On Mother's Day special things happen for moms. And given that today was also my birthday, very extra special things were destined to be in my future. I wish I could tell you the sweet little tales of how my children gracefully slept until 10:00am today, allowing me to sleep in. I wish I could tell you that my husband graciously made breakfast for me, and brought me oodles of small trinkets to show appreciation for all the things I do for him. I wish I could tell you that everything went as only a dream two-for-one holiday happens. But it did not. Today marks 25 years of my life. 25 glorious years. To celebrate my 25 years, and 4th Mother's Day, my husband began with a celebration Saturday night. He - in honor of me- forgot to turn on the baby monitor. Please don't turn me in- but I'm not sure if Wes woke up last night or if he didn't! What I do know is that he woke me up crying at about 7:30am. His sisters also had been awake for a little over an hour and had destroyed their room. Shortly thereafter, I was sweating to death because I was packing three kids and four adults into the car for church in the beating-down, blistering Florida sun. After church I discovered not one, but two of my potty-trained children - oh wait there's only two so that makes all of them! - had left me a "present" of sorts in their panties. After washing, sealing up, stowing, cleaning, an fumigating a small bathroom stall I was sweating again and almost didn't notice i had received soreness from my shoes. How thoughtful! Moments later I was picking up our house and re-packing the diaper bag: this time with ALL of the contents. (Don't tell again- but I forgot Wes's bottles in the bag for church, so Paco ran to the dollar store for one during worship!- the poor 3rd child!) 45 minutes later, I was WAKING (yes I know I'm crazy and asked for the evening I had) the kids from their naps to load them back into the car for"mothers day dinner" with all the extended family in the southern Florida region. What I didn't anticipate was the gift of LONG WAIT TIMES as we waited nearly 2 hours OUTSIDE in the blistering Florida sun. Do I need to tell you I was sweating again? After about 40 trips to the potty, 2 juice boxes, a bag full of graham crackers, and 3 episodes of Mickey Mouse, it was finally time to be seated at our table. (Remind me to schedule Mother's Day plans next year and not leave it up to the boys!) We ate, and hulled the kids back to the car and then home around 8:30 for bed. This may have been the most drawn out holiday of my life. But amongst the chaos and craziness of the morning. Between the smells and disasters of the afternoon. Aside from the exhaustion and fatigue from the evening today I spent the day doing things worthy of my title, "mom". There are men with kids who do things- nice things, hard things, etc but they are called "dad" for a reason. They can't do the things moms do. Only a mom could simultaneously offer a juice cup, clean a pack, change a diaper, and solve world peace. (Maybe not global piece by my kids are my world!) Today I earned over again- like every other day since August 28th, 2009 - of "mother". I'm grateful for the longs offering and endurance of my mother and grandmothers, knowing full-well that they all faced the Same craziness of today. And I'm here to offer a white flag of surrender to all the moms who are currently experiencing such exhaustion: there is an end to today. As hard, and as long as you, mom, have worked today, and every day, there is a payoff. There is a reward. Your children will be better because of the sacrifices you've made. Their whole world is complete because you and I have worked so hard to make it so. For days like today when the hours are long and the pay is crappy, just remember that The Lord is your shepherd. He makes you lie down in green pastures and beside still waters. Rest in him (after they've gone to bed of course!) knowing He sees every moment and it is not in vain. Train your children in the way they should go and who they are old they will not depart from it. So when I say "happy" for happy Mother's Day- it doesn't mean I've had every wish come try and every pleasurable experience I could imagine and that now I'm floating high on feelings of ecstasy. It means my kids are tucked safe in their beds, after having eaten a full meal- and completely worn out. It means they are learning how to be independent- at my expense- but independent none the less. And it means they are in love with their momma - even if it means I am totally drained for today- at least I spent every last ounce of energy loving those three precious babies. And that- that is how the world will see Christ. Not because I choose to "do" so much for them- but because I love them so. When we have love for one another- the world will watch and see that we are disciples of Christ. To all my fellow mommas out there- You're awesome! You're a trooper! You're a fighter and a lover and a band-aid putter-oner. And a chef and a toy repair specialist. Your a personal tutor and coach. You're a mentor, a so day school teacher, and organizer and day planner. You're a maid and dry cleaning specialist. You're a dietician and a dream maker. You're a role model and an example to love as Christ. Keep your chin up and your confidence in Christ. And I wish you the happiest happy Mother's Day this day and tomorrow, and the day after that. Because today is just the hallmark day- but real life demands your mothering everyday, all day, for the rest of your life.
