Go Lower

I feel like I can't go much lower; my Littlest has been weeping because she misses her father, who travels a lot. And there is no consoling my little girl, and I have nothing left to give. And I open Ann's book and the title of the chapter is Go Lower.

And I can't wait to see what this means.

It's about a red ball, and laughter, and a note from a far-flung hotel. And I thought I couldn't go lower, but the mention of the hotel makes me cry. Did I say I couldn't go lower?

You can always go lower.

At the library, I told my friend how my Littlest shook last night in her bed, cried and claimed "despair" and "treachery" (and I might have laughed in delight at the big words if she hadn't been so serious in the telling).

You can remind her that God is her Father,
my friend said.

I could.

I make my way through the rest of Ann's chapter, and it's more about joy, the red ball, children's arguments, broken glass, and going lower in an altogether different way before the Father.

I humbly open my hand, says Ann.

Maybe I will make this my phrase, since I'm tired of holding things together anyhow. And the truth is that you can always go lower, and sometimes it helps to remember that, doesn't it?

I turn the phrase over in my mind...

I humbly open my hand. I humbly open my hand.


Quote from Chapter 9 of the beautiful book One Thousand Gifts: A Dare to Live Fully Right Where You Are.

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Blogger Maureen said...

I humbly open
my hand, watch red

return to bathe
the white knuckled

out in an instant's
press of nails

in flesh. Fist
relaxed, fingers

stretch long, tips
bringing me closer

to your hand
you open

humbly, waiting
for connection.

Blogger L.L. Barkat said...

Ah, Maureen, you do love deep through poetry. It's a beautiful thing. :)

Blogger Abby said...

How beautiful Maureen...thank you, though I know it was (mostly) for L.L. and you too, I think;)

And L.L., I don't know what could cause us to become more bare, find more strength, ends of ourselves frazzled, than parenting, mothering.

I am so young in the journey, but I know how it brought my mom to the end for years and 'somehow' she found more, now with her gone and missing, I do hear her whisper where she found the strength...going lower...

I'm seeing more of the parallel image as I process Ann's book the second time, how the opening of the hand is the breaking the bread of the moment that I cling to to manipulate and control and it remains un-partaken ...and some new joy is stirred that I haven't known for many years and now as a mother, and embracing the wonder that could be in each 'bubbled' moment:)

little tastes make me want more and I will need more for what is coming...

Blogger Megan Willome said...

Needed this. Tonight is a lower night.

Blogger Kathleen Overby said...

Wish I could wrap my arms around you and smooth all the rough spots. The other night, when Tess was at a crossroads, we watched Louis Giglio's http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RKMw1ndl-EY&playnext=1&list=PL982C7161DBF7EC53 especially part 4 and 5. Mother and daughter both cried deep. :)
Comfort. Reassurance that someone else is holding it and us all together. Much love to you and yours.

Blogger Ann Voskamp @Holy Experience said...

Beautiful L.L....

Beautiful women...

Today... may I join you... humbly opening my hand.

You are brave and beautiful, LL... thank you for teaching me much.

I am so grateful...

All's grace,

Blogger David Rupert said...

THat is kind of a depressing thought about the bottom never ending, especially when you think you've hit it.

But opening my hand means I'm no longer clinching my fist, shaking it at the world, at the devil, at those who have done me wrong.

Maybe that's the way "up"

Anonymous kingfisher said...

I'm sorry you're hurting and your daughter's hurting. (And that you had to give up ballet, as well -- from your other post.) There's just an enormous amount of struggle in modern life, so much disappointment. I guess that keeps us turning, turning, turning to God Almighty for help and succor and comfort and strength.

Go and dance, Laura, whether it's with Littlest, or swirling around by yourself, or watching other people dance while your heart dances with them. Dance with your Savior, the Lord of the Dance. And let him wipe away your tears and fears.

(Easier said than done, I know!)

God trusts you to be a parent, he trusts you to look to him for hope, even when you feel you've gone lower and lower.

Praying for you and your family today.

Blogger Solveig said...

So much to think about here. I've found that somehow the "lower" is as beautiful as the "higher." God is with us in these valleys of weeping. And He makes it all precious.

Blogger Stephanie said...

I can't go lower tonight. I am tired. So, I humbly open my hand with you. Thank you for sharing.

Anonymous Dena Dyer said...

Laura, it's so hard when we can't comfort our children.

Parenting brings me to my knees, so often. I guess that's kinda the point.

Thanks for sharing so openly. I pray God comforts your littlest, and that you find another way to dance. (I'm sorry you had to give up ballet--I didn't realize that!)

Blogger Em and Lib said...

Oh, LL have been there with the child needing Daddy. My second oldest went into night terrors every night when his father was on the road. A stop at the Frightful station on my long journey. An old golden retriever lent a helping paw, for which I was quite thankful.
The Irish say "There's nothing so bad that it can't get worse" ....but what if "There's nothing so bad that it can't get better??"
I so wish that was an original thought, but came from Jan Karon's latest...
Blessings - soon to be friend!


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