It was a long day. I sat on the edge of the tub, watching warm water rush and fill the spaces between super heroes strewn about the bottom. Reaching my hand out, exposed wrist up, I was testing the temperature for sensitive skin when I heard the slam of the front door. Followed by six years of energy careening through the kitchen, around the corner, and into the bathroom. The only thing moving faster was his mouth, which immediately updated me on the progress of the Pokemon catching expedition I had interrupted with my call for bath time.
Smiling, I looked up to find the object of my affection covered head to toe in dirt. And as he wriggled and talked and peeled himself out of said layers of dirt I watched, in immediate frustration, the growing pile of filth on my freshly cleaned floors. Freshly cleaned because baby girl was in the room next door recovering from the stomach flu and I’d spent my entire day armed with bleach.
That’s when he reached out one little hand, covered with sweat and dirt and who knows what else… and grabbed onto the (white) wall for balance. And I lost my tired marbles. I scooped him up, still talking, (but now confused) and deposited him on the front step to remove the worst of the offensive clothes. Complete with shoes caked in chicken coop bedding. Great. The floors of the rest of the house would now need my attention too. I proceeded with my lecture of removing our shoes when we come in the house…”and the next time you’ve been playing in the dirt pile you need to take those clothes off outside and let me know so I can bring them straight to the laundry room instead of making a giant mess in the bathroom!”.
With wrinkled brow and confused eyes Mini Hubby asked, “But…wasn’t I supposed to come in to get clean?”.
Now the house is heavy with quiet, the chores have stopped for the day as not to wake anyone and I’m left thinking and praying over all the messes in our house. Because the one threatening the bathroom isn’t the biggest or hardest one.
I’m remembering earlier in the week, when a different child bursts in the front doors and shakes off the world with angry words and angrier tears. Only this mess I can’t sweep and mop up. I can only absorb the words and try to speak Truth to the hurt beneath the anger. Because every day I send this one out and the world lies into young, impressionable, sensitive ears.
And the world isn’t going to change until His kingdom comes.
So how do I combat the rejection, the striving for perfection, that has this one forgetting who they are? Hating who they are?
I’m remembering deep breaths and forced calm while I tried to make sense of a world that doesn’t even make sense to me. My heart breaking for this one that struggles, wanting to fit in a world I don’t want any of us to fit into. Because it’s a mess.
As I sit, remembering, I hear the slow ascent of world weary feet on the stairs and wait for the settling onto the couch. For the sideways glance that says, “I’m ready to talk”. And with the lights turned low we talk quiet and calm about Truth. We start what, I think, will be a continual cleaning up. Washing in the Word, purposeful prayer, and trusting Jesus to guide us through waters of anxiety and depression that are much too high for us to navigate.
Now, I sit here, grateful. Praising God for the gift of being mom to these three. For getting to be even a small part of what He is making them to be. These little messes into masterpieces.
And I’m praying, that He’ll help me embrace the messes they bring for what they are. The tools He’s using to create who He means them to be. And may they ALWAYS know they can come home messy. That they will never have a mess so big, I won’t be ready and waiting to help point them to the One that makes all things new and promises to work all things for their good and His glory.