Hey there! How’s everybody doin’ today? Hope all y’all are doing well. It’s dark (night time) as I write this, and it’s been rainy, but I love the sound of the rain falling. It’s so soothing and comforting! Did all the moms have a good Mother’s Day? Hope so! Well, as we always do, grab a cuppa and find someplace to sit and relax a minute. Especially you moms… the ones who have the kids who are always pulling “You did WHAT?!!!” from your tired mouths. As you go running to see, you’re having a mixed bag of emotions. Tired. Exhausted. Angry. Frustrated. Glad they’re still alive so you can kill them yourself. (Figuratively, not literally!!!!)
What sort of messes do kids make? Oh, let’s see. Cherry Red Kool Aid (or Lipstick!) on the beige carpet. (So, who in their right mind picks beige carpet with kids and animals, anyway? Yep. It was me.) Magic marker on the walls. At least 1000 nails in the bedroom walls where she was hanging every scrap of paper she’d ever owned. (True story. It took me all day to prep that one wall to repaint.) Paint on everything, including the dog. And of course they use the “super-indelible-never-come-off-till-you’re-dead-and-maybe-even-later” medium. [From Purple, Green and Yellow, by Robert Munsch.] One of my kids’ favorite books, and we all still joke about that phrase, even today.
I’m laughing as I write this, because lately I’ve had a few of those “You did WHAT?!” reactions from people I know. I’ve made no secret of joining the Catholic Church after 40 years of staunch, Evangelical, Bible based Protestantism. But apparently some people didn’t hear the story… Some were shocked, some were sad, all were puzzled. But the good news is that every one of them has agreed to disagree on the minors, and agree on the majors and remain friendly. I suppose that ties in nicely with my recent posts about tolerance.
Back to the topic. As moms, sometimes we shriek in disbelief at the messes our kids can make. But underneath it all, we love them more than life itself. We willingly help them learn to do better. We willingly (sometimes not so willingly) clean up after them as we educate them on how to do it better next time (Just let momma do it next time, okay, sweetie?)
What about us, as God’s kids? I wonder if He ever throws up his hands and says, ‘You did WHAT?” Now, of course He doesn’t. He knew before I was born that I was going to make whatever mess I’ve found myself in. Tonight, for example. I saw a really pretty, whipped icing cake on clearance at the store. In my family, whipped icing is the only choice, but it’s sometimes hard to find without a special order. It’s Mother’s Day weekend, right? I deserve it… so I bought it… and ended up throwing it out. It was dry, and the icing just wasn’t that great. Now, I’m not supposed to have sugar. I need to lose weight. I want to be healthy. So, I bought an entire cake. I could almost hear God saying as I opened the cake box, “You did WHAT?” But then He helped me when I said I was sorry. He helped me throw it out because it just wasn’t good, like I’d thought it would be. If I’d been paying attention, I would have known He was trying to help me leave it at the store to begin with.
Life is like that sometimes. We see something that will make us happier, prettier, smarter, or richer (we think!) and we go for it. But once we get that thing, we realize it’s not what we thought. It cost us more than we’d planned. It didn’t fulfill like we thought it would. It didn’t bring the status, the attention, the rush we’d expected. And now we’re stuck with it. It’s a problem. We don’t know how to get rid of it.
Good news! God is right there. Our Heavenly Father is just waiting for us to ask for His help. He delights in helping His kids clean up the messes in their lives. He will tell us the truth, for sure. But He does it in love, usually in the most gentle of ways, without any condemnation or hatred.
So, Happy Mother’s Day! If you need some help from the Heavenly side, just ask. And, as always, you can ask a pastor or a priest. They’re right there willing to help you do whatever it is that needs doing. I promise neither God nor His pastors will say to you, “You did WHAT?!” They’ll help you hear God say, “I love you. Let’s get this cleaned up, okay?”