This morning I had a “moment.”
If you have seen “Mom’s Night Out” or if you are a mom, or a woman, or a human, then likely, you know what I mean. A “moment” is when you just cannot take “it” anymore, whatever “it” is. The truth is that my life is filled with a myriad of blessings: the cutest kids on the planet, and a wonderful husband, countless memories, innumerable opportunities to speak truth into their little hearts and minds, etc. etc….
All the stuff in between said mountain top experiences can be…um…really hard. Hamster wheel comes to mind whenever I think of cleaning or cooking or any of my other chores.
But there is very little to show for it. And sometimes, sometimes, when I look at my child step on or over their belongings for the bazillionth time I just want to shout…..PICK IT UP!! PICK IT UP!!!! Because somebody has to pick it up. And I am over it. OVER IT.
Then there comes the guilt and shame because really, whose fault is it that they don’t know how to pick up their belongings, clear their place, do their schoolwork, be nice, show respect, or anything else that I am responsible to teach them. Of course it is my fault. I am reaping what I have or have not sown. Right? Yes, so it is my fault. They are a mess because of me, and then I yell at them for it? Lord have mercy.
So I message a few friends, confess my moment, and pray. I resolve to ask the children for forgiveness because yelling is not nice. And move on. Moving on, in this case, literally meant moving on to the library. Oh it’s so clean at the library. I am pretty sure we need to come here daily, just to be in a quiet and clean environment. Mostly quiet. Because five children just arrived.
So with all children either looking for books, or looking at them, I snuggle up on the chair with my Dianna and settle in to read Mary Poppins aloud for a bit to her. It is such a wonderful treat to read to the children. I love it more than ice cream. It feels so indulgent. Sitting. Not multitasking. Not folding laundry. Not listening to her read while I do dishes. Just her head on my shoulder, our eyes on the page, my voice in her ears. I need to do this more. And the story. It’s so good! Way better than Disneys! So clever, and imaginative! I love it. Babies talking to birds, and the things they said!
And then I came to this page:
All day long Mary Poppins had been in a hurry, and when she was in a hurry she was always cross. Everything Jane did was bad, everything Michael did was worse. She even snapped at the Twins.
Jane and Michael kept out of her way as much as possible, for they knew that there were times when it was better not to be seen or heard by Mary Poppins.
“I wish we were invisible,” said Michael, when Mary Poppins had told him that the very sight of him was more than any self-respecting person could be expected to stand.
“We shall be, ” said Jane, “if we go behind the sofa. We can count the money in our money-boxes, and she may be better after she’s had her supper.”
And somehow, I felt better. Even Mary Poppins, who we all know is practically perfect in every way, had her moments! Even as I am typing this, I had to stop, and close my eyes, and just feel God’s love for me.
He did that for me. Somehow, that page was there, in this moment I needed it.
It was all so “Truman Show.”
And I am undone. Which is actually perfect.
So I kneel at his feet, and like Mary Magdalene, I break my alabaster box. I pour out all of my aspirations, all of my plans for the future, everything I think holds any worth, and I pour it on His feet. His feet. Because that is all my “good plans” are worth. Cleaning feet. And once I realize that my good works don’t define me, I also realize that my sins do not define me or for that matter, my children.
Yesterday we had to take a trip to the doctor. My littlest has trouble breathing occasionally, and this was one of those occasions. After some medical intervention, he was feeling much better, almost his normal self by the end of the day. And I was relieved. But his sister, my Mary, had a heavy heart.
“I gave him that cough mommy,” she confessed sadly.
“You did???” I asked surprised. “Did you put it in your hands and give it to him? Like a gift?”
“No,” she laughed.
“Mary,” I explained. “You didn’t give it to him on purpose. You are sick, and sometimes those around us get sick, but you didn’t mean for it to happen. It’s not your fault.”
And it all starts coming together. I am not perfect. Not by a long shot. And yet God still chose me to be the mom of these kids, wife to this man, and daughter, and sister, and friend. His grace. It is sufficient. He tells me that and I want to believe Him. I will not ever be perfect. He knew this. But He chose me. And it brings me to my knees – like Mary Magdalene. She knew. She got it. Her sins were so many, but she knew she was loved. And His kindness leads us to repentance. I fall at his feet. And I know, that although I have this sin condition, and it is contagious, I am walking with Christ and His righteousness is enough. He is enough. He is enough for my children, with or without me. He is the author and finisher of their faith. Not me. So I take my children to the Great Physician. I read to them the prescriptions for life’s healing, His Holy Word. I live a life of confessing and repenting. And He heals them. He heals us. He heals them of the germs that I have given them, and some they have picked up from others. I relinquish control and know now that my job was never to make them or me perfect. My job is to lead them to the Perfect One. And that I know I can do.
But He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness.” Therefore, I will most gladly boast all the more about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may reside in me.
2 Corinthians 12:9
Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, so that you may be healed. The urgent request of a righteous person is very powerful in its effect.