Maybe one day in the not too distant future I will be one of those "put together" moms. I will look gorgeous all the time, my kids won't have a speck of dirt on them, meals will be gourmet and my house will look like a show home. Not only this, but when I have other moms tell me their "mom stories" in exasperation, I will look at them with a confused look because I NEVER have overwhelming moments when I question what the heck I got myself into when I decided to be a mom. Ya maybe one day, probably not...ever.
This morning for breakfast my kids had cereal with no milk because our milk that was supposed to be good for three more days went sour. And on the side they had a pickle. They were thrilled. No oatmeal, fruit, yogurt...cereal and pickles. I'm sure if they had seen the left over spaghetti from last night they would have loved to have that as the appetizer. Dinner was pretty much the same story, but I pulled out the left overs and they were content with that.
But in all my domestic glory (ha!) today, I started thinking about how sometimes moms can be so pretentious. We so easily find our identity and our value in our children and if they are absolutely perfect we are as well, by default. I know some moms who say their babies are sleeping through the night after two weeks, never cry, never say no. There are those moms who look at you with absolute confusion when you tell them stories about embarrassing moments caused by your children as if to say their kids have never misbehaved.
I have always been an open book for the most part and I learned years ago that we can either take our struggles and our shortcomings and hide them away so no one knows that we are actually human, or we can allow God to use those to minister to other people in a way that only He can through these situations. I chose the latter. I want to be transparent so that maybe a mom who is tired and discouraged can look at my life and say, "Ok, I can laugh at this, I will survive. I am loved by God even when I feel so unlovable, and He thinks I am beautiful even when I haven't been able to take a real shower in three days." That's my calling in life right now, that's the ministry God has placed on my heart.
I have four kids and only one slept through the night before they were one year old. My kids are so loud the cops get called and embarrassing moments? Ya, my son pulled his pants down in the driveway today as a senior citizen was walking by because he had to go to the bathroom and I guess we didn't make it abundantly clear to him that the only reason he got to pee behind that tree the other day was because we were lost in the woods. That's nothing compared to the time when I was leaving IHOP with the kids and my kids holding on to my back pocket de-pantsed me in front of the whole restaurant.
This parenting thing is a journey as is life, and if we spend the entire time pretending that we have it all put together, we will miss the true joy that can be found in the journey. So, although I aspire to have a show home, beautiful clothes, time to get dolled up and wonderful gourmet meals for my family all the time - right now my jeans with holes in the knees because I'm on the floor with my kids all the time, my toy strewn house, and even those meals that consist of dry cereal and pickles are where I am, where God has called me to be at this time in my life. And I won't pretend that I'm anywhere else but here...it's a wonderful place.