This was a journal entry from almost a year ago. It makes me smile because in some crazy way, it is incredibly freeing to admit to the world what a mess I often am. We all are. And it’s really OK. There’s no such thing as perfect. And really, I am boasting in my mess, because it shows just how powerful God is. (2 Cor 12:9) God can’t work where there is no admission of needing him, and boy, do I need Him.
March 2, 2015
Right now I’m sipping hot water, Cinderella is playing in the living room and things are actually calm. But today was one of those ridiculous days. And I guess I could cover it all up and pretend we don’t have ridiculous days or I could just tell you all about it. And for that I’m kind of glad because, you see, I lost my voice..the day of my daughter’s birthday party..when I was running around like crazy..two days ago. But here, at least, I have a voice.
My daughter’s 4th birthday went great, but by the end of the night I could barely speak. My attempted words came out in squeaks and peeps and two days later it’s not much better. Whispering while parenting two very small children who usually do not make eye contact with you is really a practice in futility. I’ve resorted to clapping and snapping and basically running after and getting in their tiny faces to speak something to them. It’s really an enormous effort just to say something like “Remember I asked you to let Hannah see your book.” Just wait, it gets better.
I ended up going to our local family doctor about my throat and while we were out today Marlee begins to complain of a tummy ache. Sure enough, that afternoon she begins vomiting – and that is not something I deal well with. And…in her hair. And so she’s in the tub, crying, cold, obviously upset (as anyone would be) and I’m trying to clean her up and get her out. And I think I’m done until I notice that I am definitely not and she’s still a mess. She’s still upset and by now the water’s getting higher and higher. She won’t let me wash her hair fully and she’s getting even more upset. But I cannot get her out of the tub still a mess. Water’s still running and I’m desperately trying to speak orders to her – look up! I’m almost done! I have to wash your hair! Stop crying! And I realize with her upset cries, the splashing water and running faucet my pitiful squeaks are going absolutely no where. My patience is flying out the window fast, and my anger is mounting. This whole situation is so upsetting (did I mention we’re supposed to be getting ready for vacation in a few days?!) I just can’t do anything else but sit there in an exhausted, frustrated, almost in tears laugh!
That moment was different from many others where I simply get angry at my insufficiency. It was a moment where I was able to look at the situation from above, like watching myself, and see just what a circus it all was. It truly was a ridiculous mess! And even though I was not happy, I just had to laugh at myself and this thing we call motherhood. It never goes the way we think. It hardly looks glamorous. It’s wrapped in spit-up and cuddles, snot and goodnight hugs. It’s crumbs and crying, tantrums and tender moments. And God is right there. He’s in it all. When Jesus came to this earth, he sat in the mess with us. He didn’t despise it, didn’t turn away. He opened his eyes wide and wasn’t disgusted. He embraced the little children, no doubt dirty, touched them and blessed them.
He loved it all. And we can too.
Are you embracing the mess of motherhood today?