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Challenge: Keeping Your Cool

My conversation with God: "You're a trainwreck on a track to nowhere."

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"Look at the mess you made!"

I must bark, in an extremely agitated state, this judgy, on-my-high-horse remark at my children at least once a day.


That's embarrassing to admit.

It could be spilled milk, crumbs, bubbles, paint, freakin' slime or yep, even boogers; who knows -- all bets are off.

On any given day, one of the those is the reason Mommy Monster makes her appearance and condemns one (or all) of the children for acting a fool, making mistakes and creating messes.

But, more recently, I've been wondering if God ever looks down at me, with a slight stink eye, and irritatingly thinks,

"Look at the mess YOU made."

"Do you see your house?

Your homes' inhabitants are operating under your command, so their mess is really your mess, isn't it?

Do you see your life?

You're a trainwreck on a track to nowhere. You are so all over the place that even I, with all my almighty power, struggle to keep up with you.

Do you see your marriage?

Talk about messy! There is seemingly nothing orderly and consistent about how the two of you love and support each other.

I'll say it again -- look at the mess YOU made!

Okay, that was a bit of a dramatic and incorrect reenactment of how my conversation with the Big Dude would go, but I do feel that He probably does look down and think that I'm making quite the mess down here.

But, my mess, I think it leaves Him feeling far from peeved.

I think His recognition of my mess is not draped in disgust, judgment, annoyance, exasperation or anger; not in the least.

That's merely my nonsensical and critical inner dialogue.

The truth is, that I hope (and think) that God looks down at my crazy, messy, imperfect life, inside of my crazy, messy, imperfect home, with my crazy, extremely messy, imperfect children being loved and lead by two crazy, flawed and messy-brained adults who are still crazily in love despite each other's imperfections and the stress caused by living in a crazy, imperfect world (phew, that's a mouthful) and thinks:

"Look at the mess you made, Mama!"

"Look at your glorious, crazy, imperfect, messy life!"

It's so beautiful to see life, love and learning in action, and when I look down on you and yours -- in your joy-filled, ridiculously noisy home, and watch each of you every day making and learning from mistakes, and continuously putting in the effort to grow into the people I created you to be -- I see a life that's being lived right.

"Look at those glorious, crazy, imperfect, messy children!"

It is so fulfilling to see such depth of human exertion, affection, support, encouragement, and love bouncing back and forth between you and them and between the siblings. I see people that are unknowingly changing the world by changing each other for the better.

"Look at that glorious, crazy, imperfect, messy-brained couple!"

It is so inspiring to see two people facing individual and joint challenges, and both unabashedly work on themselves and their partnership despite an everpresent lack of time.

"Look at that glorious, crazy, imperfect, messy house!"

It's heartwarming to see a home jam-packed with so much freakin' love it's practically bursting out the front door, the kitchen sink and of course, the laundry room.

So, you see, I've kind of been nitwit.

Probably not the term God would use to describe me or any other mother -- who may raise her voice, lack patience, and far too easily feel frustrated over messes -- but since he holds me (and each of us) on a higher pedestal than we hold ourselves, I'll stick with that uncomplimentary description of myself.


Because I've really been getting it all wrong.

But, not anymore.

Today, and from here on out, I choose to look at my family's messes the way that God looks at me and mine -- like mini-masterpieces all fitting together like a puzzle to create the most fantastic, imperfect, beautifully-flawed image of a strong, loving woman and man doing a flippin' fantastic job at the challenging task that is raising happiness and three kids.

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