In the Tomb with Jesus

In the Tomb with Jesus

“Lines for the Tomb” by Bella

One thing I forgot to add to my last post because it occurred to me the other night just before I fell asleep and then I didn’t remember it until today….

Bella and Sophie have a game they played quite often during Lent and Easter seasons. They kneel down inside the prie dieu looking out and they chant, “I’m in the tomb with Jesus. I’m in the tomb with Jesus.” It’s part of a whole Easter sequence that also includes the crucifixion, Jesus being taken down from the cross, the resurrection, and Mary Magdalene’s encounter with Jesus in the garden.

In the midst of my tearful turmoil, after I’d finished pouring out all the words that demanded to be written; after I’d taken my shower, crying all the while; after I’d crawled into bed and had said the prayers of Compline and was trying hard not to start weeping again; suddenly that phrase came to me, my daughters voices chanting in that cheerful way that only children can chant about death. And I realized how apt it was. At that moment I truly felt I was in the tomb. Everything was so dark and I could see no way out.

But oh how the memory of their chanting voices cheered me for they reminded me that even in the tomb I am not alone. He has been there too. He too has felt abandoned and isolated. He too has felt profound loneliness. He too has felt deserted by God, his plea for help answered only with a no. No, this cup will not pass from you, you must drink it to the bitter end.

And that was what made me realize that perhaps this loneliness, this feeling of isolation and this being overwhelmed, perhaps this is my cross. I’ve spent far too long listening to too many voices that tell me that it shouldn’t be this way and for too long I’ve struggled and struggled against acceptance. And yet what I need here, now, today, is to accept the work of today as God’s will.

Recently I read He Leadeth Me and the one truth that rang out to me page after page after page was the necessity of accepting the suffering of each day. Not seeking to find God’s will out there in grand tasks and possibilities, but in the mere circumstances that each day brings. This life is mine and this day is mine and they are mine to make of them what I will. I cannot change the circumstances but I can try to align my will. No, this life is his and this day is his, he made it and it belongs to him. All I can do is return it to him to the best of my ability. I can choose love today. I can choose work instead of sloth. I can choose to see sickness and sadness and loneliness as a call from him and embrace them not as goods in themselves, of course, but as trials that I cannot make go away by wishing and begging.

It is a truth I’ve learned before but it seems that with each change of life’s seasons I must learn it again. And again. And even if I think I’ve learned it…. well, I guess I’m a slow learner.

Today and yesterday I found some meaningful work to do and Dom and I rethought how we want to use some of our living spaces. As soon as I arrange the photos, I’ll put up a post. It’s funny how something as simple as rearranging the furniture can give you a whole new perspective. I’d never have done it on my own; but Dom had a vision of how to make my life a little easier. It required some hard work and both of us ended the day yesterday with sore backs. The kids were cranky and didn’t get their usual Saturday night baths. But today… well, I’ll wait and let that story tell itself in it’s proper space.

Thank you for your prayers, my friends, truly there has been grace. Grace and peace. In the midst of the usual chaos, of course.

The thing about being in the tomb with Jesus… is that you can be sure there will be a resurrection.

Jesus in the Tomb
“Jesus in the Tomb” by Bella

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  • Melanie,

    Happy to hear the weekend was a good one. I popped back on the computer to add a comment to your earlier post and saw your new ones. I’ll still keep you in my prayers that you find some more calm/peace/rest before Lucia arrives.

  • Melanie, praying for you after reading the deep waters post, and so glad to see you’ve gotten a bit of relief already! I struggle with some of the isolation you mention, too, although I am only expecting baby #2 right now. And now you’ve inspired me to see what I can do about improving my living spaces. I struggle so much with clutter, yet it is so much more peaceful when things are clean and organized!

  • Everything looks great Melanie. I also find that once I start a project, the momentum keeps me going. It’s just finding the momentum to start. Which law of physics says something about saying at rest unless acted on by an outside force? I’m almost embarrassed to admit that it was Leila’s post that finally pushed me to tackle our master bedroom mess. Why couldn’t I find the motivation to organize it before?  But I’ve found one clean room is encouraging me to get several others in order so perhaps it’s a domino effect here too. I just wish the kids could pick up on the enthusiasm.

