For the Mom Who’s Had Enough

Were the missing play dough canisters really worth it?

Were they worth the yelling? The words flung carelessly into the hallway air? And then all of the tears. Mommy’s tears.  My tears. Knowing that yet again I failed my children. I failed my son. I failed to serve him, failed to be patient with him and with his four-year old mind. I failed to love him perfectly.

Little children such as these shall see the kingdom of heaven.

And then after what in hindsight seemed like an insufficient apology, because “there really is never an excuse for yelling,”  he forgave me. Simply, quickly and sincerely. He forgave the thoughtlessness. The anger hurled at him. The hurt feelings on his part.

 
Little children such as these shall see the kingdom of heaven. 
 

What does that even mean? That the “little children such as these shall see the kingdom of heaven”? What did Jesus mean when he said that, exactly? I mean, of course he could mean it in the literal sense. But what makes us different from children, anyway? Aren’t we supposed to mature as we grow into the body of Christ? Aren’t we supposed to put away the things of old and prepare to be doer’s and teachers of the word, to be more than undeveloped minds who need to be taught the same thing, again and again?

 

Then why did Jesus bring it back to them? Why did he tell us that to see heaven in its glory, we needed to have hearts like children?

How do I do this? The mountains of dishes. The early wake up calls. The kids who won’t go to sleep. The dirt in the corners of every room. The laundry. The windows with handprints all over them. The carpets that are always covered in dog fur. The interrupted phone calls. The petty squabbles broken up. The errands that go awry. The never-ending array of goldfish crackers and clam shells on the van floor. Who can do this? Who can love perfectly amidst all of this? Who can have a heart like children and be able to take care of children??

 

Little children such as these shall see the kingdom of heaven.

 

I am still learning what that phrase means, and I am learning it from my children. The thing about us adults is that we convolute what really matters. We fret over the wrong things, we make war with what we shouldn’t even be worried twice about. We get buried under everything that we THINK we are supposed to be primarily worried about. When sometimes, the mission is very clear.

 

Our first love.

 

Our first love is Jesus. Our first loves in this world are our spouses and our children. No if’s and’s or but’s about it. How many times must I forget my first love(s)? How many times must I brush aside what truly matters and devote energy and stress and give power to the things that don’t?

 

His grace flows down and covers me. Do we wash in it? Or do we fight it? Do we convince ourselves that there is no room for grace in the presence of the mom that yells, the children that fight or for the mom that wants to just call it a day and give up at 9:34 a.m.? Do we think that grace doesn’t have it’s place on the chore lists? Do we think that we have too much work to do and that grace doesn’t cover the practical and the menial in our day-to-day lives? It does. It IS the chore list. It pursues us. Grace is where the REAL work is done, the real cleansing soap and water, cutting through the grit.

It has much to do, everyday. Because I, we, need it every moment of everyday.

 
Little children such as these shall see the kingdom of heaven.
Little children who forgive repeatedly. Little children who love earnestly. Little children who care only about what matters. Little children who see with purity.

 

Find your grace today. Or better yet, open your eyes and absorb and wallow in grace today. And let it do the work.

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2 thoughts on “For the Mom Who’s Had Enough

  1. Mama Cain says:

    Ah, yes. I had to apologize for the same just yesterday, maybe? I think it was over spilled juice. A lot of spilled juice. But still, not worth the yelling and meanness that was poured over my little ones ears. Thanks for this, Ash. Miss you like crazy!

    Like

  2. threeboysandamom says:

    I love this! The other day picking up the boys from the nursery, I saw that verse on the wall and thought about it. My realization was that we will always be God’s children, just as we’ll always be our parents children. In that way, we will forever have hearts like children and be reliant on God as out father. Just because we’re adults doesn’t mean we dont need our parents, and we need God that much more. ❤

    Like

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