“Finding myself, this morning struggling with the beginning of my day, I was reminded of a story from a few years back. From a time when my littlest one was usually naked, and my oldest one was still learning multiplication and I did the usual thing I do when I’m struggling.
Lost it. In one way or another.
If you are finding yourself like me this morning, or any time at all, really… struggling to get yourself together – perhaps my broken life can lend a little hope to yours, and help your day shine bright.”
Today was a bad day. I was a very cranky momma.
Oh, it’s hard to pin point the exact reason. I started the day out “by the book,” up early, before the kids. Time in the word, time with my man, I made a sweet little homemade breakfast, read to the kids. It should have just worked out right; right?
And looking back, I can’t quite figure out what finally made me snap. Oh, it could have had something to do with the three hours it took one of my children to be ready for her day and start school; just too many rabbit trails to find herself on. Or, it could have something to do with the extensive handwriting lesson one of my other children had to do because her brother almost suffered a concussion when he hit his head on the coffee table during a fun pushing game.
Or it could be the 100th phone call I knew I had to make to AT&T because they can’t seem to bill us correctly and they like to make me sit on hold for 20 plus minutes each time. Maybe it was because I am crazy and allowed my children to get three kittens for Christmas?
Perhaps, the wonderful cold snow isn’t so wonderful anymore; or maybe it’s because we just moved to the town I grew up in and I’m secretly afraid someone will knock at our door and see that it is absolute chaos, and I’ll have to use the line… “Hey, at least we’re learning.”
But then again, It might just have been one. of. those. days. But, perhaps I could just chalk it all up to a girl thing and blame it on my psycho thyroid and the fact that I have yet to find a doctor down here to get it under control.
Whatever the reason may be, I lost my temper, yelled at the kids. Felt the sweet momma in me run dry and went into my room and cried.
So then, I dried my eyes, gave myself a little pep talk, realized that I’m a total worthless parent without God and continued on with my day, teaching Judah the letter X, helping Jordan read the word, frog; again, talked to Alli about how Italy is shaped like a boot, and put Emmyn on her sweet “big girl time blanket” to play with blocks.
At lunch, we talked about Making Sweet Love.
As the children ate, I put before them, four little cups.
One overflowing, three empty.
We talked about the marshmallows, how yummy and sweet they are. They resembled our sweet love. The love we have to share with others. I asked the kids, how can “Mommy share this love with each of you?” They said things like,
“read to us”
“take us places”
with each thing they said, I gave them some of my “love.”
Eventually, their little cups were full of love and mine was empty.
I said, “Oh, no… look! Where is mommy’s love?” (Of course, Judah reaches into the bag of marshmallows, grabs a big handful and says, “Right here, mommy!” But the girls understood. “You’ve given it all out to us.”
Then I told them about how a mothers love is like Jesus, it never runs out. But unlike Jesus, mommas get tired and need some love.
I perked up, “SO! Who has some love for momma?”
“Here is a kiss”
“Here is a thank you”
… the list went on and on, they were racing to see who could fill it up quickest. All of a sudden we all had plenty of love, to equally share. And we were all happy.
And Jesus Said,
My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends. John 15: 12-13
Oh, The day carried on like normal, we got on a good track, the house was a complete disaster, we learned, played, laughed, got in more trouble, made really delicious chicken and noodles, and after we were all finished, sat and rested a while during tea time.
We sipped on coffee, nibbled on egg whites, and enjoyed a glimpse of summer with delicious juicy oranges while we listened to a story, my very favorite story of all.
I haven’t read it since March. Unable to handle the truth of it all, afraid I would come unglued. Each time I read it, silly I know; but I feel like it was written just for me.
And I was right, my eyes filled with tears, my mind filled with thoughts and it was almost more than I could handle.
Max Lucado writes:
“He deserves lots of dots,” the wooden people would agree with one another. “He’s not a good wooden person.” After a while Punchinello believed them. “I’m not a good Wemmick”, He would say.
Judah asked, “Momma, those real tears?”
I paused, “Yes, Judah they are real tears.”
I continued the book. Reading about Eli, the Maker.
Eli explains, “The stickers only stick if they matter to you. The more you trust my love, the less you care about their stickers.“
“I’m not sure I understand”, Punchinello says.
I understood today.
I asked the kids, like I always do, “Do you ever feel like you have a lot of grey dots?” I continued, “Mommy does.”
I said, “Like when momma yelled today…” “You see,” I said; “When momma does that kind of stuff, I spend the whole day feeling terrible, like I am not a good mom, like I’ve let God down in the job he has trusted me with.”
I continued, “But, that isn’t the truth is it? That isn’t trusting God’s love, is it?”
Oh mommas, it is a hard day sometimes. Always wondering if we’ve made the right choice, always regretting something we’ve done or said. Battling things from the past, hiding emotions we are having and putting on smiles for our little ones. It isn’t always easy, and it doesn’t always happen. And when our little cups run dry of marshmallows and we cover ourselves with gray dots… all we can do is fall back into the arms of our Maker and let him stand us back up straight ready to right the good fight for one more round.
Eli smiled. “You will understand, but it will take some time you’ve got a lot of marks. For now, just come to see me every day and let me remind you how much I care.”
Alli whispers to me afterward, “Mom… thanks.”
And she gives me a wink.