When the boy yanks off his boots, the ridiculously small ones still trying to hang on through the winter, he sits in a puddle of muddied slosh and grins like he’s swallowed half a snowman.
And with coat and mittens flung to the side, he scoops up a handful of the dripping, grubby mess and takes a bite.
What can I do but laugh with the red-faced kid?
Yes, I am that mom.
After nearly a decade, there it is…
I’ve been the mom who’s yelled when I should have listened.
Who’s punished before I thought to pray.
Who’s tried to control when I needed to extend grace.
And there are footprints on the floor and crayon marks on the walls like the etching of memories and there are kids all scrambling over to hot chocolate mugs to get a glimpse of ice cubes before they melt away – and there is only so much time.
But it’s what my wise friend said to me over french-silk pie – “We’re all going to make a mess of things. It’s what we do with it afterwards that matters.”
So I hang coats on hooks and mop up boot-prints and wash the colorful masterpiece off the walls and I pick up the hats and mittens strewn about the house and put them in the drier.
And then I slurp up hot-chocolate with the best of them and get bundled right next to kids pulling it all out all over again and we ball up the white fluff into fun and laugh so hard I hope they always remember.
There is still time.
And it’s a consolation how things can come to you as toes and fingers go numb.
That no matter how the crazy beautifulness of this whole mothering thing turns out, maybe being the mom I want to be isn’t about doing more and being more – but in the remembering of who He is and what He has done and is still doing, the God who makes the lame to walk and forgives sins while hanging on a tree.
And that it’s not about getting it all right on my own strength, by my own efforts – but in trusting in His forgiveness and healing when I get it all terribly wrong.
That it’s not so much about enforcing the rules – as it is about leaning into the One who redeems us, who’s paid the ransom price for us moms and kids who can’t seem to keep the rules.
That when I recognize His incredible love in my life – then I am surrounded with His love and able to pour it out on others.
And I feel this tingling in my toes right up to my heart, that maybe it comes down to this –
I will never be Super Mom,
I just need to be a Mom who relies on a Super God!
Memorizing Psalm 103 with us? It’s never too late to start! Here are this week’s verses…
3who forgives all your sins
and heals all your diseases,
4who redeems your life from the pit
and crowns you with love and compassion,
Psalm 103:3-4 NIV
3who forgives all your iniquity,
who heals all your diseases,
4who redeems your life from the pit,
who crowns you with steadfast love and mercy,
Psalm 103:3-4 ESV