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I was in the middle of washing the dishes from the last several meals. To say I was backed up was an understatement. About halfway through, I needed some motivation to finish and decided to put on the radio.
I came across a local Christian station and started humming to a familiar song. Suddenly, I didn’t feel like running away from the dish grime anymore. I could do the dishes for hours now. My thoughts wandered to God and how He’s really been teaching me a lot lately.
I thought about the last time I blew up at my kids and how often I’ve had to apologize for doing so over and over again. Who knew I was so hot-headed? Motherhood sure shines a light on that one!
I hoped my children would take my apologies to heart and learn to do the same with their friends, future wives, and anyone else who comes into their lives. What an attribute to have– to apologize in a genuine and meaningful way.
As I scraped down the cast iron skillet in the sink, I prayed humility would reign in their little hearts. “Lord, please don’t let them get my short temper,” I thought. “But if they do, please help them to apologize well.”
The peaceful atmosphere was then interrupted by a loud bang. It was the back door flying open. As the stomping came closer, I wondered which little munchkin it was this time. Who hit whom? Who needs a time-out? Who’s bleeding?
Bracing myself, I turned around to see Cannon, my firecracker three-year-old. His arm was outstretched, and in his fat little fist was a bunch of weeds, the dirt and roots sticking out in every direction. “Mom, I picked these for you,” he said matter-of-factly.
As I looked at his little face, I saw he was waiting for some kind of approval, a sweet response from his mom. My mind flashed back to all the times he has tried to give me something when I was in the middle of something else. I would say, “Thanks, Baby,” glancing at him for just a second and then getting back to my business.
But today was different. I sensed he needed me. So, I stopped washing the dishes, dried my hands with a paper towel, and crouched down to really look at what he was handing me. I took the “bouquet” and put it in a baby-food jar filled with water. His eyes sparkled with delight.
I slowed the moment down by giving him a big, long squeeze and telling him how special he was to me and how I absolutely loved my bouquet. I placed it on the window sill and said, “Whenever I look at it, I’m going to think of you.”
I hope his sweet little smile stays etched in my memory forever. He said, “You’re welcome, Mom. I love you too.” You could have mopped me off the floor. Then, he ran back outside just as abrasively as he’d come in.
I continued doing the dishes, staring at the mess of weeds my baby boy had just given me with all the love in his heart. In that sweet moment, I realized this is what my worship must be to God. He takes all my brokenness–pieces of random debris stuck upside down and all mixed up–and makes it perfect, beautiful, enough.
I give Him what’s left of me, and He multiplies it. He overwhelms me with His goodness and gives me more than I can hold. I bet His eyes even sparkle–not at my gifts, but at the heart behind it.
Through a fist full-of weeds, I learned of God’s absolute, never-ending love for me. I’m so amazed He sees me when I feel invisible and smiles on me just because it delights His heart to do so.
QUESTION: Where do you see God in your everyday parenting adventures? Has being a mother helped you better understand and appreciate His love?
CHALLENGE: The next time your little ones want to show you their love, slow the moment down and let them. Make a special point to let them know how special they are to you.
Photo courtesy of Priscilla McConnell
Feel free to check out my personal blog at: memoirsformemories.blogspot.com.
Years ago someone gave me a list of wise stuff. I only remember the one about accepting all gifts from children. It’s a great one and there’s accepting and there’s ACCEPTING it seems! Thanks, Priscilla 🙂