This week, the girls and I learned about spiders.
How they toil. How they spin. How six different substances are released from the backside of their bodies to make up the components needed for their completed webs.
(What?! How do they store all that “string” in there?)
This week, we even read how human nets are modeled on the artistry and durability of their weaving. Made to catch fish like the spider’s webs are crafted to capture the small flying creatures that make up their daily bread.
A little creeped out or not, we’ve all likely paused to marvel at the intricacy of a web, watched the water droplets suspended on their nets like jewels on a necklace, even remembered Charlotte’s care for Wilbur written in undeserved words.
And this week I’m thinking about the web of my life and yours. The places where toil meets passion, where relationships weave in and out through time and place. I’m thinking especially on this: trust — my word for the year that I see connected in sticky strands to everything.
These last days, I’m mulling about how to create is, at its core for me, to trust.
So often I can look at the unique creation of you, seeming so finished, and wonder how you do it and look at my own tangled strands and wonder what goes where and how to get from this step to that branch.
And to write my thoughts and release them — watching the strands form and lines cross before my eyes — this too is trust.
Not just for me, but for each one this creating of a life requires trust. Not knowing how it will all play out, not understanding why this needs to go there, not getting how this even connects to that.
To live a life, do the work and create daily beauty on this earthly walk is to believe on some level that it is good, echoing the Creator who looked upon what he had made and saw that it was indeed good.
And in whatever place creating takes shape — when we pound keys, strum strings, apply paint to canvas, place a grouping of pillows on a couch just so, invent a soup, give a gift, teach a child — on some level we trust.
Trust that it is worth doing at all.
Michael and I have journeyed as parents together for nearly 11 years now, and one of the hardest truths for me to embrace is that the daily work of creating this family is good.
Of course, I adore my kids and believe that family is a blessing, and I know it’s right in the long run to do the instructing, disciplining, equipping and tending, but to really trust that our own brand of mess and love and clashing temperaments and successes and missteps that oozes out in the process is good — that can be another thing altogether.
I see so many examples of great families around me and love the way they do life and the vibrancy and consistency with which they live, and it can all seem so important. And I know there are the things worth majoring in — growing in God’s love and giving it away — but all those other pieces? It can feel like just one more thing to add on to the pile.
But this weaving of experience and story and hands held and cheeks stroked, this life together of us five and those we touch, this uniquely us creation of family formed day by day requires my trust.
It requires my trust to not know what my part might be today or tomorrow, how this will all turn out — how they will turn out — but to believe the web of us is good as we go, good as we respond where we’re being guided.
It requires trust to proclaim that, as unique pictures of love in this world, we — me, you, us — we are a good creation.