Ugly, Beautiful, Grace-Filled Moments

This morning was one of those mornings. You know, the kind where I couldn’t seem to get ahead of the ball.  I even woke up ahead of everyone else, made my coffee, and sat down to mentally prepare for the day – yet, that didn’t seem to make much difference when everyone else DID get up (an inevitability, I’m afraid).  Those 10 peaceful minutes at 6 am this morning were beautiful… and fleeting.  First came the baby, who I knew was ready for her next feeding.  And then came her big sisters, usually happy in the mornings (but you never know for sure), who both needed to be whisked to the potty so that we didn’t have any accidents.  Of course the bathroom had a strange odor which seriously bothered me, so I had to take a few minutes after everyone had finished with the potty to spray the floor and toilet down with vinegar.  That didn’t seem to take the smell away, so I tried it again with bleach.  Then I meticulously washed my hands since I am terrified of getting a harsh chemical on my baby’s skin.  Then the bathroom smelled like bleach (duh), so I had to open the window & start ventilating to avoid anyone passing out in there.  Next I remembered that I had planned to wash the sheets today, and I needed as much drying time on the clothesline as possible, so I rushed upstairs to grab them to put in the washing machine.  My daughters somewhat calmly kept reminding me that I had not given them their morning glass of milk yet, and I struggled to keep an upbeat tone as I told them I’d get to them as soon as I could.  Patience is a virtue, girls!  (I wonder how many times they’ll hear me say that to them before their 18th birthdays.)  By now, none of us have had breakfast, my hubby is about to walk out the door for work (good-bye extra set of hands), and the baby is indicating that she’s ready for her first morning nap.  Well, at least I got the clothes in the washer & unexpectedly bleached the bathroom!  Any progress is a good thing around here.  Things preceded as normal at this point – baby to bed, girls & mommy to the kitchen for cereal and yogurt, daddy to work, etc. etc.  I had a lovely morning planned for us – toddler story time at the library.  I was sure my kids would just ooze with thanksgiving and praise at my meeting all of their needs so completely this morning.  Yeah, not so much.  Thankfully, we made it to the library before the start of the activities (barely), and the baby did not cry for the entire story time (amazing!).  My two older children did cry, however.  Why?  I have no idea.  I mean, they had new books, all kinds of attention, new friends, cookies, little shakers to make music – come on, what more could they need to be entertained & joyful??  Apparently they felt that they needed mommy to hold them (difficult when I’m already holding my 2 month old), needed to argue about EVERYTHING and in general, just needed to complain.

Why do I share all of this with you? To whine?  Well, quite often I would LIKE to, but that’s not why I’m sharing with you.  The truth is, there is a lot of ugly in this job of mothering.  But, there is also immeasurable beauty!  What a beautiful thing that I have 3 healthy children!  How beautiful it is that my two toddlers are best friends and sympathize with each other’s joys, needs, and hurts (there may have been Band-Aids involved this morning).  How thankful I am for a vehicle to take my kids out of the house during the days, and for a local library that takes time to invest in even the youngest of readers.  Most especially, how awesome is it that God loves me and my children so much that He gives us unlimited grace to walk through these days together.  He doesn’t ask me to try harder to be a good mom.  I am already the best possible mom, wife, and woman that I can be because my entire identity is permanently in Jesus Christ.  As He lives through me, my daughters will receive the love and affection that they need to feel secure; my husband will know that I respect him and support him in his leadership of our family; my confidence in managing my home will be unwavering; and even my blog will continue in the direction that it should – all according to His plan for me.  When we allow Him to live through us, we will see all of His extraordinary grace in our ordinary moments.  The beautiful moments, the ugly moments… they are all to be grace-filled moments.

Oh, I just remembered, I need to go out and take my clean sheets off of the clothesline!IMG_5373

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