Sabbath for the Mamas (more Q than A)

Laundry Tip: put your hamper in a corner and use the walls for extra pile support. (And yes the kids pulled down my sheer curtains.

Last night leaving the mess seemed like such an act of self grace, this morning it seems like terrible idea.  Morning me is curing sleepy bedtime me, and not just under her breath.

The breakfast prep isn’t delightful or serene, because the kids hang on my legs begging for ingredients, dragging chairs up to the counter to “help” me.  This is something that was sweet, at first, but today adds an additional stressor to an already hectic morning.

Kel comes out of the bathroom in his dress slacks and rushes out the door to preach at a supporting church and I look at the kids with a mix of love and discouragement.

They’re screaming on the outside and I am shrieking on the inside.  It’s only 7:15 and already I am sobbing for some peace.

I find myself wondering, Dear God where is the sabbath rest for the mamas?  What’s your plan here?  How can you call us to lay it all down and rest when truly we’re out of clean forks and underwear?

What do you desire from the ones whose floors are still sticky from yesterday’s watermelon fiasco?  The ones who are still not fully over the fact that their daughter peed all over the floor in WalMart?  The ones who shouldn’t do laundry on Sundays but don’t know how they can avoid it?

I believe in your rhythm, your rest, your call to work six and rest one.

When Watermelons attack. Your floors. (hint, it leaves a noticeable stickyness for days)

I want to delve in your word all quiet and relaxed on the back patio, sipping coffee and bathing in your love, manifest so clearly in your creation.

But when I sit outside, the demands to come play and pretend intensify, as if they hate to see me resting.  What do I do when devos are interrupted by the cozy coupe falling over, again?

Can you refresh those who approach with love and good intentions?  

The ones who have both stepped and sat in their son’s poop this week?

What’s your plan here?  Am I doing it wrong?  Will you show me what to lay down?  How to drink your water deeply, to make peace with the giving of myself yet another day?

Remind me over and over again that this is a season, will you highlight the beautiful parts?

Perhaps you could get them to both nap at the same time and keep all the poo and pee in the proper places?

Is there a Patron Saint of Preschool Mothers?  If not, can you get the pope on that?

Dear Lord, can you teach me what your plan for sabbath rest is for the mamas?

I know that many days I look more like Martha than Mary but, no one is knocking down our door to do the laundry.

Lord thank you for being a God of grace, who loves children who approach with exhausted hearts, full of questions.

Friends, please share your secrets of grace in the mess, resting in chaos, sabbath for the mamas.

Birthday Manifesto

I am writing to you on the eve of my daughter’s third birthday & corresponding birthday party.  I’ve spent all week preparing my heart and my home to celebrate three years of my baby girl, I’m going to write so much more about how I feel about this later this weekend, but for now let’s talk kids parties, shall we?

If you’re a mom you can understand the stress involved in the birthday party.  I’ve seen you running around with a tray or stressing out about lost candles or not being able to find a bat for the piñata.  I think that we need to band together and set ourselves free from this stress because I’m starting to wonder if celebrating our children’s birthdays isn’t shortening our life spans.

Lets put an end to screaming at our husbands about bags of ice and our children about pick up blocks as the prelude to a birthday, Moms, lets band together and free ourselves from this madness!

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My Sidewalk Chalk Theology or in Poop, Grace

I didn’t plan outdoor playtime this morning.  I only walked out the front door at 7:30 AM because I had a raunchy diaper to take the trash.  But, as is their usual, my kids followed me outside and as the breeze blew across my still greasy face and ridiculous bed-head, I decided to just go with it.  The kids were half in their pajamas, with only diapers on their bottoms, the dewey grass wet around their ankles and knees.  We kicked the ball, it flew high in the wind.  The little man  made his way slowly across the lawn on his little radio flyer scooter.  It was lovely, unplanned, grace from poop, poop grace.  (Not to be confused with booger grace, which is also very useful)

Eventually they climbed in the wagon that usually blocks our front door and I pulled them and their kickballs into the backyard.  Almost immediately, my daughter brought me some sidewalk chalk.  I listened patiently to all of her requests to draw shapes and animals, hearts and boats.  But, when they ran off to explore their playhouse I picked up some chalk and without thinking wrote the word “grace” across the concrete.  When I looked over my art I found that it was smack dab in-between two splats of bird poop.  Again, in the midst of poop, grace.

Isn’t that just the way Life is?  Isn’t that just the way God works?  He’s always trying to direct the eyes of my soul to his beauty, to breathe his grace, which is fresh and needed  amidst the smell of poop.

Today very well might hand you some poop situations.  If you’re a mother of young kids it may be literal and if you’re not in that season, it may be metaphorical poop.  My life has taught me that in poop, there is almost always grace, and even the potential for laughter, if only you have eyes to see.

Have you found grace in poop lately?  Do you feel like you’re buried too high and too deep to open your eyes to look for it?  Be strong, keep looking, if I can pray for you, I will.