A few weeks ago, our Pastor at our AMAZING church (clflife.com for more info) did a series on controversial questions in the church today. One of the questions being, "If God is so good, why do bad things happen to good people". You can listen to the entire series, or find out the answer to that question here. Needless to say, I've been given plenty of life examples on the topic recently, and I thought I would begin this blod with the intent to explain supernatural concepts with daily practical examples. God is a heavenly father who loves and adores His children, and He wants us to reciprocate the emotion. In the same way, I am an earthly parent, who feels the same about her own children- though I don't have the capacity to do it at quite the same intensity as God- this is my attempt to lavish glory back to the One who deserves it. He reminds me, often in small examples with my children, of His love for me and I want to share the love with you.
So back to God being Good.
That's the first non-negotiable concept is just that: God is Good.
No matter what happens or doesn't happen He just IS good.
So many people ask "well if He is so good, then why do bad things happen to good people?"
I don't know why God allows such terrible things in our natural eyes to happen. But what I can tell you is that He is good.
Today - like most days - Wes my almost-nine-month-old-on-saturday - pulls himself up onto everything. Well last weekend my husband and I made the 2 hour roadtrip to Ikea in Tampa and purchased a coffee table for our new home and living room. It is beautiful and it is sturdy, and it fits perfectly in our living room! And was only $39! For more on the coffee table bargain shop here. It also happens to be square with hard corners, that are at hit-the-learning-exploring-baby-in-the-head height. I'm not sure how they engineered such a thing, or how they compiled their research, but it is true, it inevitable hits Wes on the head two dozen times or more a day.
But today I realized, because as a mom I see bad things happen to my kids in slow motion, I wince and gasp at the amount of times Wes comes so close to the table and does NOT hit himself on it. The times when he is holding onto the edge and lets go to turn around and plops himself down on his butt and his head comes millimeters away from banging the back off. Or how he crawls right to the table like a swimmer in a pool and waits to feel something touch the table before he stops, and could pick his head up and hit the bottom of the table- but does NOT. Over and over and over again just this morning I saw him miss the table about 40 times before he whacked himself on it.
And it dawned upon me: Most people would say "Goodness why does God let that poor almost-nine-month-old-on-saturday boy hit his head on that table 25 times a day?!?! But today I realied the grace and protection on my son as He missed the table over 40 times before one of the two-plus-dozen actually happened. And most of the time- at least since last Saturday when we purchased the table, Wes only bangs his head on the table softly. Most of the mojor damage hits are not even in existence!
I know it seems far fetched to say that God is allowing and not allowing my kid to smack his head on the coffee table. And first off- its an example. But yes- I do believe God is in the small details of our everyday lives. Including my sons adventures around and with the coffee table.
So I tell you all this not to have you worry about Wesley's safety or his ability to explore free of harm, or even to brag on the coffee table and all its power.
I'm telling you because I am amazed at the amazing grace and protection of my Savior! I'm telling you so that like me you will find youreself in awe and amazement and Praise the Lord while reading this!
Thank you God for your sovereign hand over my kids and their play time. And thank you for giving me the eyes to see and understand a spiritual concept in a natural example!
Now some of you are thinking- "well why does God even need to allow Wes to hit the table at all?"
Trial. By. Error.
If Wes never hit the table he would also never understand a concept of reality and boundaries. He could walk into a parked car the next time we are at the store. Or think he is indestructable and walk in front of a moving bus. But thank God - literally - that Wes is learning the lesson in a small way with the coffee table- in a safe environment like our home - where he can learn without mortality or further damage to himself. Which is SOOOO like God! He will allow you to learn a lesson in a safe place, with people who will encourage you and help you, where further more life-threatening damage can NOT be done! Thank you Jesus for your protection!
Isn't He so good!
If you didn't take the time to listen to the message on God being good - let me sum it up for you here.
The question "why do bad things happen to good people?" is the wrong question.
It is faulty in that we are not good people.
No one is or can be. It is ONLY through the blood and saving grace of Jesus Christ that God can see us as good. Our righteousness in lamens terms- blows.
The question rather should be "why does God allow good things to happen to bad people?"
Because really- that is what happens to me. And to you.
God sent His only son that none would perish but have ever lasting life.
....that is so good!
Bri is the mom to four little people, the wife to a gentle giant, and a lover of Jesus. She's figuring out the best ways to parent by trial and error, and sharing her struggles, successes, and stories with you!