We were having friends over to the pool, and I was running like a mad woman trying to make it look like our place was always this spotless. Except, my mad woman skills kept being interrupted by fighting and whining and clinging–all morning long. I felt I was reaching my end when one last fight erupted over my keys.
Keys–who cares about stupid keys!
“Just give them to me! No one gets the keys!” I shouted.
Boston threw them right at me, the large stack landing right on my little toe.
I felt the fire shoot up my leg. In a sudden rush of pain and anger and bottled up frustration I picked up those keys and chucked them hard on the kitchen floor. The car lock shattered, pieces spilling everywhere.
The three of us just stood there, staring.
I looked up at my babies, their little faces, so innocent. They are two and three. TWO & THREE! And there I was acting like a fool. Showing them this ugly side that no one should ever see from their mom. I felt my heart break of guilt and shame.
I apologized profusely. The guilt gripped tighter.
But then our friends came, and I had to smile. I wanted to tell her, the other mom, about it. I wanted to ask her if she ever lost it too. But we were chasing four toddlers around a pool and there just wasn’t a chance.
By the time they left, the kids were exhausted and went down for a nap.
I collapsed on my living room floor. The tears burning much hotter than my toe had felt.
Because I honestly try so hard to be the perfect mom. But I fail so many, many times, in so many different areas of life with them. And the guilt, oh how it loves to tear its vicious claws into my heart and rip it open in shame.
The kids woke from their nap.
Then, he did it. Pierce pooped in the toilet all by himself. Just ran to the bathroom and went. And I felt myself just about explode with pride and excitement for my baby no longer a baby. He felt the pride as well, and his sister started dancing for him. And the three of us broke into the happy, crazy, Pierce pooped in the potty dance. My life was everything that was good and wonderful, and I could never be more proud of my sweet boy.
Then, I remembered the keys.
But they did not. They simply remembered their momma dancing with them.
And in that moment, over the guilt and condemnation, I suddenly felt His grace. I messed up. I lost it. But just as my sweet babies still love me in this uninhibited way, He loves me the same. And more.
And maybe, just maybe, it is in accepting His grace, His love still, that I will be even better than the perfect mom. Because perfection teaches them a standard they themselves can never reach.
But messy? Well, messy reveals this mind blowing thing we call grace. And getting back up and trying again and again and again.
Grace filled me this day, wrapping its beautiful arms around my dancing frame.
Sometimes we fail. Sometimes we simply just blow it. And sometimes we find ourselves prostrate on the ground, reeked with guilt and shame.
He never gives up on us, you know? In this crazy, mind boggling way He forever stands reaching out, with nothing but love in His eyes.
I may not be perfect, but I am loved by He who is.
My God. My Father. The One who saw me lying on the living room floor. The One who picked my stinky self up and made me a better mom.
I apologized one more time to them later that day. Boston responded, “Mom, next time you need to buy stronger keys that won’t break like that.”