Refueling Red Riding Hood.

They LOVE “The Box!”

Another morning starts, I hear Caedmon crying out in his crib and I roll myself out of bed and cross the hall, past the bathroom to scoop him up;.

He’s sitting there waiting and before I lift him out of his crib he gathers up his “entourage” of 2 mamakes (blue elephants) a bobby (pacifier) and the books he demanded to take to bed with him the night before.

It’s really quite the production.

Then we change his diaper and move through the kitchen meeting his many demands for milk and whatever catches his eye in the pantry.

This morning is exactly the same as every other morning, although for me it feels entirely different.

I’ve been absent from this place, these morning routines, for five days now, off connecting with friends and receiving truth from gifted teachers.  Downloading new music and gathering new insight from new experiences and views.

And now, just as I suspected this conference high has collided with my real life, which didn’t take it easy on me my first day back.

A full litter box which the cat is meowing me to clean with much demand.

Caedmon peed all over Kel’s messenger bag.

I can’t find a clean sippy cup to save my life.

I hear the phrase “shaving cream tastes yucky mommy!”

You can’t make this stuff up people.  This is my real life, not aimless meandering chicago streets with gourmet coffee.

But the escape reminded me who I am, this mother AND that big city wanderer.

This writer and the woman who tends to endless excrement and dirty sippy cups.

As I sat to process all these swirling thoughts, my 3 year old Noelle brought me a business card with the gorgeous STORY red riding hood on it.

She asked if we could put this “beautiful art” on the fridge, so we gathered alphabet magnets off the floor and displayed wandering Red on our black maytag.

I sat with my mug of coffee staring at this dramatic, dark and beautiful woman on the business card, now surrounded by alphabet and banana magnets.

It’s just right, isn’t it? Big city, real skin, conference beauty brought home to fuel the oatmeal making life, peppered with dirty diapers and bright plastic magnets, little people underfoot (both the plastic ones and the flesh and blood ones)

This is the day to day, life is cycles and seasons, each speaking to the other, one refueling and one depleting it.  We refuel for brief periods and then we must travel long distances on those tanks.

The wandering is the punctuation that brings sense to the run on sentences.

But with each pitstop, I am learning healthier rhythm, better grammar, deeper breathing.

I’ll continue to pick up a comma and period here and there, develop sharper eyes for the fuel I need, learn to find it here and there.

But for today I’m Red Riding Hood on the Fridge.

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.