It was 11:05. Church started in exactly 10 mins.
Considering it would take at very least 12 mins to get there if it weren't raining and I weren't standing in my pajamas with crazy hair, we were already going to be late. Daniel was already there and I was home- left in the battle of getting somewhere at a certain time with these 3 unpredictable and needy little people. And for some reason the oldest is usually my biggest battle.
I looked at my phone. I looked in the mirror. Should we just not go?!?
I have to make a decision... Quick.
We'll go. It's harder to stay here sometimes I thought. And so it began...
"Y'all! Get your shoes on! Ryder, when you're done go put Rocky up! Paisley, come help me with Stella!" Ryder appears, (clearly the battle has begun) "Can I record Star Wars Rebel?" "No, turn it off, put your shoes on! Do what I asked."
Ryder appears again. Shoes on. Laces hanging everywhere. I snap, "You can't go like that! Fix your shoes!" "I can't," he says, "I don't know how to tie my shoes." (I know, I'm a horrible mom.) He flops in front of me as I leaned down to tie them. "SIT UP. How am I supposed to fix them when you flop like a toddler?!? Ugh, your breath smells awful, did you brush your teeth like I said?? Go get your toothbrush and do it down here so I can watch!" The harsh words continue to fly off my tongue... "Why can't you act like the almost 7 yr old you are?? Why do you do this to ME on Sundays?!? We should just stay here and take naps!" My voice gets louder. Stella cries on the bed... I throw my clothes on. Of course nothing fits. I've gotta get to the gym I think. Dang it, why did I eat that kolache for breakfast?!? I need a salad for lunch... We've gotta get to church, so we can go to lunch...
Minutes pass. He's still brushing his teeth, sobbing with each breath. More bitter words fly. (Why can't he cooperate?!???)
We all somehow get dressed and head to the door and then I hear it in my heart...
"Repent to your son. Make the time. Choose what matters."
I send paisley in the rain to the car. I set Stella down and kneel down in front of him. "Buddy, I'm sorry I got upset with you. I really am. Can you forgive mommy?" I can see the relief wash over his little fair face. "Yes, mam," he says sweetly, (now he uses manners of course to twist the knife in my heart a little more).
We get in the car at 11:20. We're 5 mins late already and we've still gotta get there.
We get almost to church and Ryder says, "Mommy, can I go in big church with you?" (The social butterfly that he is never asks for that. Ever.) "Sure, wanna stay for worship and then go to your class?" Thinking well at least I'll get to go in worship before dropping them off.
We get there for the last couple songs of worship, including baptisms. People stood and sang, and cheered for the baptisms. As I sat in the back row, arms around my now calm children I leaned over and ask Ryder, "Do you know what they're doing?" I knew he did, but I wanted to ask what he was thinking in the moment. He said confidently, "They're getting baptized." I said, "Do you understand what that means?" Without missing a beat, in the most calm & confident voice he said,
"It means they've met God."
Clearly I had no more words. I'd used them all just trying to get there. But some how, just somehow God's mercy had been poured out anyway and redeemed what seemed doomed as another awful Sunday morning getting to church.
We held each other close and sang, "For the Lord is good and His love endures, yes, the Lord is good forever..."
Last Wednesday I sat at a table with some moms and we discussed our biggest fears as moms, our personal pitfalls, the words we wished we hadn't said, our daily, "mom fails." The constant fear of ruining our children is prevalent and ever weighing on our hearts. But as I looked at these moms around me (each one I would confidently say is an AMAZING mom in every sense of the word!) I realized we all mess up ROYALLY.
We just do. That's it.
We're stressed out, exhausted, over-caffeinated humans that most of the time feel like a food-source, taxi, maid, life coach to irrational beings we created. But somehow if we continue to meet with God, He is faithful. And His mercy is real. And His love endures.
I started painting a sign for my entry way today that I've been wanting in my house for a while that says, "We are ALL in this TOGETHER." Because there are days I'll have to kneel in front of that sign in my entry and in front of my child and repent- and that's ok too. We're all in need of redemption.
Take heart Mommas. Xoxo.