Day 27 :: Grace for the Mess

DSC_0558_2My life is a mess.

No, really.

IMG_3471In this phase of life, it feels like I live from mess to mess at times.

Sage advice has said more than once, “Treasure these moments, they’re only little once.”

DSC_0940_2Despairing moms say, “We’ll never make it.”

Honestly, I feel like I live somewhere in the middle most days.  In the middle of those deep dark waters that often threaten to swallow you up if you quit treading water, and those endlessly deep waters of sweet memories and moments that are motherhood.IMG_0580I think that’s the journey.  My desire is to enjoy this journey.  To impart the heart of God’s kingdom deeply into the tender, sponge-like hearts of these boys.  But reality is, sometimes, I strive to keep them alive.  Fed. Clean. Clothed.  Educated. Healthy.  All in one day.DSC_0713_2Another harsh reality to face is this.  I can’t.

I can’t do this.

Yes, you read right.

The days I try to do this thing on my own are the ones where I end up in tears and very nearly a heap on the floor.  The days where I wake up and seek grace before the coffee cups and breakfast dishes pile high, are the days that grace permeates the space.  At least til noon.  And honestly, some days, I start right.  I do all the right things.

Seek my Savior’s face, early.



And, tears still flow.  It’s part of the journey.

Because motherhood is very much ministry.

And ministry is messy.

It just is.

And that’s ok.

It’s ok to shed tears, to mess up.  To start again. To confess. To forgive.  To be forgiven.  To burn dinner.

To get behind on laundry.  To draw smiley faces in the dust on the shelf.  To grab a pizza because there were potty accidents, and missing ingredients from exploring fingers that dumped out that well thought out plan that was dinner.

It’s ok.

How can it be ok, you ask?

It’s not ok because you’re life magically smells like pumpkin bread and freshly starched laundry.  Truth be told, your house might smell like throw up because no matter what you spray or bleach,  it won’t. go. away.

It’s not ok because you’ll catch up tomorrow.  It may be weeks before you feel caught up, or you may never catch up.

It’s not ok because you’ll get a bubble bath and go to bed and sleep a solid eight hours.  You may not.  You might be up all night, again with a precious little guy who cannot get rid of drainage.

It’s ok because and only because you’re covered.

With grace.  Grace for your space.  For this space you occupy at this moment in history.

You’re completely covered in the loving, endless grace of Jesus.  If you receive.

It’s there.  For you.

And that’s the only reason it will be ok.

This post was inspired from the last ten days of having sick children, one after another.  Mess after mess.  Laundry.  Hot water.  Bleach, Clorox wipes and Lysol.  A sick husband.  And endless commitments.  Many missed.DSC_0315_3

Glad you’ve chosen to stop by and see where we are on this 31 day journey of Gracing Our Space.  We hope you be a regular visitor.

31 Days 2013 click here

Spica Casts, Sleep Deprivation and the Big Bad Tuesday

Littlest Man.

What can I say.

He never walked.  He pulled up and crawled early early.  Then, he ran.  He skipped walking.

Tuesday almost seven weeks ago, dawned like any other summer day.  We were preparing for school to start the next week.  Boys were having quiet time.  Yes, you did read that right.  Boys were having quiet time.   Watching Narnia.  A family fav.  Little Man (he’s 4) was playing Legos at the kitchen counter while I worked there with him on a project.

And Littlest Man.  He was wandering from the kitchen to the living room.  Nothing unusual or abnormal.  He would dance a little, stop and play for a bit, then come check on what I was doing.  Pretty normal stuff for a Tuesday.

Then, it happened.  He just fell down on the carpet.  And landed just right.  Or just wrong.

Crack (literally, there was a crack).  I rushed over because of the cry.  Not a “I fell like I have a hundred times before and I want you to check on me and I’ll be fine”.  Nope, an agonizing, breath taking cry.

Poor littlest man lay bent over with his leg in an awkward position.  I scooped him up carefully with a sinking feeling in my stomach.  His body language pretty much told me this was no little thing and I immediately called our pediatrician office.  They had us come directly where he was x-rayed.  Sure enough, the femur was broken.  Seriously, the largest bone in the body.

From there the rest was quite the whirlwind.  We live in a smallish town and things just didn’t work out for him to receive pediatric orthopedic treatment here.  So, we made the treck to the nearest children’s hospital 3 hours away.

The trip was not easy, but not what it could have been.  Apparently broken bones spasm (Yes, of course they do. That makes sense), so the little guy would dose off and away every few moments with a spasm and then drift off again.  That was pretty much the whole trip.