  • Everything looks awesome, Melanie!  I was working on cleaning/organizing projects this weekend too.  Getting there… 

    Thank you for your beginning homeschool thoughts you shared recently on a post of mine.  We are doing well and enjoying our learning adventures and learning the balance of my little’s semi-extroverted temperament and my introverted temperament.

    Keeping you in prayer!!

  • I love the way a clean, lived in house looks – so different than those awful, sterile staged rooms you usually see.  Yours looks so nice.

    Oh how is wish I had the energy (and funds) for something like this!  I know this didn’t cost you anything, but we are hurting for more bookshelves here (they’re shelved two deep and still overflowing) and we just can’t scrape together the extra money to buy or build some.

  • Great news and great photos!  My OB-Gyn used to recommend a project to end “the blues.”  You just needed a partner to help with the planning and work and now you have a fresh, more orderly house.  My beloved M-I-L also said, that for her, rearranging the furniture was like taking a vacation.

    You are energized and you have a little time to finished some cherished quilting before Lucia arrives.

    Prayers for you have been answered in part—you must have some powerful guardian angels!

  • Thanks, everyone. Especially for all the prayers.

    Becky, I can use all the prayers I can get. smile

    Heather, up to this point I think one of the lowest points I’d experienced as a mother in terms of isolation where when I was expecting my baby #2. In fact, during this most recent bout of it, it felt like a flashback to those days. I should hunt up some of my old blog posts from that period. I recall writing about it at length.

    Nicole, I vaguely remember that comment. wink I keep meaning to write a longer post about what we’ve been doing so far this fall in terms of homeschooling, comparing my plans setting out and the day to day reality. One of these days…

    Karen, Ah yes! that continues to be the best template of our days! Thanks for coming along for the ride.

    Kelly, So true about momentum! I think sometimes I just need that push. I guess writing my post prompted some prayers and those were the push I needed. Unfortunately, it isn’t catching with the kids in the short term; but I do think long term the less I give into sloth and the less I complain the less resistant they are to pitching in.

    Geek Lady, We also have the problem of books shelved two deep on some shelves—especially the one on the far right and several in the other rooms. And overflowing… If I tried to actually shelve al our books, I’d find it impossible. I think for true bookworms the shelf space never exceeds the number of books—or at least not for long—- books breed, don’t you know!

    Margaret, Just like a vacation without the jet lag!  I also thank my blog readers for all the intercessory prayer.

  • I’ve taken to shelving David’s books on the TV stand.  The TV has been busted since last Christmas anyway.

    You sound a little more chipper, though, and I’m glad!

  • Geek Lady,

    To add a note about your earlier comment that I forgot to include…. I just wish my house were a *clean* lived in house more often. It happens but not quite as often as I’d like. My standards aren’t that high; but keeping up with four kids is hard.

    I do feel more chipper in general, I think that blog post was a good purgative and then the reorganizing helped get me some momentum. Though I reverted to spending too much time on Facebook today. So many interesting conversations…. and I told myself that after I had to deal with calling about jury duty, I had to compensate for my phone-anxiety with some treats. But by dinner time I just felt blah. Finding that balance between leisure and sloth can be so hard; but I always know when I’ve crossed the line.

    I solved the problem of the kids books with a combination of baskets in the living room (for board books and to catch the current picture book reads) and multipurpose shelves from Ikea. I got rid of all the dressers in the house and replaced them with shelving. Kids clothes go in bins that slide into the shelves and books and toys go on the empty shelves. Because they are much more vertical, they solve some of our floor space problem. And they weren’t super expensive, though we’ve had to buy them one or two at a time. Not necessarily an option when you’re really strapped for funds; but they were cheaper than a lot of shelving out there. I remember when we were really shelf poor how excited I was that Dom’s office was getting rid of some furniture. Also how excited I was when my roommates gave me bookshelves for Christmas one year. And I think we got some as wedding presents too!

  • Oh Melanie, I’m so glad things are looking up! It is amazing the effect our immediate environement can have on our emotions and spirit… I’m so glad to hear some cleaning and rearranging has helped! And you found something that may help your recreation need and bless your children at the same time! Sounds like an all-winning weekend to me.

    Thank Heaven for good and motivating husbands, too! smile