On Early Morning Walks and Spider Webs and Being a Momma
by Maggie Paulus
I set out for a walk in the morning, while the kids and Brent still sleep. I’m not used to this—taking walks in the morning, but on this particular morning, I decide to be a little crazy. Switch things up a bit and try something new. More often than not, I sleep right up until Brent is smooching my forehead goodbye and one of the kids is crawling into bed with me, letting me know it’s time for some chocky milk and breakfast.
But, on this particular morning, I actually do what I wish I would always do. I get up early enough to enjoy a cup of coffee while spending time with Jesus. He calls Himself the Word and He teaches that we humans weren’t created to function on bread alone. Our life fuel shouldn’t only consist of coffee and toast and the physical kind of stuff. Because we’re more than just a body, we’ve got a spirit and our spirits need fed too. The way we feed our spirits is by consuming God’s words. (Matthew 4:4)
So I peel eggs there by the sink and swallow them down, and munch on a buttery English muffin while I feed my spirit—the part of me that’ll live forever. I slowly take in God’s Words and I’m nourished.
Then I slip outside and run through the wet grass to the gravelly street and begin my jaunt. The morning is cool, surprisingly for June and the fog hangs low around the branches. I had just read about God’s glory, how it came like a cloud on a mountain once, and the people were so afraid. (Exodus 24:15-17)
I notice a funneled spider’s web on the edge of the lawn so I stoop down in the street to better see. I’m astonished. There she is, peeking out of her tunnel and I whisper it to her, that her night’s work is beautiful and good. I think to myself that I must be a strange sort of person, to praise a spider out loud there on the street, but I shrug it off because after all, she’s a created thing like me, and maybe she can’t tell from her perspective, but from where I am, all I can see is art and it’s drenched in dew and gloriously perfect.
I think about what good it would do for the souls of all the busy people if sometimes we just sat a spell at the foot of another small and seemingly insignificant created thing, and gave it our full attention or offered up our admiration.
Later on, when I’m muddling through my day with my kids, trying hard to teach them what it means to love each other and how to treat each other kind, or why we really do need to clean up our messes and eat our lunch, I wonder about God and the way He sees.
I’m laboring hard to raise these kids and love my neighbors as much as I love myself and I keep having to pray for love because I don’t seem to have much of it on my own, without God’s help. I take a minute to ask God to help all the mommas and daddies who are in the trenches and who are wondering if they’re making any difference or doing much good.
Because these parenting little people days and trying to love my neighbor days are hard and I do a lot of failing, but Brent and I, we’re drenching them in prayer and God is giving us His grace and dousing us with love. Love that we can’t find inside ourselves apart from Him. And sometimes when I’m in the middle of the floor with two kids on each side and one crawling all over me or when I’m sitting astonished before a spider’s web, God whispers it kind and gentle into my teachable, hungry for Him heart. That maybe it’s hard to see from this perspective, but from His point of view, all He can see is art and it’s beautiful and gloriously good.