Once we arrived at the hospital, we were well into his bedtime, so between pain medications and natural sleepiness, he settled down a good bit.  Doctors there were able to give him a substantial splint to hold him in place until he could be casted first thing in the morning.  The splint was done while he was awake.  He was given meds that made him “not care” yet his brain still registered pain and he cried.  I’m sure my husband thought I would squeeze his arm in two while we stood by and watched them set our babies broken leg.  By the time it was almost finished, littlest man was flirting with his nurse.  Yes, that was a good sign.

By then, we were pushing 3:00 am, we were both in a fog as we waited and watched him sleep and awaken every two or three minutes with spasms.  Thankfully, they were able to get him into surgery first up



Everyday care at first was a beast!  But God.  He always comes through.  He supplied all our needs and used His dear people to do it.  From diapers to meals and more.  We were covered in kindness.  Some friends had a special high chair that they used for their daughter, and it was perfect for meals.  IMG_3352

Other friends heard of our predicament and sent another special chair for him to sit in (in carts, at home) that they had used for their daughter who had hip dysplasia.  IMG_3091

And, a stroller magically appeared at our church that he LOVES and actually fits in, he hadn’t fit in any of our strollers.  He was also carted about in a wagon like a little prince also on loan by sweet friends, however toward these last weeks, we can barely keep him in it anymore.  He has figured out how to get out of that.


My Calling, My Career

I came across this quote the other day.

cslewis-1I Take Joy::Sally Clarkson

Well put C.S. Lewis.  Thank you for the affirmation.

So if you feel like what you do makes no difference, one more load of laundry, dish washed, toy put away, nose wiped….I’m here to remind you and myself that it most certainly does.  This sounds like a Mother’s Day post, that wasn’t my intention, but who knows, you may see this again around Mother’s Day! (Wink)

Why all the sentiment toward motherhood?  My story is one you’ve probably heard before.  I had my girlhood dreams of marriage, family and children along with God’s call on my heart for ministry thrown in there at the tender age of sixteen.  God seemed to bless me with a natural gifting toward children.  A heart for them. To advocate for the underdogs, the poor, lost, alone and invisible.  Many of my weekends were spent walking streets inviting little kids with nothing better to do than wander streets to come to church with me the next day.  I brushed dirty hair, wiped dirty noses, and played games with sweet invisible children that weren’t so invisible to God.

God threw opportunities in my lap to teach piano lessons, tutor reading and hold babies. Children, children everywhere. Juvenile justice centers, bible stories in parks in the poorest parts of town.  All right in here in the States by the way!

Then my husband and I started our own family.  First one or two years of marriage pass, then almost five and no children.  I began to think God’s dreams for my life and my dreams were starting to add up quite differently.  I never said much to anyone about the matter.  Many of my friends were battling infertility in their own lives, I had never really given it much thought.  But, God and I had a serious conversation in my room one day.  I let go of my dreams and “gave God permission” to do what He wanted to with my life.  Isn’t that funny?  I gave Him permission…like He needs it?  But, I let go and made peace that being a biological mother might not be my future and I was ok with that.  In that moment, He made me ok with that.

Then very, very shortly thereafter, He revealed His plan with the sweet sweet news of our amazing firstborn.  Maybe He just wanted my heart to be ok with His plans, whatever they were.  It’s always about Him and His timing.  His answer wasn’t “no” for me.  But maybe He wanted to hear me say I was ok even if it was “no”.  I know it doesn’t work that way for everyone and I in no way want you to be discouraged if it hasn’t worked like this for you.

But, remember this motherhood thing can come in so many packages.  Remember Katie?  Oh, that more people might answer the call to motherhood in that way!  How awesome that would be.

So I tell you all this to tell you that as I look around my crowded cozy little nest and see these four amazing gifts that are sooooo much work and pull my heart in sooooo many directions and wear me out and make me feel old– that this is a high calling.  A career. My life’s work or a big hunk of it.

This work is Kingdom work.  As I struggle through some days with one in a body cast, simultaneously teaching a K4, second grader, and fifth grader in our home to love Jesus with all their hearts, my head hits the pillow at night and I wonder.  Does this matter?  Am I doing anything that matters?

And then I’m reminded.  It’s not about me or what I think I’m accomplishing.

God knows.

He sees.

He sees me and my children.

Our struggles, our victories.

He knows.

He smiles.

He knows how this sweet story ends.

And we rest.

And get up and do it all over again tomorrow!

Some encouraging spots for your “Mom Heart”::

Mom Heart

I Take Joy

MOD squad

MOB society



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