A letter

Posts Tagged ‘being a mom’


In New York Summer on June 10, 2015 at 3:23 pm

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So there I was, dinner made and plated, beverages poured, silverware set, and family seated. David asked Leon to pray. His prayer that night was sweet and heartfelt as always. He prayed for each family member and a need they might have. He prayed that David would make $15,000 a day. Yes and amen to that! He prayed that Sol’s tick bite would be healed. Also, yes and amen to that also. (That is a story for another day!) He prayed for Alex’s work. What would his prayer be for me? I was eager to hear what blessing would burst from his little heart. I listened. “God, I pray mommy wouldn’t be so frustrated all the time.” I smiled softly and caught David’s glance, his eyes wide. I felt like running and hiding under my bed. His words held a mirror to my heart and cut deep.

Saying the past few days have been rough is an understatement. It was a sweet prayer, but not exactly what I hoped my child will think of when it comes to me, their mother. I felt defeated. I felt like a failure, and was wishing there was a way to resign. All that night and yesterday it was eating away at me: episode after episode of bad days and patience-less moments playing and replaying through my mind and heart. I felt frustrated at being frustrated and upset at not always being the mom I want to be to these little people God’s given me–these little moldable souls.

After much angry pondering, I realized that Leon will be fine. I don’t think he’s scarred for life, though he’ll need Jesus like we all do. He’s not keeping a tally board under his bed chalking up all my moments of frustration. He’s quick to forgive and has a heart the size of the moon. And, there are way more happy and laughter-filled memories than not. I realized the person that’s not fine is me. I’m the one keeping score. I’m the one in this last season who remembers all my bad days. I remember the times I raised my voice and regretted it later. I’m the one who’s hated who I’ve been. I’m the one who hasn’t forgiven myself–who deep down feels like a failure in this whole journey of parenting. I desperately wish parenting would allow me to take a couple of years off to go back and get my degree in “momming,” but as we both know, “momming” only comes with on-the-job-training.

I feel like Jesus sat down across the table, poured me a huge glass of grace-juice and said, “Drink it.” I want to. I’ll feel so much better when I do. I’m not exactly sure how to do it, but I’m going to start sipping today. I’m remembering their tender hearts are more important than spilled milk, sinks full of cornflakes, and the entire house being a toy box. I’m remembering I’m on a journey. I know I won’t be perfect, but I’ll keep growing. Sufficient grace. In weakness, perfect power. Sigh.

He’s my on-the-job coach. He’s so gentle in His nudges. He’s so kind in His tone. He’s so patient. He’s all the things I need to be to myself and to my kids. I guess if He’s with me, I can’t fail. Now to believe it.

Sipping grace.


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When to-do-lists don’t get done…

In Spring in New York on May 21, 2015 at 9:56 pm

Well friend, here I sit.  Or should I say, here I sit in bed at 8:36 p.m. hot packing my angry lower back and praying my children remain tucked until morning dawns.  There are few guarantees, but I have not heard the bedroom door creak in the last 6 minutes which is hopefully  an indicator of sleep.  Today was one of those days.  This week was one of those weeks.  Maybe it’s because I told you I’m working on “messy happy”.  Maybe it is because occasionally there do not seem to be enough hours in a day.  Maybe it’s because I try to conquer the world in a day rather than the world one day at a time.  Maybe I’m just cranky and an overachiever, perfectionist who doesn’t have a large enough soul to let things slide.  If this is what I signed up for in “growing in mess”, I may have to re-evaluate the contract.

Okay, okay, I’m probably being a bit dramatic.  But in full truth I don’t do well when things aren’t done.  Every day this week, I have gone to bed and at least half of my to-do-list remains undone.  I’m sure you know the feeling.  I think I should just scrap my to-do-list to the curbside entirely and just going about my day singing “Que Sera, Sera”. Do you ever feel this way?

I think every mother feels this way though, at least from time to time. We start a task and someone needs wiping.  Then we referee world war four in the front yard before being reported by the neighbor.  We put the last pile of laundry away only to see dirty hampers spilling over.  We finish cleaning up lunch only to start dinner, and in the midst of it all we are paying bills, loving husbands, dreaming dreams, not to mention tending our own souls.

What is my conclusion in this all?  What resolution have I found?  What peace have I met to calm this storm.  We both know. It’s not a maid, though I wish, It’s not a super power, though I wish that as well.  It’s not even the ability to re-start the day and do it perfectly, and I know we both wish we could do that daily.  It’s this kiss of grace, that meets our lips held tight with frustration.  It’s the mercies in the morning that greet us no matter how the day before finished. It’s the strength that meets us when we are weak, when all we can say is “help”.  It’s the cleansing shower, that washes expectations of perfection to the wayside and reminds me I’m but dust with out Him.  He’s okay with it, it’s why He’s Savior. Somehow that’s what I’ve been trying to be.

