Today I drove the boys from San Diego up to Northern California on my own. It took us the whole day. We began at 5:45 this morning, listening to a remastered edition of the classic musical story, Peter and the Wolf. (I just purchased this sweet masterpiece from Maestro Classics, and the boys LOVED IT!)
Then we stopped for a McDonald's Breakfast, which my middle-est never fails to remind me is better than my pancakes and sausage; inserted and thoroughly enjoyed our other new CD from the music of Disney Jr.'s Jake and the Neverland Pirates; Stopped for potty breaks and a caffeinated drink for me; hit the road again, handed out the boys' DS games, and enjoyed a bit of my own music; was abruptly brought back to the present when my four year old started screaming "Emergency! I need to pooh! Emergency! Now! It's coming!" I had just passed a sign that read, "Next rest area 30 miles ahead," so I pulled to the far side of Highway 5, yanked the little guy out, pulled down his shorts and big boy underwear... JUST! IN! TIME!
And all this before 9 a.m.
All in all, however, it was a really lovely drive. I always enjoy road trips through California as we journey from the beach vistas, past busy cities, through barren mountain passes, and into rural towns and agricultural communities. For a solid hour today we passed, on our left hand side, orchard after green orchard. The trees stood up bold against a backdrop of brown, dry mountains. A blue sky soared behind it. And up in the middle of the sky, cut perfectly in half, hung the moon at mid-day.
It was then my other blonde started shrieking warnings of his own impending pooh. And so the mood was broken and I pulled off at the next rest area where we found an actual bathroom.
It's a busy life, isn't it?
And while this day was a bit humorous, as we drove nearly the entire length of California, it made me think of how ceaseless, unending, constant, exhausting, stressful, CRAZY!!! each and every day's journey is.
Tonight, after I tucked my eldest child in bed, and then re-tucked my middle-est and little-est back in another three or four times each, I picked up the book Keep A Quiet Heart by Elisabeth Elliot. Turning randomly to page 57 I began to read a few paragraphs entitled "MOONLESS TRUST." The first lines griped my Mothering Heart, as she spoke of a night voyage, in which there is no moonlight to travel by.
"Some of you are perhaps feeling you are voyaging just now on a moonless sea. Uncertainty surrounds you. There seem to be no signs to follow. Perhaps you feel about to be engulfed by loneliness. There is no one to whom you can speak of your need. Amy Carmichael wrote of such a feeling when, as a missionary of twenty-six, she had to leave Japan because of poor health... All this preceded her going to India where she stayed for fifty-three years... Amy wrote(on her journey to a new land) 'All along, let us remember, we are not asked to understand, but simply to obey... Saturday, I sailed. We had to come on board Friday night. And just as the tender (a small boat) where were the dear friends who had come to say good0bye was moving off, and the chill of loneliness shivered through me, like a warm love-clasp came the long-loved lines. 'And only Heaven is better than to walk with Christ at midnight, over moonless seas.' I couldn't feel frightened then. Praise Him for the moonless seas -- all the better the opportunity for proving Him to be indeed the El Shaddai, 'the God who is Enough!' "
Elizabeth Elliot then added her own "word of witness to Amy's, and to the tens of thousands who have learned that He is indeed Enough. He is not all we would ask for (if we were honest), but it is precisely when we do not have what we would ask for, and only then, that we can clearly perceive His all-sufficiency. It is when the sea is moonless that the Lord has become my Light."
While I traveled today by sunlight, and even had the opportunity to see and appreciate the beauty of the literal moon in the sky, I know the deep uncertainty of traveling through this life (especially with young ones) on figuratively moonless seas. I think of how this difficult journey has brought my faith to life in new and exciting ways. And I praise God for these mothering years.
"Praise Him for the moonless seas -- all the better the opportunity for proving Him to be indeed the El Shaddai, 'the God who is Enough.'"
Linking up with GraceLaced Mondays: