This is the stuff.
The stuff a new recipe is made of when a chair is scooted up to the counter and a small human turns into a miniature chef, excited to add and mix together ingredients.
The stuff said during a car ride, when from the backseat you hear a tiny heart understanding God with childlike belief.
The stuff at bedtime when you're listening from the other room and hear the faith-filled prayers of a tender heart.
This is the stuff of life. The simple things. The heartfelt moments that make it all worth it.
And when I say all I mean all.
You know. All the stuff - the other stuff.
The stuff when you're running behind. The stuff when the dog has to be reluctantly dragged inside. The stuff when you finally get everyone where they need to be and think you're finally on your way when the garage door won't close.
This is the stuff. The stuff that does in fact drive us crazy. The stuff that causes us to feel inadequate. The stuff that leaves us speechless. The stuff that forces us to steal a few moments alone to regain our cool for fear of the explosion we may be on the brink of. (Notice the plural tense. Oh yes, it is intentional because I surely do not want to be alone on this one.)
The stuff we wade through, drudging along, day-by-day and pray for the other stuff to come and enlighten us. Please, sweet stuff, interrupt this monotony. Provide a moment of clarity. Give resolution to everything that remains unresolved. Deliver me from my own self and the stuff that weighs me down.
Yet I am always with you; you hold me by my right hand. You guide me with your counsel and afterward you will take me into glory. Psalm 73:23-24
Oh Lord, is that true? If that's really stuff I can rely on, then it means You're right here with me - right beside me, holding my hand through all the stuff.
Whom have I in heaven but You? And earth has nothing I desire but You. Psalm 73:25
I admit I get distracted by stuff. Stuff that takes my focus away from You. Stuff that I deceivingly think will satisfy my aching soul. So much stuff clouding my vision.
My flesh and my heart my fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever. Psalm 73:26
This, Lord. This is it. This is the stuff I need to know. This is the truth about me - my flesh and heart fail - they fail me, they fail my family, they fail those relying on me, and most assuredly and ashamedly they fail You. Oh, but Lord, You are my strength! You give me what I need to sustain me even through the stuff of each day. The stuff that I pause and reflect upon, that causes my heart to be strengthened. You're even there through the stuff that I cannot bear. The stuff that sends me to the pit of despair.
This is the stuff. The stuff of life. The stuff we must endure. The stuff we get to experience. The stuff that life is made of. The stuff we're promised. The stuff that makes us stronger. This is the stuff.