Today was a day not really much different than other days, I had a few family members stop by, I changed about 8 poopy diapers between three kids, 5 additional wet ones (just for the record), stopped the world from ending over the batman action figure being placed in the wrong hands, and attempted to keep four tasmanian devils, I mean children, out of light sockets, off of staircases and fit a nap or two in there somewhere. Sounds clean right? I wish. Sometimes I really really wish, I wish so big my brain hurts from attempting to wish more, but at the end of the day there just isn’t enough of me brain power and/or will to get much more done. It’s exhausting. But, today I know tomorrow is right around the corner, and it’ll be a different type of day, I’m having about 4-5 moms and their bringing more kids over for mom’s group.
What does that leave me? I call it the 3-F’s (no, not cuss words silly): frazzled, frantic, and frustrated. Usually, my brain begins to look around the mess that only a tornado could cause. Then my brain does a weird thing and flips the “initializing internal vomit” switch.. “If my husband would just remember to unscrew his coffee lid on this travel mug, I wouldn’t be taking 5 extra minutes to grunt groan and resist the urge to scream a few cuss words while trying to pry it off, and I could be in there picking up the watermelon rinds from under the highchairs. That’s going to take me an extra 5 min just to clean. Why can’t my kids be cleaner?”
Then, God (I’m thankful He did that) hit the “HOLD UP” button, and I began to realize “of all people these are mom’s they’ve seen a mess, they understand”. deflate pressure. I internally agreed, “Yes, that’s true good rationalization. Moms, they get it. Clean houses are for single or childless people everywhere.”
And, then it happened a little question infiltrated my being, “Why do you need to feel put together?” A slight cringe followed by an internally quiet, “crap”.
And there it was–who was I trying to impress? God made my life. He gave me four beautiful undeserved children. He rescued my soul. Healed brokenness. And I, in the midst of trying to minister to other moms by offering my house, was doing the very opposite of ministering to them. I was hiding the truth of my life and the beautiful mess given to me by the maker of all beautiful messes.
See, the truth of the matter is, I am prideful. Time and time again, I want to put on my fancy shoes, new clothes, and cleaned house and present myself differently than who I am in this phase of my life.
Romans 15:1-7 says,
1-2 “Those of us who are strong and able in the faith need to step in and lend a hand to those who falter, and not just do what is most convenient for us. Strength is for service, not status. Each one of us needs to look after the good of the people around us, asking ourselves, “How can I help?”
3-6That’s exactly what Jesus did. He didn’t make it easy for himself by avoiding people’s troubles, but waded right in and helped out. “I took on the troubles of the troubled,” is the way Scripture puts it. Even if it was written in Scripture long ago, you can be sure it’s written for us. God wants the combination of his steady, constant calling and warm, personal counsel in Scripture to come to characterize us, keeping us alert for whatever he will do next. May our dependably steady and warmly personal God develop maturity in you so that you get along with each other as well as Jesus gets along with us all. Then we’ll be a choir—not our voices only, but our very lives singing in harmony in a stunning anthem to the God and Father of our Master Jesus!
7aSo reach out and welcome one another to God’s glory. Jesus did it; now you do it!”
And here is where my prayer met brain reboot. “Rethink, yep, Ashley rethink tomorrow. Stop what your doing. Show God tomorrow”.
Tomorrow, when those ladies pull up in my driveway and walk onto my un-vacuumed floors, see the sticky watermelon mess under the highchairs, and notice the food splatters on the refrigerator and that I’m wearing sweats (hopefully they’ll miss the fact I haven’t showered in a day and a half) maybe they will be encouraged. And, maybe they will be able to push through another hard day of being a mom. Maybe, just maybe, they will be ministered to by another mom who is in the trenches. Better yet, they will be able to see that God made us all a beautiful mess and their mess is just as beautiful.
So, tonight my facebook status read “[Ashley Chambers] is needing to house clean for moms group here in the morning…but, I’m too tired now my steams run out….so…ladies it’ll be straightened but not scrubbed…raise my glass in the air and toast: here’s to being vulnerable and transparent and not at all put together!”
What has God shared with you recently?