Tuesday, September 02, 2008

A Beautiful Mess

I read a great quote the other day...

"We should all do what, in the long run, gives us joy, even if it is only picking grapes or sorting the laundry."   ~ E.B. White

I enjoyed it at the time, thinking how true it is.    And most days, I know that I am doing exactly what in the long run will give me the most joy I could ever ask for.   But some days, are not so simple to see that joy.    Some days are spent on long car trips, with whining children, and irrational requests.    Or on endless chores that only seem to lengthen in their estimated time of completion.

Yesterday when we got home from our labor day vacation, we still had a couple hours in the day left, which I was planning on spending inside - getting ready for our first back-to-normal week.  (i.e. laundry, unpacking, filling out forms, planning our meals, etc.)   But instead, I ended up outside, cleaning big plastic bins out, organizing the back deck, and cleaning cobwebs off our outdoor furniture.   Because those things were so pressing.   ;)

I figured I would make it "fun" for the kids by filling up the bins with soapy water and letting them enjoy a warm afternoon with some water play.   My daughter went inside to get into more appropriate clothes (her decision, not mine), and then came back out ready to play.   While I was very focused on my task, and not wanting to be disturbed, she filled up a huge super soaker and without my knowing came up really close and completely blasted me with it.    Cold, wet, soapy water ALL over me.

First, I screamed.   Then I backed up and told her "Stop!"   When finally the super soaker was all out of water, I was so irritated.   And cold, and now soaked.   Which you would think wouldn't be that big of a deal.   So, what do you think this mature fun filled mother did?    I backed up and blasted her and her 22 month old brother with the full force hose.     Pretty much in the face.   Then yelled that that was what it was like.    And asked if they liked that?! Nice, huh.

I felt like I was 2.    I went over to my two, now crying children and apologized and dried them off.   We all hugged, and I said I hadn't meant to get their faces.     Like that softens the blow.    I was reminded of how much I want to be the "good mom" who never makes a mistake.  Or ever reacts immaturely, but always has the perfect reaction to EVERY situation.   No pressure or anything.    The beauty lies in the fact that I can't ever be good mom.  That, I will always need Jesus to cover my weaknesses.   I'll always need Him to have the power to react in love.   And sometimes when I don't, I'll always need His forgiveness and strength to show me how to not live under shame.

A few moments afterward I could laugh at what an idiot I was.   How immature I had acted, and how I reminded myself of a five year old on a playground.   But it's good to be reminded.   It's good to remember that I can't be perfect.   I see that every day - it was just really out loud yesterday.   Because they definitely don't need perfection.   They just need to see Christ.


Caroline said...

I'm sorry, but the picture I have in my head of you blasting them with the hose made me laugh. Sweet little lambs. Sometimes we moms are just pushed to our limits and then some. Glad to see you handled the rest of it in a mature fashion.

Nan said...

I so can relate! I haven't blasted them with a hose, yet, but I have had my moments. You know, when one does something and you know in your heart that you aren't supposed to yell, but you push the Spirit aside and do what your flesh wants...thank you Lord for your forgiveness!

Amy Sasser said...

Just this week I had to apologize to Anna when we were packing up to come home from the lake. I am so thankful we are able to say we are sorry. Sometimes it just takes a little longer than it should. :) Looked for you at the sales today.