Today, every square inch of my house has a task assigned to it.


If you are fortunate enough to live with small people, you know what I am talking about: spilled apple sauce stuck to a pair of socks I-could-have-sworn were already in the wash.


Sprawled out books, covers that were fresh twelve hours ago, now graced with creases.


Laundry upon laundry and little bits of paper sticking out from the desk: it’s someone’s birthday that I am forgetting; our sponsored child’s Easter card; a highway toll charge from 2009 that suddenly arrived last week (helpfully three years later).


Usually, this cacophony is enough to drive me mad. I want to ignore everything and everyone until I get it straight–every scrap tidied and put in its place. No time for games of Cake Shoppe or Tickle Chase. No time to breathe in and out and say, “Help me, Jesus.”


But today, our pace is slower. Slowing. Slowed to a pace perfect for a new child, born into the chaos of life. We want to hold her from it, let her tiny toes absorb the crazy in her own time.


So, just an hour ago, my prayer was, “Thank you, God, for a house filled with mess.” Because in the end, what else is there? I am broken, contrite and I do what I don’t want to do. I am learning that without thankfulness, without a heart filled with gratefulness, I have nothing. I am a beggar, spitting at what God has brought.


Thank you for children whose voices are shrill, insistent. They will go far in life–they don’t know what “No” means.


Thank you for crumbs because it shows that we ate until we could eat no more.


Thank you for soft murmurs of comfort in the night when soaked sheets are pulled off beds by parents with bleary eyes. 


Today, my devotional led me to this verse: “Whom have I in heaven but you? And earth has nothing I desire besides you.” Psalm 73:17


The words leave me breathless: Nothing I desire but you. I want that to be true of my seeking Jesus. But I know it’s not, it’s not.


I seek a new SLR camera, cute Hanna Andersson jumpers, what the future holds, brownies, dates with friends at Starbucks. I seek him, certainly. But above all else on Earth? Sadly, I fall short.


And so I start again: Thankfulness. A heart turned toward him. Each day, it gets easier. And each day, he holds me close, as close as a nursing mama bringing her child to her heart once more.



12 thoughts on “Her One and Only

  1. Congratulations, my friend, on the newest love of your life! And on your longing for Jesus, as imperfect as it may be. God’s peace and blessings on the Fenske home!

  2. J Fensk! I’ve been reading through your blog and LOVE your writings! I feel so blessed and glad to have a thoughtful friend like you. Thanks for the encouragement and see you soon!

  3. This was SO good! I actually started getting upset about the mess in the house and them remembered your blog and it totally redirected me to what was most important – I can’t wait to see the new little baby!!!!

  4. I love this! I am encouraged by your story and am trying to turn my thinking around -being positive & grateful!

    Thank you!!

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