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     In the book of Genesis, chapter 1, the Bible says that God created the Heavens and the Earth and that the Earth was covered with seas and oceans and that theses seas and oceans were formed by the collection of tears harvested by all the babies that were still to come. The tears of needed naptimes, the tears of naptimes being fought. The tears of hunger, and the tears of still being hungry due to having thrown your grapes on the floor for the 12th time in 2 minutes. The tears of needing a clean diaper,and the tears of that new diaper being put on. The tears of missing Mommy and then, upon getting Mommy, realizing that it was, in fact, Daddy who was the one being missed, adding to the seas and oceans of tears that were spoken of in The Beginning. **
     Today, and the entire last week, my child has been adding to the seas and oceans with flood-worthy tears. We are ALL losing our minds. Captain Cranky-Pants is unleashing his emotional fury during homework time and meal time and bed time and all the times in between, making it impossible to focus on another task and creating a great deal of tension as we attempt to talk over the wailing.
     Honest Moment approaching: Yes. I have screamed this week. Into my pillow, out of my pillow, and directly at my baby. Shut up! Just..... oh my gosh, SHUT UP!!! Thankfully, my little man thinks this is hysterical and doesn't seem to be scarred too deeply by my momentary disdain. Nevertheless, my screaming because of his screaming leaves me feeling deflated and weak and tearful myself.
     On the flip side, I have found that singing through his tears puts me and my other children in a much more pleasant state of mind. Not that it changes the screaming being done by the wee one (of course not), but it does improve my own demeanor considerably. For example, this morning, Wyatt took the opportunity to ferociously wail and attempt to climb my legs the entire time I was getting ready for our afternoon of running errands. After jabbing myself in the eye with my mascara wand and burning myself with the curling iron, I kinda wanted to exile him to his crib (and then exile his crib to Antarctica!). Instead, I chose to sing a song, more for myself than for him, in an attempt to fend off the crazed panic that was threatening to overtake me. To the tune of Row, Row, Row Your Boat, I sang:
     Drive, Drive, Drive your car, to the grocery store. Buy some ice cream, eat it all, and then go back for more.
     I sang it at least 10 times before I supplemented a few variations of what I would buy at the store, adding some musical runs and vibrato to the mix, and trying my vocal chords at Twinkle Twinkle. Keep in mind, the baby was still screaming, but I was not. The singing did nothing to change my circumstance but did everything to change my ability to deal with it.
     A similar occurrence happened yesterday on our way to swim lessons. Wyatt was exhausted and ready for a short nap, but he just did not want to give it up and rest in the car. My normally travel-happy camper had a whiney case of the "Hold Me's" and was unwilling to sleep until he got his cuddles in. The kids were in the back and grumbling with one another, not that I could hear the specifics over the crying baby. I was almost to my breaking point and ready to holler when I chose to turn on the radio to K-Love. Fighting the tears that threatened to spill down my own cheeks, I let the music wash over me. My voice sang even when my heart didn't want to as I began to focus my attention less on what was going on behind me and more on what was going on inside of me. At some point during our journey, the baby gave in to rest and the bigger kids had traded in their bickering for unison as they sang along with the tunes echoing through the van.
     This reminded me of an actual Scripture verse in Psalms 59. Verses 16 and 17 read like this:
     But I will sing of your strength, in the morning I will sing of your love; for you are my fortress, my refuge in times of trouble. O my Strength, I sing praise to you; you, O God, are my fortress, my loving God.
     Singing through the tears has been a tried and true theme throughout centuries of crying babies, lost jobs, devastating diagnoses, and failed relationships. There are definitive moments in life that scream for our attention and wail to be picked up. They tug and pull and distract and cause us to stab ourselves in the eye with a proverbial mascara wand.
     Sometimes, these moments warrant our attention. And sometimes these moments are nothing more than weighted neck-ties trying to pull us down into a sea of tears as we fight and scream and forget that we have a Strength and a Fortress that has called us to sing through our current circumstance.
     There is a popular phrase among Christians that says, "If He brings you to it, He'll bring you through it". Another Honest Moment approaching: I'm just not a huge fan of that phrase. Now, before you scream blasphemy and call for a lynching, let's remember that this common phrase is found no where in the actual Bible (nor is it in the good book of Mommy's Losing Her Mind). In fact, I believe that God brings us to situations, not for us to sit there white-knuckling our faith with clenched teeth and closed eyes, wishing and praying and hoping for the moment to come when God will rush in and chase away the clouds, restoring our previously sunny life.
     I believe that God calls us to a much more active role in times of tears. Just as the slaves chose to write songs to tell their stories and lift their spirits in the midst of great suffering, God also calls us to sing through the tears. Each battle is an opportunity to tell your story through song. Each tear is filled with words and feelings and melodies just waiting to be unleashed. God brings us to these moments not to passively wait for a savior to come but, instead, to sing your heart out in the midst of it all. Maybe God isn't looking for us to beg and plead for a change in our circumstances as much as He's challenging us to find a way to praise Him for the opportunity to tell our story in the middle of the circumstance.
     When Wyatt cries incessantly, I sing nonsensical songs to silly tunes. He continues to cry, but my mood improves exponentially. I am able to smile while I pull my hair out, in a sense! When Cameron and Taylor are flipping their lids at one another and battling their own demons that they came to us with, I can put on K-Love. They may continue to squawk, but a silent story is being told as they see me praising through it instead of screaming the infamous Shut up!!! at them. And when another Mama comes to me in tears because she's lost a child and is facing heartache of the worst kind, I can sing along with her a mournful, holy roar of solidarity because I, too, have felt that very heartache.
     Our stories are in our songs and our songs are in the tears. It is your song that will be the story to heal hearts and elicit praise in the middle of it all. Even if the tears continue and the circumstances don't change, Sing On, Sisters.



**The book of Genesis, paraphrased in the book of Mommy's Losing Her Mind

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