So tonight, laundry half done, bills not paid, groceries not purchased, and house not cleaned I’m sitting back and drinking grace, remembering His strength is made perfect in weakness.  He came to rescue because I needed it.  I’ll drink to that, won’t you?


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The mess of happiness.

In Spring in New York on May 19, 2015 at 1:50 pm

I was awakened early on Saturday morning by Sol’s gentle poking, informing me that breakfast was ready in five minutes. The thought of a four and six year old making breakfast alone is not a welcomed one, especially early on Saturday.  Thankfully the smell of bacon reminded me that David was actually home this Saturday.  Hallelujahs all around.  As I walked around the kitchen corner, I was welcomed by quite a site.  Every inch of counter space was covered in some sort of substance, be it, flour, powdered sugar, bacon grease, egg remnants and the likes.  It would have been easier to count the clean dishes in the cupboard than to tally the dirty ones.  At first glance I could only think one thought–I needed coffee.  But shortly after, my eyes met this grinning, aproned, very freckled red head standing on top of a stool, with spatula in hand flipping french toast. And, grinning is an understatement.  He was glowing.  He was proud.  He was full of non stop chatter and one thing was certain, his love tank was full.

As you know, I almost ALWAYS choose the option of less mess.  I hate mess, I love tidy.  I hate disarray, I love order.  But in a moment like that, seeing his happy little face, made all the mess in the world worth it.  Well, it’s Tuesday and I can’t stop thinking about real life and happiness being messy.  That one Proverbs has been haunting me too– where there are no oxen, the stable is clean.  In my mind, clean always equals happy.  But if I got my clean, all the time, it would prove one simple thing, that life wasn’t happening.  Mess, comes with living.  Happiness also comes with living.  And, isn’t happy living what we are supposed to be doing? Aren’t work, and play, and people, and messy breakfasts, the components actual life is made of? Do I really want to escape to the end of the day when all is in it’s place? Well, actually, I do, and will go to bed with my house in order as usual.  However, I’m going to, and need to remember, and you’ll probably have to remind me, that this is life, we are living it, and most our happy comes with mess.  I think it’s how it’s supposed to be.  Unfortunately, you’re just better at messy than me.

Growing in mess,


P.S. Knowing you love bacon, you should see if your Costco has the same bacon I found this week.  It is the FATTEST bacon I have ever seen.  You’ll love it.  It’s by the turkey section, and its FAT.

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Selfish wine…

In Spring in New York on May 14, 2015 at 8:59 am

I received two of the sweetest mother’s day cards this year.  Both arrived on Saturday. The first was from Sol.  It was precious. He even used the scented markers–we know all too well from our childhood–to make the flowers he attached.  His card was delivered almost as promptly as the sun rose complete with batting lashes and the sweetest smile.  He melts me daily.

The second card was delivered under much different circumstances.  Though the day started well, I can’t say it continued in the same manner.  I’m not sure if the fact it was Saturday and I was wishing my man was home, or the fact that my mother’s day card was delivered at such an early hour, but it was rocky sailing for most of the day.  After several hot-tear breakdowns, one being my own, I decided naps would be the perfect solution to all of our woes.  As you know, assuming napping will be a guarantee with children the ages of 6 and 4, or just children in general, is almost as certain as winning the lottery.  And you know I’ve yet to win the lottery.  I should have chosen path number two and let them watch a movie while I re-grouped in my own bedroom alone. None the less, I chose the more appealing one.  Needless to say, I accomplished every type of parenting you should NEVER accomplish.  I threatened things I would not do, I used a louder tone than I intended, and intervened 6-7 times before I split them up, just to name a few. Kids-1, me-0. Finally, Sol was out!  Praise God, he was the one most in need, other than me.  At this point I was hiding under my blankets wondering how I could be such a mother.  Leon’s final instructions were modified and simple; forty-five minutes of him staying in the room, doing whatever he wanted quietly, no sleep necessary.

I must have dozed off for at least five minutes before my alarm went off, and Leon must have been out of the room for at least five minutes as well,  but we’re not going to worry about that.  What I found outside the door made my heart sink and swell simultaneously.  “I luv mom.  Mom heart (drawing) selfishwine”. This was the first time Leon had ever written something unprompted and unassisted.  I read and re-read it several times trying to decipher what he was saying.   I love selfish wine?  I love self? I wine a lot and am selfish?  There were not really any positive outcomes I could see.  And, after a day like today, who knows what he could be saying. I finally asked for an explanation.  “I was going to write more, but I didn’t know how to spell everything.  A man is going to sell me fish, salmon, and I am going to buy you wine and make you a nice fish dinner.” Tension left, and I was staring at sweetness bottled in a red haired, freckle faced, blue eyed boy.

What Leon just proved to me is something I should remember more often.  Things are not always what they seem upon first glance. Most often they are quite different, and much more beautiful.
Still learning, and drinking grace.

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