Friday, September 26, 2008

Grace for moms

This morning was nuts. I'd like to blame it on the fact that I've been working on my kitchen-painting project this week. It's funny how apparent disorganization in one area of the house leads to the "spillover effect": I take full responsibility for the boxes of counter-items on the floor, and for the baskets of sorted laundry all around the breakfast area. But why is it that everyone else seems to think they can now leave their junk anywhere they please just because Mom has temporarily lowered the clutter standard? Ack.

Anyway, Annie-7 could not find a pair of shoes to save her life. Ruthie-4 was crying about her ant bites. Allie-15 didn't feel well, and, in the middle of the morning rush, proceeded to lie down on the sofa. Dennis needed to leave so he could get to a breakfast meeting, so I felt even more under the gun. I rolled right into Drill Sergeant Mode, barking orders and talking in short, one-syllable sound-bytes, like, "Get. Your. Shoes. On. Now."

By the time I got everyone fed and ready for school, I was in a pool of sweat and feeling discouraged about the mess that faces me, about the way I should have gotten ahead of things last night but didn't, and about the way I didn't handle the morning very well.

Wouldn't you know, my Bible reading took me to the first chapter of Matthew. I usually bleep over the genealogies, but I was so encouraged to read that the heritage of Jesus includes four very human women:
  • Tamar (was raped and used trickery so she could bear a son)
  • Rahab (a former prostitute)
  • Ruth (a non-Israelite widow)
  • Bathsheba (committed adultery)
I love the thought that God's grace reached beyond dark sins, human frailties, and (my favorite) less-than-ideal circumstances.

It makes me think that some of Jesus' great-great-grandmothers might have prayed some prayers I pray, like: God, please don't let them have my hangups! Or, Please don't let them be permanently scarred by my Drill Sergeant-ness (oh, wait, maybe that's only my problem!). Or, Please take the pieces of where I've messed up and turn them into something beautiful!

Some day in heaven I'll introduce myself to these mothers and ask them how they did it, when times were tough and they felt like they'd blown it. Or maybe when they felt inadequate for the job of parenting.

I have a feeling they will look at me with a whole lot of understanding, maybe even with a tear or two in their eyes, and answer something like this: "I kept on going, because I knew that the end of the family tree was Christ."

Yep, I think I'd like these ladies. I can learn something about grace from them.
In Him all things hold together.
Colossians 1:17


The Writer Chic said...

I just wanted to introduce myself! I have had you in a "read when I get a minute" file (from a post Antique Mommy did on her bloggy-now-IRL-friends), and I finally had some time to read. And I'm just type-A enough to admit I started from the first post, and worked my way through the archives.

Anyway, it's been a delight to get to "know" you and I look forward to reading faithfully.

And because I know you like these details: I'll be 28 on Tuesday, I'm married, have a son (Seth, 9 mos), live in OH, but may be moving to TN soon. And we have a blog, so there's more miscellany over there. Come visit when you have some time!

Julie said...

I can soooo relate! I am having one of those days too!

Becca~CapturingSimpleJoys said...

What a good post! I loved that comment about the end of the family tree. I pray a lot for God's grace to cover my many shortcomings as a mother. I have faith the He'll do that as He continues to work on me.

Dimple Queen said...

Oh Katherine....I so needed that today. I have been in a rut of sorts and this was very uplifting for me. Oh how I need to be reminded of that grace!


Joyfulness said...

Great perspective. Thanks for the encouragement, as a fellow mom who turns on the drill sergeant voice too in stressful times.

Lori - Queen of Dirty Laundry said...

As usual, girl, as usual, you spoke to what I'm feeling this week.

Just inadequate and gripy and impossible to please, that's my report card for this week. And just when I couldn't figure out how to get this big old train back on track, I saw a little bitty light at the end of the tunnel. Then another, than another, and then your post, right on schedule.

Like I said, As Usual.

Seth, Annelise, Elijah, & Joshua said...

You described my morning and my thoughts exactly!

Ginger said...

Thank you for your encouragement!!!

Victoria said...

Loved the post and the reminder that God uses imperfect people.

Les & Sweetie Berry said...

Some days it all seems to run against us doesn't it? I will be so with you asking how they did it. Blessings over you and yours today and may you all have a relaxing weekend!

Mothership said...

Thank you for the reminder and the encouragement. This mothering business is harder than it looks, eh?

count it all joy said...

What a beautiful perspective you have. Thank goodness God's grace is new every morning! I recently read the Francine Rivers book "Lineage of Grace" which features all of the women you mentioned and it was very empowering.

Michelle @ Sew-Krafty said...

Darn, now I've got red rimmed eyes and a red nose...of couse they go nicely with the black mascara streaks down my cheeks!!

Anonymous said...

Hmmm...isn't it wonderful that Jesus meets us right where we are...even, or especially, in the midst of laundry, house projects and less-than picture perfect mothering moments.

Thank you for your continued honesty and always speaking from your heart straight to mine.

El Shaddai Ranch said...

Oh that reminds me of some of the best books I've read - Francine Rivers has a series of novellas about these exact women. Fantastic. Thanks for the encouragement!