When big opportunities come disguised as big emotions | Marvelous Mundane
You probably know that moment just as well as I do.
That moment the kids run out to find their bikes just before you need to leave, dressed in the clothes laid out the night before. You are thankful for this quiet minute to brush your teeth, double check your bag, walk out the door glancing at the clock knowing you’ll be right on time. And maybe even early.
And then you hear the yell. The yell you know fluently because you hear it every day. Around the corner dash two soaking wet boys. That hose stretched across the lawn pulled them in like a magnet: one is soaking by choice, the other is dripping by another’s choice. He’s the yelling one.
You swing open the front door and stuff back your frustration. Maybe if you were some kind of Laundry Ninja, you would toss back your hair and stroll confidently down the hall to their neatly folded, piled-high drawers, grabbing another perfectly matched pair of clothes. But you’re not. You’re some sort of laundry grinch with an especial allergy to folded clothes. So you rummage through clean piles and laundry baskets to find the second or third or fourth choice going-out-of-the-house clothes, calm the horribly wronged little brother, and herd them into the gray minivan.
That was not planned into your morning.
These are the hardest moments for me.
The unexpected interruptions, the glaring immaturity, the surprising meltdowns.
These are the moments I surprise myself. How did my voice get so loud? Where did this anger come from? Why would I say something like that to my kids?
Those are the moments I regret when I am lying in bed, praying peace on the momma I will be tomorrow.
These are the moments that make me dig deep into my soul. Because what’s going on down there to make this come out up here?
Oh, there is a definite need for mom-care. For remembering that no human body was made to run around, pouring out twenty four-seven.
But I often find that’s not what’s really going on here, with me. And no number of naps, piles of books read, and dinner dates with favorite grown-ups is going to change that.
So often when I dig deep, I find myself unconsciously clinging to a daily script. A script that reads, “how your day is supposed to look”.
Is it because I’m looking around to find my own worth, searching for value down the never-ending paths of accomplishment?
Am I running after a day where I can pause at the end to give myself a pat on the back?
And then, this search for worth gets passed on to this generation behind me. What message do my kids hear when their different choices give them different sides of mom? It tells them: you are worth what you do.
Because that’s what I’m believing in those moments, too.
But if they don’t hear their worth from me, where will they find it?
And where will they go to look for it?
Or will they believe they are worth it?
But every time I meet their big emotions or roaring childishness with the calm of a momma fully mindful their worth, of my worth, I gift them a different message. “You are worth grace, you are worth kindness, you are worth patience, you are worth self-control.”
My responses can introduce them to the greatest story. My words, my tone, my facial expressions are all a pathway for the gospel, that glorious news that God’s love for us is not based on our abilities, waiting for a perfected performance. Rather, it is based on the faithful life and completed sacrifice of Jesus Christ. And it’s his life in us that gives the strength to live out this story for them.
When I meet their cry with comfort, they see the God who comforts.
When I offer their crazy my calm, they see God our solid rock.
When I give their emotions my empathy, they see the God who became man.
When I gift their confusion my confidence, they see the God who holds our future.
When I enter into their excitement, they see the God who is personal.
When I find their eyes and listen to their strung-together stories, they see God who cares.
When I fail, my apologies show humility. And even more, they show a God who uses the broken and hurting and not-enoughs of this world to show his glory. Because the greatest question at the end of the day isn’t, “did I offer my children a perfect performance?” but, “did I offer them a real God?”
My mental script needs a giant rewrite, a bold-painted reminder brushed across every page: today is filled with opportunities to show their worth and show them Jesus.
To remember my worth, to see Jesus.