Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Roller Skates and Real Change

It has been a death defying morning.

We had a picnic lunch in celebration of our survival.

Littles roller skated out the kitchen door and down a two foot drop into the garage; he knocked one of the jeep doors over onto himself; he fell off the 3 foot tall night stand (again--roller skates); and he still thought that roller skating up on the playground (and I do mean "up" on the 4 foot high platform) was a good idea. Tiny, on the other hand, managed to light a match and drop it (still lit) onto the carpet and also turn the gas stove on full blast when I wasn't watching. The boys ended the morning with a brawl over who got to get Bee a spoon at lunch that included one child throttling the other one by the neck. Brotherly love. And pyromania. And roller skates.

Who thought roller skates were a good idea?

He was getting cocky yesterday practicing on the carpet
and decided to try the tile for the first time…it wasn't pretty.
I can't count the number of times this kid has wiped out. 

Anyway, by no small miracle, all four children are in bed right now (and I am hoping I don't incite the jinx by writing this), so I thought I'd make good use of my time and write…instead of doing something more practical like cleaning the kitchen or prepping for the move. The Man wants a sane wife at the end of the day, after all, more than a clean house. I think.

The twins were a huge help when we bunked the boys' beds this weekend.

Lately, I've been thinking about ways that I have changed since the kids arrived. There's the obvious--stretch marks and a crusty kitchen floor--but there have also been a few more subtle changes along the way. For instance, I hate fake flowers. Absolutely think that they are terrible. Why have fake flowers when they a) don't have any fragrance and b) are just a cheap imitation of reality? But right now, in fact, for the last three months, there has been a vase full of fake flowers next to my coffee pot. Yup. I'll let you take a wild guess about who gave them to me for Mother's Day.

Aside from changes in decor (did I mention Little's contribution to our bedroom wall art? and experienced moms, please tell me, when is it okay to get rid of your children's artistic efforts?), I've also had to man up in a few areas. Like when I find a mouse baked into my oven. Do I scream? Maybe a little. But then I made like an adult, cleaned it up, and helped my poor traumatized children move on with their lives.

He brought a snack for the road.

Speaking of trauma and manning up, few weeks ago, the Man decided that the state of egg-lessness in our home needed to be rectified. I don't eat them so I don't cook them. And since he's rarely home for breakfast, the boys haven't really been exposed to them at all (unless you count putting them in baked goods). So, he lovingly cooked up a whole batch of breakfast burritos.

The boys were more than a little hesitant to try them (considering that Littles thinks the Man's cooking consists of calling in pizza--not true), so I said I would try them too. Moral support and all that. Think like a team: eat eggs. Besides which, I generally re-try eggs every year or so to see if my taste buds have moved on with their lives. They've been given a good long break since I've been pregnant for going on 5 years now and no one in their right mind would expose themselves to their most hated food while pregnant.

I made it all the way through that burrito. Yep. Even if it did start coming back up about halfway through. And I made it with a smile, if a somewhat queasy one. Then I filed that experience away under "things I do for my children" and moved on with my life.

These kids have starting joining us in our eating escapades.

In a full spirit of confession, being a mom has also made me realize just how ugly my sin is. We've had a rough couple of months sleep-wise (I'm starting to sound like a broken record), and there are few things more capable of bringing out my awful than sleep deprivation. I have had thoughts I never thought I would have. I have said words I hoped never to hear coming out of my mouth. I've been impatient. I've yelled. I've gotten angry about things that really don't matter. And at the end of the day, I've found myself broken hearted at who I am when things get uncomfortable.

This is still where I am a lot of the time. It's easy for me to get stuck on the failures, reliving them even on the good days. But I am trying (so hard) to learn that the glory of the good news of Jesus Christ is here even in this. So often I come before Christ, begging for forgiveness, asking how he can love me in all my ugly, but the reality is that my failure does not come as a surprise to Him. Not at all. His grace accepts all of me. His cross redeems all of me. His empty grave renews all of me.

This was just supposed to be a funny post about my silly children, but the truth is, though I am not the woman I was before they came into my life, the main reason is that they force me closer and closer to Christ as I desperately try to figure out how to parent them past the sleepless nights and the rearranged expectations and the toddler tantrums. Fake flowers and taped up scribble sheets and choked down breakfast burritos are hopefully only the outward sign of a heart that is being relentlessly drawn closer to the only one who deserves a Parent of the Year award--the one who gave his own life so that his children could be with him forever.

Early morning snuggles are the best, aren't they?


  1. Yes. Well said. That has been my experience too. How desperately we need His lavish grace!

  2. The pictures make everything OK. Because of the cuteness. And roller skates are awesome.