It’s one of those mornings, when I’ve run out of liquid creamer for coffee. There’s the powdered kind, but it’s old and clumpy and it lands into my mug of caffeine like balls of sour grapes.

And there are a set of dishes in the sink waiting to be loaded into the dishwasher. And two cabinet doors are open revealing a disheveled row of Tupperware.

I begin quietly tidying up before the morning rush. The weekend proved to be busier than normal even for our family of five. I tell myself in the still of the a.m. that life must slow down a bit.

And as I wipe in circles while the water bounces off the steel sink, I notice an odd shaped something in the crevice where the stovetop meets the counter. Inside the narrow cleft is a tiny tooth, faint dried blood still stuck to the root. It’s from the mouth of my ten year old. And I vaguely remember it coming out. It happened between packing a diaper bag and finding a matching shoe on Saturday. And I think I said, “Great … I’ll meet you in the van.” That was two days ago.

And I put the dirty rag down to inspect this little piece of my middle boy. I replayed the rush of the weekend, scampering hectic to arrive and minister to a community where we serve as short term missionaries. But why didn’t I slow down for sixty seconds to hug or high five? What was more important than recognizing a simple milestone that slips in quietly before vanishing altogether?

And I can spend my days loving others and turning the other cheek and carefully placing fruits of the spirit into a worn woven basket, but if I miss ministering to the very people in my own home, I’ve simply failed this job of mothering.

And I say the words in my head, once and then twice … this is my ministry.

These are my children. These are the young who will grow to carry the torch that was lit in our home. And the songs we sing and the words we whisper will be the hum of their grown up hearts. And the responsibility is grand. And it’s worthy of pause to celebrate the little and the large of each and every day.

(thank you, dear amanda, for sharing these humble and holy words…)