in my stomach, a little overwhelmed, mostly exhausted at all that is ahead. There’s so much music to learn. Accompanying four choirs and an entire musical is more than I should have committed to. The floors haven’t been swept, last week’s crumbs and tracked in dirt is everywhere. The hours are filled to the brim, I’m wondering when I’ll find time even to eat dinner this week, let alone make it. Little things pile up, leaving me with a heavy load to carry across this week.
There’s not enough. The phrase reverberates through my heart. Not enough time or energy or motivation or sunshine. I am stretched to my limit and counting down days till summer and doesn’t that seem like a waste of this season that I’m in?
The sound of percolating coffee wakes me this morning before my alarm. Against all odds I’m up before the sun, somehow making it from bed to toothbrush. The coffee is poured and steams as I open up the door and look the pre-dawn day in it’s face. Breakfast is made, I’m outside on a morning run in freezing temperatures, and then I’m home, showered, dressed, and out the door to work on time. Somehow I’m doing the week that seemed so absolutely impossible.
It’s only when you multiply nothing by nothing that you get nothing. But even a fraction can increase when multiplied by a source bigger than itself. My feeble attempts to trudge through this February day are met and multiplied by a source greater than myself. If five fish and two loaves can became thousands, perhaps the act of simply giving what I can becomes something bigger, something more beautiful, than I ever imagined.
My not enough is met with Christ’s more than enough and I have become more than I thought possible.
I am in my husband’s van this morning. Yesterday’s snowfall has turned to today’s ice and we’ve somehow lost track of our second scraper. My half-congested nose starts to drip and my hands freeze as I chip away at the too-high-to-reach windshield with a tupperware lid. My attempts to start Monday by being on time are thwarted. I’m acutely aware of the gaps and cracks in my life, in my heart. I find a plastic shovel and get enough ice off that the wipers start to move. Maybe these gaps are here to let more of God in. Maybe what Paul said was true, that when I am weak than I am strong. Maybe Christ’s grace shines the brightest when we need it the most.
Maybe He will be the warmth that gets me through this winter, the strength that carries me through these Mondays.
It’s snowing again by the time I walk into school for choir. I brush the flakes from my hair and scan the room. Dozens of sixth graders shuffle to their spots, their sweet voices singing. My husband is there in front. Shorts, sandals, the Hawaiian shirt he breaks out for vacation, smiling as he leads. I sit down at my place in front of the keyboard. Together we make music. It is gray outside, but there’s light in here.