Mountains of Smelly Grace
There are a few things that I know now that make it much easier to be a mom. Unfortunately, I am pretty sure all of these things have to be learned the hard way. In my case, they have had to be proven over and over and over again to me to finally get me to believe them. I went to bed last night knowing that a mountain of laundry that should have been started three days ago was quietly, however smelly, sitting in laundry baskets(note the picture in the background). I knew that because of this, my husband would not get to work out in the morning because everything was dirty, and my ten year old son would be wearing his soccer uniform to school the next day for the same reason. My girl’s drawers however still look as if nothing is missing. We have a problem. This situation, although not ideal, used to send me spiraling into a state of failure. I would cry and worry about all the reasons why I couldn’t or didn’t do what I should be able to do. I would worry that I would be the reason for my husband’s inevitable failing health since the poor guy never has any clean work out clothes. Work out clothes which are from Walmart and probably total $40…why don’t I just buy more? Ugh…more questions of all the reasons I stink.
But nope, not today. As my son happily trotted off to school in his YMCA Titans uniform, I said with a smile, “You have a soccer game on Friday. You better make sure that gets washed!” I used to get hung up on the fact that I didn’t always try as hard as I could to make everything happen. If I truly was failing at things while trying my best, well, then there was nothing I could do so there was no sense in feeling bad about myself. But it was the days where I chose to…well…not DO, that would send me spinning. I’m not exactly sure when it happened, but somewhere in the past couple of years, I began to realize that I am just going to have some days that are “A” days and some days that are “C-” days. And here’s the best realization…NO ONE IS GRADING ME, so I can stop grading myself. It’s really true. I used to need constant reassurance from my husband that he wasn’t disappointed and that he thought I was doing a good job (even when I wasn’t). But now (most of the time) I just believe him when he tells me he is happy and he loves me. Why I had to be convinced before is beyond me. I grew up fully loved and secure in who I was, yet I still needed convincing.
This rings true for my relationship with Jesus as well. Years of trying to prove my worth to Him by how I acted and how I lived, when all the while, He just completely and fully lavished His love on me. This truth has been pounded into my heart for about 9 years now…since the start of our current church. God doesn’t typically reveal something to me in one big light bulb, but He tends to be more “long haul” minded with me. Just like I know that my self worth is not wrapped up in the piles of laundry, I now believe Him when He says in Romans 8:17, “ God’s Spirit touches our spirits and confirms who we really are. We know who he is, and we know who we are: Father and children. And we know we are going to get what’s coming to us — an unbelievable inheritance! We go through exactly what Christ goes through. If we go through the hard times with him, then we’re certainly going to go through the good times with him!” I love knowing just how completely I am loved doesn’t produce an excuse to stay the same, but it energizes the relationship. It produces FREEDOM to be fully who I am made to be while still allowing plenty of room for mistakes and change. Knowing that today might be a C- kind of day (why do I keep grading?), but tomorrow could certainly be an A+ day.
Do my children look at the piles of laundry or the breakfast we are having for dinner because I still haven’t gone to the grocery store, and say, “my Mommy is a terrible Mom”? Of course not. If they are displeased, they are sure to let me know, however it is never a reflection of who they think I am. One thing I know for sure, they sure do love me. They never leave me alone! Never has too much laundry or lack of a dinner plan discouraged them once from fully loving me. I believe them when they tell me. I believe my husband when he reminds me. And I believe my Father in heaven when he sings it over me. Is there still laundry to be done and dinners to make? Yes. Are there still people in my life whom I could learn to love more? Yes. And is there still a part of me that wants to snap a picture of the 12 loads of laundry I did today and send it to my closest friends or post it in the background of my blog that only my closest friends read, for some sort of pat on the back…yes…yes there is. Is there still room for me to keep growing into the person God created me to be? Certainly. So today, I will keep folding tiny pajamas, and pairing socks that still have a bit of sand in the toes, knowing that I am ok. Embracing His love for me and His forever grace that covers me.