An Interlude

Spitting.

That’s what my four-year old was doing to amuse himself in the backseat of our van the other day. Though, it actually wasn’t the raspberry-blowing part that was REALLY entertaining to him. The fact that it disgusted mommy is enough to send him gleefully over the moon.

Then there’s my beautiful daughter who has turned into a ponytailed nightmare version of herself since the day she turned 2. Her way of dealing with anything requested of her is to tell whoever or whatever it is to “go away.” OK, then. I thought that the teenage years started when they were, you know, teenagers? I figured both of my kiddos were still going to think I was pretty great for at least another 8 years.

She's pretty cute, even when she is pouting...

She’s pretty cute, even when she is pouting…

They say kids are experimenting with things younger and younger these days. Go figure. 

Meanwhile, all I want is peace and quiet…on a private island surrounded by white sand beaches with something fruity and refreshing in my hand – and I’m not talking about Skittles. Is that too much to ask for a mom? It would certainly beat hiding in the bathroom with my smart phone. Or at least it might eliminate the need, albeit temporarily, for me to have to blare music from the car radio to drown out the sound of kids arguing over goldfish crackers.

I love my children….I love my children…I love my children…

…..

Wait, you didn’t expect that sentence to go anywhere, did you?

Normally I like to lay the ground work before I dive into spouting insightful tidbits about how moms can do it, how they can make it through the day and make the PB&J sandwiches, clean up all of the messes, leap the tallest building in a single bound and curl her hair while frying bacon on the stove top. But the truth is, sometimes you don’t want to hear the insightful, the truthful. Sometimes, you want to be annoyed. Well, actually, you don’t want to be annoyed, you want to be joyful, but you can’t help but be annoyed.

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I read something thought-provoking this week. A sister in Christ gave me an awesome book centered on how the ordinary motherhood days can become grace filled, joyful and victorious days in Christ. I’ve heard that line before. I’ve read insightful blog posts before and turned off my computer feeling encouraged only to fail miserably at my new attempts at perfect patience, endless joy and endurance within the next few days. Because eventually, those well-intentioned efforts run out of steam, because they are based on the wrong thing and the energies spent are all too often our own instead of letting God have His way with us.

It gets easier. If you let God get bigger. 

Pursuing grace, or for that matter accepting that IT is pursuing YOU is actually an everyday occurrence. And those everyday simple occurrences paint the picture for the glory of eternity.

Yea, yea, yea, but it doesn’t get the play dough that is smashed into my dining room carpet out of the fibers and it doesn’t remove the dust bunnies that have accumulated from the dog who just won’t stop shedding from the corner of every room. It all sounds great in THEORY, but something like that doesn’t have anything to do with what we moms face everyday in a practical sense….or does it?

With one sentence, this author turned upside down every notion about what it is to be a mom, to be a homemaker, to be a woman, looking for God’s grace in her life. Here it is, you ready?

Our biggest problems every day are not our chores (the dishes, the laundry, the disobedient children, getting the oil changed, cleaning jelly out of our daughter’s hair, etc…), our greatest problem everyday is our SIN. 

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Oh.

Though she articulates this issue more eloquently than I ever could, I just had to share them here. I cannot get that sentence out of my mind. The greatest thing I face everyday isn’t the disorganized and cluttered house or the arguing children. I am at war everyday with my sin. And coming to terms with that has allowed me to look at myself when I’m frustrated and discouraged by something and to see what is REALLY at work when I want to beat something with a wiffle ball bat because I am so frustrated.

It makes me stop and question what’s going on beneath the surface. No, when I read that quote it didn’t solve any of the imminent problems or eliminate suddenly the daily annoyances. But it took the sting out of them. It took the burden of them off of me.

Every time I think that I have it ingrained in my head that I just cannot do this parenting thing without God and His grace, he reminds me that I haven’t a clue.  The road leads back to him. And when I fail, I still have his perfect portion. It’s endless.

So, the week is over. I failed. I melted down in front of the children. I let the house become a mess. I am sleep deprived and I need a shower. But the truth is more cleansing than I could have suspected.

Hoping that you all have a great weekend!

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