But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong.
~1 Corn. 1:27
I came by motherhood backwards.
It was never my intention or my dream. It was a slow revelation that “barefoot and pregnant” was not a phrase ever used by Jesus. It took me years and a good man to put those three words behind me. And then on a Tuesday morning in South Africa I birthed a baby boy with the sunrise and discovered that God had saved the best till last.
It was so good.
I am not a Bible scholar. I write stories. They’re not long ones and they last all of a couple days on this blog. But they are the gospel that speaks the loudest to me. Not buried in Greek or Hebrew, but lisped by baby boys who hate when I call them babies. God’s love for me is so loud when I look at my children that even my worst days can’t drown it out.
Every day I wake up knowing by the time I crawl back into bed with my laptop, a book or a favorite movie I will have learned more than I bargained for. I will be tired in every part of me. I will feel stretched out and squishy. I will often be frustrated that no one is staying in bed like they’re supposed to. But I will also know that the Lisa-Jo today has grown up. And the Lisa-Jo tomorrow will grow up further still.
Grown up, dragged up by her kids and the God that made them.
This unglamorous truth is my Gospel.
It’s where I understand why Jesus would have died for me and why the Father would have sent Him. It’s the place of Cheerios stuck to the sides of bowls and self sacrifice on repeat with the loads of laundry. A parent will always lay down their life for their child. Jesus loves me this I know, for my children teach me so.
Gospel climbs off the pages of Scripture on Mondays during the pre-school rush and reminds me that Christ lives in me. That this must make a difference in my day. It must slow me down when I want to rush and shout and gnash my teeth and wail at the child who’s lost his shoes again. And some days I snap, “see, that’s what happens when you don’t put them away like I’ve told you a meeelllion times before!” And other days I remember the Gospel buried here in my mess and I swallow my shout and instead work hard at remembering that love is patient and kind.
Because it is hard work to remember to be kind and patient when you know mere minutes stand between the kid who can’t find his shoes and a “tardy” note from school.
In the living room, between the discarded pajama pants and the left over bagel I work out my salvation with fear and trembling. And then we buckle everyone into the car and Micah tells me school is stupid.
This afternoon I will walk to pick Jackson up from school. Zoe comes along in the pink stroller all bundled up in purple layers. Later we will go and get Micah. Then there might be tacos for dinner and Tae Kwon Do this evening. Someone will fuss and someone will cry. Someone won’t be able to find something.
And tonight everyone will want to sleep in my bed.