Moments of O-Grace

There are a plethora of moments of grace within each day. God tucks them within the pages of a book, the aroma of a body wash, the sip of coffee, the glow of a candle, the downy fuzz of a baby’s head, the notes of music, the colors of a rainbow, the scent of a flower, the kiss of a baby, the joy of laughter…  These moments of grace remind me of His love and the power of that love!

I had a moment like that when the other day, Hubs said, “I love you” to O-Girl and she replied, “I luh you.”  I am not exaggerating this.  Hubs and I both distinctly heard this.  She also has been known to say, “Hiyah, Da!”  Precious words!  Such a reminder of grace!

There are also unexpected moments of grace.  Times when I can enjoy a good laugh and see humor in spite of less than attractive surroundings.  Today I had a moment like that.  Two boys seem to have diarrhea and all four children had to poop at once.  I know it’s not polite to talk of such things, but motherhood deals with such reality.

Grace can only be found in first acknowledging such realities.  Grace cannot be found in facades, masks, shallowness, and trite phrases.  Grace deals with the grim details, the hard lines, the pungent odors, the slop.  It takes these disgusting offerings and exchanges them for thoughts of love, words of kindness, unconditional love, acts of service.

So today, I had my moment of grace when I found myself laughing.  I was laughing at jokes Hubs and I were making.  I said, “You can tell you have seen too much poop when you find yourself rhyming to poop. ”  Yes, I was really telling silly jokes that rhymed with poop.  Hubs then said, “You can tell you are all ‘pooped-out’ when you are sitting on the floor winding up toilet paper.”  He also said some other word, but I can’t remember.  It was funny.  Yes, I was winding up toilet paper that a son had unwound in the process of trying to wipe himself.  Yeah, it was ridiculous, but grace is finding humor in moments like these — when I have to keep smelling and looking and cleaning up after poop.  It doesn’t get more basic than that!

Dirt, Defeat, Death, Darkness or Light, Life, Love, & Laughter!

There are so many days in the life of a mom where I get “lost” or buried under my piles of negative thoughts, feelings, and even actions at times.  Times when I allow myself to wallow in feelings of pity and irritation because mud was just tracked across my clean floor again!  My dishwasher broke down so now I have piles of dishes — either clean or dirty sitting on my counters. Because my wash machine broke, and I am going to run out of clean underwear within a day.  My boys’ wild energy is driving me crazy.  The boys have diarrhea and keep leaving and making disgusting messes.  My husband is working late and helping an elderly lady so I don’t have his help with putting the boys to bed.  I should be thankful — thankful that my husband works so hard and is thoughtful like that.  Why do I choose the ways of darkness at times: choosing anger, whining, irritation, impatience rather than the paths of light: gratefulness, compassion, patience, forbearance, forgiveness, and love?

Why do I see the “earthiness” of motherhood?  The poopy underwear, muddy floors, dirty diapers, dirty windows, broken appliances, inconveniences of life?  Why do I choose such ways of defeat and darkness?  Why do I focus on the past — that which is dead?  Instead, I should focus on the gift of the present: God’s grace to overcome defeat, darkness, and death!

Motherhood is “heavenly”, “eternal”, “supernatural” in its ramifications!  Why do I not see that in wiping dirty bottoms, cleaning refuse and mud, I am meeting a more eternal purpose?  The end result is not a clean child and house!  It is not even having a happy child!  It is not having a happy, fulfilled, or stress-less life!

Instead of focusing on the physical mud and dirt, I need to clean the “mud” from my heart and thoughts — the parts of me that I have not allowed God’s grace to “clean.”  Instead of looking through the cloudy/finger-smudged windows, I need to realize that it is really my spiritual “sight” that is dimmed.

This life is physical, but it is also so much more!  There is a spiritual life being lived at the same time — with far greater impact; for it is eternal!

Lord, clean the dirty “panes” of my soul, clean the refuse of old sinful habits and attitudes from my heart.  It is your grace I need to flood this heart of mine and to make it what it ought to be.