Tuesday, December 10, 2013

why perfect mothers don't exist

Yesterday morning I was greeted by the sight of the homemade applesauce I made the night before, sitting on the counter, sour and spoiled.

I had forgotten to put it away before bed.

Then I dropped a new, open container of peanut butter in a dirty sink of dishes.

Some days your mistakes flash in your face like a death signal, screaming that you'll never amount to anything.

My children all sat at the kitchen table, watching their bumbling mother drop knives, forget why she had opened the refrigerator, and get frustrated by the seemingly endless errors she was manufacturing.

I'm not perfect. Neither are they. This is when it matters how I respond to my own inadequacy, because I'm teaching them how to respond to their own.

I wanted to shout out, "Good grief! I suck!" But I didn't.

I longed to point some other way in an effort to lay blame on someone or something else. But I refrained.

I lifted my shoulders and declared the truth, "Some days a person just can't do anything right, I guess."

Boy 1, who was particularly grieved about the applesauce (it's his favorite), came and wrapped his arms around me in support.

Apparently kids love an imperfect mom more than warm applesauce on a cold winter morning.

Perfect mothers don't exist because perfect people don't exist. And if you get good at faking perfection, you'll end up with kids who think they'll never live up to their mother's standards.

Perfect, schmerfect: that's a trap.

This morning, the Lady beckoned me from dreams with a report from the living room.

"Jack broke an ornament when we were trying to read the names on the presents under the tree."

Good morning, Tuesday.

I rubbed my eyes of sleep and walked to the front of the house. I was concerned Boy 2 would be upset, or scared I would be upset. He is the sensitive sort, and emotions run high in his heart. As it turned out neither of us were frazzled much at all.

He had already swept up the glass and was bursting with excitement about the new arrival of more Christmas presents. This boy of mine believed me yesterday when I told him that mistakes come and go in life, and the best thing we can do is make it right and try not to let it happen again.

There are no perfect days, no perfect homes, no perfect churches, no perfect families, and no perfect people.

There is only all of us following a very perfect, long-suffering, and merciful God.
When we learn to live with that truth at the center of our hearts, life becomes perfectly wonderful.

Even when the applesauce and peanut butter are in the trash....

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