Crazy going slowly am I…

Rainy days breed insanity. Maybe it’s being cooped up in the house. Maybe it’s change in the atmosphere. Maybe it’s the crazy mom banging her head against the wall. Who knows?

All I know is the odd rainy day is okay. But string a few together and add three to eight stir-crazy kids and I’m ready to jump onto the back of the loony wagon and hitch a ride to the funny farm.

All it takes for a dreary grey day to dampen my spirit is a few crying kids hanging off my leg, dinner burning in the oven, and endless phone calls.

These crazy moments always seems to coincide with my children wanting extra cuddle time or needing to engage in serious conversation. Some days two hands, two ears, and 24 hours feel dreadfully inadequate!

I regret missed opportunities. I lose my cool when asked the same question for the millionth time. I wonder if I’m expecting too much or settling for too little.

Misgivings like these send me to my knees grateful for grace. Grace that covers all my sins. I know I need to take every opportunity to prepare my children for tomorrow. I know I need to use every moment to reinforce how much God loves them and how He has a plan for their future, a plan only they can fulfill. I also know I accomplish this through His strength alone.

Large decisions loom ahead. Friends. Education. Dating. Spouse. Career. Our kids need self-confidence, faith, and wisdom to navigate through middle school, high school, college, university, and marriage. I will not guide them perfectly because I am not a perfect parent. But I serve a God who is perfect, a God who promises to never leave me nor forsake me, a God who promises wisdom when I ask and delights in my request. God loves my children even more than I do and He longs for me to I bring them before His throne in prayer confessing my inadequacies and claiming His sufficiency.

In chaos of the moment may I never forget God is with me. That doesn’t mean dinner will never burn or my patience won’t run thin.  Trust me, it has and it does. It means I have someone to turn too in those hairy moments of life. I have the opportunity model what a real dependence on God looks like.

Based on Sept 27th 2010 post.

Cracked eggs and an overflowing toilet

Most mothers plan to make delightful memories with their children. They usually have good – correction- great intentions. But I must confess, memories of my short temper or selfish heart haunt me and my good intentions can go unrealized.

I ask for God’s strength to flow through my limbs making me His hands and feet. I ask for this because it does not come naturally. I have no love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness, faithfulness or self-control outside of that given to me by God.

I know this pleases Him. I know He will grant my request. I didn’t know how hard it would be.

I wake to the sound of the toilet flushing. My seven-year-old early riser is wide awake. I lie in bed trying to decide if I should get up or drift back into dreamland when wet sloshing and splashing abounds.

I run into the bathroom to find my daughter staring down the plunger as if debating her course of action. Water seeps over the toilet rim and spills onto the floor as she deliberates the wisdom in trying to fix this herself. Her wide eyes turn to me and she calmly shrugs her shoulders and says, “I don’t know why.”

With blurry vision I splash my way forward and begin this Monday dancing with the plunger.

We complete our morning routine and I drop my oldest two off at school. My youngest and I stop by the grocery store. Upon our return home I open the van door and my shopping bag hits the pavement cracking six of my twelve eggs. Irritation rises threatening to dictate my response and sour my morning.

Deep breaths.

I salvage the six beaten and bruised eggs aware of my three-year-old son watching my every move. I announce with false enthusiasm we are baking today.

Six broken eggs become two loaves of banana bread and twenty-four cupcakes. I stir the batter as God stirs up my beaten and bruised heart.

Good morning God. I‘m listening.

Yes, it is a good morning. I have a husband who loves me, three beautiful children who regularly wake with happy faces and I serve a Lord who never leaves me. Yes, a good morning indeed.

We can choose to allow our day to unfold by chance and let circumstance shape our attitude or we can actively participate in our day and with God’s help give thanks in everything – including cracked eggs.

Thank you God for the early start that allowed me a few moments of quiet before You (albeit the sounds of plunging filled the air). Thank you for the presence of mind to share a hug with my daughter and whisper assurances that she did nothing wrong. Thank you for the unexpected motivation to bake and for the opportunity to model self-control to my son.

From the adoption of our children to our move across the country and back I’ve learned life rarely unfolds according to my plans. But God has a better plan and He is moving the pieces of my life into place so He can accomplish His will in me. No, I don’t believe He caused my eggs to break or for the toilet to overflow. But I do believe Him when he says He can use all things for my good and His glory – including cracked eggs.

God worked through my hands today. God guided my feet today. He is shaping me into the image of His Son and in the process He is making me a better mother.

He helped me make good on my good – correction – great intentions.

Photo credits: Cracked egg, John Penner.

More than enough

The mountain of laundry multiplies. Dirty dishes soak. Groceries are put away just in time to make lunch, just in time to clean up, just in time to start dinner.

Always behind. Always rushing. Always worried about tomorrow.

What if for one day I stopped thinking of what comes next? What if I lived in this moment thanking God that I have just enough for right now?

Just enough clean clothes to dress the kids and just enough clean dishes. Just enough in the cupboard to feed small hungry bellies. Just enough for this moment.

Just enough grace. Just enough love. Just enough strength. Just enough patience.

Moment by moment. Day by day. Trusting tomorrow to Him; living in this moment.