Previous Challenge Entry (Level 4 – Masters)
Topic: Up and Down (04/02/09)
- TITLE: Springs of Gloom and Cheer
By LauraLee Shaw
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Can’t. Do. This. ANYMORE.
Moments earlier, as I sat at the kitchen table trying to organize my day, the sight outside my window grabbed the shirt of my heart and wouldn’t let go. My daughter was blasting out a happy song while springing up and down on the trampoline with her favorite doll.
Up and down, singing her merry melody.
Up high with a playful kick, a bounce to her feet, then down on her bottom and up on her feet again.
Such was the state of my emotions on and off since childhood, but lately, the bouncing had seemed unbearable. Shouting on top of the mountain of cheer. Sighing in the valley of gloom. Sometimes three times in the same day.
I’m tired of the trampoline.
“Hi, Mama,” Lilly said as she tried to catch her breath. “Mama, did you see me on the trampoline? I was jumping really high. Molly and I could almost reach the sky.”
Yes, I’ve been there many times. “I know, Sweetie, you sure you didn’t touch a cloud?”
“Maybe. What’s wrong, Mama? Your eyes are crying.”
I forced a smile. “Ohhhhh, they’re just happy tears, Baby Doll.”
“Oh. Well, did you see us fall too, Mama? I landed right on top of Molly and made her sad.”
Lilly rocked her Molly doll back and forth, just like I had rocked Lilly so many times when I’d made her sad with my topple down of emotions.
“Molly knows how much you love her, Sweetie. You’d never fall down on her on purpose, would you?”
She smacked a kiss on the doll’s braided hair. “Nooooo, never,” Lilly vowed through gritted teeth. “I love my Molly tooooo much,” She snuggled her close as she sprang to the next room.
And I love you too much, Lilly. I juggled the spinning saucers of solutions in my mind, trying to catch each one before they broke in self-defeat. My sister had been begging me to see a counselor. My best friend was absolutely certain that it was time to let the doctor prescribe some meds. My husband knew that a good workout and diet plan would balance out my hormonal teeter-totter. My spiritual mentor reminded me to pray more, memorize more Scripture. Truth be told, I knew ALL of the advice was sound, but I lacked the clarity to know what to do first.
God help me. It’s too confusing. I can’t do this.
Lilly’s piano lesson shattered my defeated thoughts. “Mommy made me mash my M&Ms. Do, Doooo,” Up and down her warm-up scales she went, pedal all the way to the floor. Over and over. Each note ricocheted on the walls of my nerves. “Mommy MADE ME MASH my M&Ms. Do DOOOOO!!!!”
Eyes shut now, I could hardly bear the extra noise causing confusion to swell within my chest. I leaned against the kitchen counter, then melted into it.
“Sing with me, Molly,” Lilly coached. “Now this one’s extra important, Molly, okay? So sing it with all your heart to Jesus. Open the eyes of my heart, Lord. Open the eyes of my heart.”
Lilly’s precious voice singing the song I'd sung to her over and over again invited my tears to join in. They streamed like hot summer rain down my cheeks.
“I want to see you. I want to see you...”
That’s what I want too. Lord, show me what to do.
“…LOUDER, Molly. To see You high and lifted up. Shining in the light of Your glory Pour out Your power and love. As we sing holy, holy, holy.”
The Holy Spirit poured out His counsel to me, and I knew what to do...
While Lilly and Molly sang up and down the scales of “holies,” I laid down my pride and picked up the phone - because I was tired of the trampoline.
out of the mud and the mire.
He set my feet on solid ground
and steadied me as I walked along.”
***"Open The Eyes of My Heart"
Words and Music by Paul Baloche
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