Effortless. That is the word that comes to mind when I am witnessing my girl functioning “in her zone”. Time after time, these glimpses captivate me; they draw me into something bigger and deeper than can be seen at first glance. Maybe this is due to the fact that the rest of her life, the part that requires immense effort that sometimes isn’t even enough to succeed, serves as a harsh contrast to these moments of grace. But they still shine through, even on the darkest of days. They come, even when the burden of ADHD makes it nearly impossible to focus long enough to complete a simple math assignment. They come, even when the downward spiral triggered by unfinished assignments threatens to grab her and pull her underwater. When she is in her element, everything negative fades away and all seems right with her world; all seems to be as it should be. There is no struggle or fight or discouragement. There is only an opening within her to be the vessel she was created to be, freely receiving the grace and inspiration that is meant for her to experience.
One of the wildest things about being a parent is seeing how so much of who my daughter is has absolutely nothing to do with my husband nor myself, but everything to do with her Creator. I laugh at how the very things we fail at miserably, come to her easily. Case in point: when I studied Interior Design at the beginning of my college career, I nearly failed the class in Art which required me to pick up a piece of paper and pencil to draw. My entire grade was dependent upon my weak and feeble attempts to create art using this medium. My daughter, before being of eligible age to enroll in Art class, could draw better than I could at 18 and if she were to be graded by my college professor, would have received a better grade than I.
If you want to know the lyrics to any contemporary song from the 1980s forward, just ask my kid to sing it to you. She nails every word to nearly every song, no problem. A couple of summers ago, after hearing “Ice, Ice Baby” by Vanilla Ice play on the radio, she took it upon herself to learn every single word. When her Arizona cousins came into town a couple of days later, she entertained them with her precise and perfect rendition. The funniest part of it all is that her dad is self-admittedly an epic failure at figuring out lyrics to songs. In our early days of dating, as we were driving and singing along to the radio, his imperfect renditions of lyrics would have me rolling on the floor laughing.
Some days, as I am supervising homework time, I will watch my daughter as she is engrossed in a reading assignment. Thankfully, she doesn’t notice me watching her, otherwise she would call me a “creeper”. Anyway, the reason I watch her is that she has this amazing talent I’ve always wanted, but didn’t get and I am super jealous. As she is reading, she will simultaneously braid her long, brown hair into several different, intricate braids. In the time span of say, 30 minutes, she will do five or more styles, without ever looking up from her book. When she finishes one, she takes it out and starts the next. She will do french braids and dutch braids, waterfalls and fishtails, five strand braids and upside down braids. Me? I haven’t even mastered the messy side braid, which is probably the easiest of them all. When I ask her how she learned to do these she just says, “I don’t know. I just do them.” Then I say in my head, or sometimes out loud, “Who are you and where did you come from!?””
There is a song by the artist Audrey Assad entitled, “Breaking Through”. In its lyrics she sings of how some things may seem ordinary, but if we gaze at them longer or pay closer attention to the deeper stirring they cause within us, it is then that are able to see that they are more than just ordinary. They may be evidence that Heaven is breaking through.
Are these just some words that I say aloud?
Is this just the sun breaking through the clouds?
Oh, I know it’s more and I know somehow that
Heaven is breaking through
And it’s You, it’s You, it’s You, it’s You, You.”
As I sit captivated, watching the offspring of my imperfect self as she effortlessly creates beautiful art with a pencil and piece of paper, delights others with word for word renditions of rap songs, weaves intricate braids without lifting her eye to a mirror, I encounter something more magnificent than can be seen on the surface. Witnessing her in the zone reminds me that no matter how much she suffers the consequences of genes she inherited from me, no matter how hard her life is, no matter how many mistakes I make in my struggle to figure out how to be a good mom, the burden of who she is to become isn’t really mine to carry. She was created in Divine Love, made to receive Divine Love and meant to overflow with Divine Love. I feel it so strongly when she is there, operating in that sweet spot, the one place that doesn’t require effort, but only beckons for an openness to receive all that is to be given. Heaven is breaking through.