As I type these words, I am completely exhausted by this motherhood-business. I've spent the last 45 minutes trying to convince my 4 and (almost) 2 year old that bed really is where they need to be. They don't need mittens. They don't need more milk. They don't need another story. They don't need to have conversations with us about the shape of their poo (you think I'm making this up?). After all, it's night time. Down time. Mama and Daddy time. And after countless sippy cup refills, a large handful of sibling disagreements, an argument about wearing a pink and white-fur snow suit (complete with hoodie and boots) to bed, and the battle that naturally comes with the entire eat, wake, sleep cycle of having children, I must admit – today may have gotten the better of me with regard to this whole “parenting” shenanigan.
Mama. Mama. MAMA. MMAAAAMMMMMAAAAAA.
Mama? Who is this Mama you speak of? It's not me. I've officially changed my name to Shirley. So leave me alone.
Then there are these incredible blessings intertwined with the battles. Blessings big enough to make you forget the egg yolk smeared on the kitchen window and the variety of moldy vegetables someone-who-shall-remain-nameless was stashing under her bed for ‘pecial nack time‘.
This past weekend, we celebrated Will's baptism into the covenant family.
No really. Praise the Lord! Praise the Lord that He welcomes our covenant children into his arms, into his church, and into his family. Because those moments when I want to tape their mouths shut and run for the hills pretending this whole thing never happened, my God loves still loves them. And he still loves me.
It's easy to love a little one like Will. He doesn't demand anything more than a few hours of nursing a day, a clean diaper, and a snuggly blanket. But then…
…then, they become four. And become very, very, veeerrrrryyyy (did I emphasize that enough) demanding.
And you know what? God still loves them. And he still loves us.
Even in our filth, in our disobedience, in our sour attitudes, in our outbursts of anger and frustration, and in our selfish actions God still loves us.
Praise God he still loves us.
I took these pictures of Will in his heirloom baptismal gown (yes, I know, it's a boy in a gown… but my husband is from the South, remember? It's tradition!) before we left for church, wanting to make sure that I captured that sweet little face all fresh, clean, and lovely. Then, I took the gown off so that I could ensure it stayed clean in the transit from farm-to-church (things like white linen don't tend to have a long shelf life here on the ‘ol homestead).
… and then we went to church, totally forgot to put the gown back on, and ended up baptizing Will in a white onesie and a poo'ed on blanket.
… and then my two toddlers were squirming, wiggling, talking, crying, and flopping down on the ground during the baptism.
… and then I wanted to cry. Wait a second! This isn't what I had planned! My children were supposed to be obedient and perfect! My Will was supposed to be in his heirloom gown! I was supposed to put on a second layer of lipstick!
… but then, I caught myself smiling. And I couldn't stop. I smiled through the entire baptism. Because this is life – it's messy, it's floppy, it's aggravating, it's not ever like we planned. And yet through all of this, God loves us and his promises to us – and our children – remain.
You see, these failures and messes are exactly what Christ died for. I don't have to be perfect. My kids don't have to be perfect. My life doesn't have to be perfect.
Because Christ was.
I am beaming with thankfulness for this reality today.