FACT: I recently plunged my hand into a toilet that contained my child’s poop, while simultaneously using my other hand to stop another child from flushing the toilet…all in the name of saving our plumbing from the matchbox cars that had been dropped into the toilet (on accident) by the over-eager toilet flusher. I’m just lucky baby #3 was safely tucked in her crib during the madness.
FACT: This occurred on what I would consider a normal day in our household.
While I don’t purposefully seek out opportunities to get my hands dirty (figuratively & literally), as a mother of 3 young ones I really don’t have to look far. (side note: this was the first time I can remember having to stick my hand in a toilet filled with stool. I have fished out a hairbrush and other miscellaneous items on occasion…)
There are days when I want to give into my adult-sized temper tantrums and scream so that my voice can be heard about the constantly high volume of noise in our home….and sometimes I do. I look ridiculous & I sound like a fool. “QUIT YELLING!!!!!!!!!! YOU WANT TO THROW YOUR TOYS? WATCH THIS!!!!!!!” (Very frustrated mother uses arms to push all books off of the dresser.) ahem.
I am not perfect. Not.even.close. (see above)
I’m not even really trying anymore…because at the end of the day, my pathetic attempts to be a good mom fall flat when based on just that: my attempts.
The battle for me is daily giving my time, dreams, ambitions, hobbies, skills, marriage & children over to God. Laying down what I would like to do & running after what He asks me to do. Pursuing the hearts of my kids when I would rather pursue praise. Reading a book about tractors for the umpteenth time when I’d rather read for pleasure. Embracing my body when bombarded with “bounce back” stories. Recognizing the value of my role in the family when I think I could be doing more. Choosing contentment when that green grass looks tempting. Lowering my voice & speaking kindly instead of screaming when I don’t get my way. Plunging my hands joyfully into the daily messes when everything else feels more significant.
If I want my children to trust God, I can’t dwell on the amount in our bank account.
If I want my children to believe that God is big enough, they need to see me on my knees; trusting Him for strength each day.
If I want my children to be generous, I can’t be protective of “me time”
If I want my children to be humble, I can’t run towards things that might make me feel more significant.
If I want my children to love well, they need to see me loving them well.
If I want my children to be kind and patient, I need to lower my voice & increase my praise.
If I want my children to be grateful, I need to show them perspective.
If I want my children to recognize contentment, I need to be delighted to serve wherever God has us
If I want my children to feel secure, they need to see that we feel our marriage is a priority
If I want my children to pursue God, they need to see me doing the same.
It’s not glamorous, but there is serious ministry going on in our homes every day. If we are parenting with “the harvest in mind”, we are embracing the mundane. We are delighting in the ordinary---in full awareness that it’s the mundane and ordinary that is shaping our children’s hearts & setting the tone in our home. I want to be credible. I want my hands dirty.