We’re on our way to church on Saturday night after we’d been there Friday night for Seder and the boys aren’t exactly thrilled. We’ve picked up some drive through KFC and as I navigate Little River Turnpike into the setting sun they ask me why so much church this weekend. Funny how quick I find myself on my high horse, ready to explain that this is the time to remember all the rotten, ridiculous things we do. That they do. That I want them to feel bad for; apologize for.
I open my mouth to begin the list when instead out come the words, “because I’ve messed up, guys.”
It surprises even me.
But apparently I can’t stop.
“Because your mom has messed up so bad. Did you know that? Did you know that I get mad and I can get really jealous of other people.”
This kind of amazes Micah. He wants to know why. So I keep going, “I wish I had houses like other people and I lose my temper and sometimes I say bad words. Out loud.” This one gets Jackson’s attention. Zoe is kicking the back of my chair and singing something off key that only she can understand.
I change lanes and keep talking. Funny how truth is hard to stop when it starts. It’s a relief to admit out loud to them that I’m lost. About how I can’t fix things myself, least of all myself. I can smell the chicken through the brown paper bag and I hope they remembered to include the biscuits.
“I’m busted you guys. Mom is broken because she just can’t get anything right by herself. I need to be rescued. From my temper tantrums and bad thoughts and impatience and yelling at you guys. You know?”
They do. Although Jackson spends some time confused thinking that I’ve lost my way to church and I have to explain that no, I’m often lost in life and I need someone to give me directions. We’re pulling into the church parking lot and I tell them I need to come here to church this weekend because Jesus promises He can rescue me. He’s the only one who can fix the messed up parts of their mother. We come here to remember.
But they’re off and running into the building and looking for friends and fighting over the frozen lemonade before any of my garbage can really make more than passing sense to them. But me? I needed to hear it.
And Easter Sunday morning we’re back in church and I have a few moments before I need to be in the toddler room and I hold onto the words of the worship with both hands –
O to grace how great a debtor
Daily I’m constrained to be
Let thy goodness, like a fetter
Bind my wandering heart to Thee
Prone to wander, Lord, I feel it
Prone to leave the God I love
Here’s my heart, O take and seal it
Seal it for Thy courts above
I’m a desperate lost, minivan driving mom who knows what her insides look like and how incapable she is of keeping them clean. So I put both hands in the air because I surrender this lot and this life and this trying to get it right by myself. I give up all my own best ideas of trying to fix things and win my sons and bubble wrap my daughter.
I give it up and put a hand up for rescue from all that’s drowning me.Here I raise my Ebenezer
Here by Thy great help I’ve come
And I hope, by Thy good pleasure
Safely to arrive at home
Jesus sought me when a stranger
Wandering from the fold of God
He, to rescue me from danger
Interposed His precious blood.
And I have to fight every day to care more about my Jesus than my blog, my children than my work, my calling than my distraction with what everyone else has been called to do. My kids spill bags of pretzels in the car and some days the car and I both want to call it quits. But I’m not lost.I keep going back to church on Sundays because I believe Jesus moved into the neighborhood and He knows me by name.
Oh yes, He sure does know you by name, my dear sister. And He loves you dearly, mess and all.
Oh, yeah! Week after week, year after year! Thank you for just laying it all out there. Big hugs coming your way VERY soon! (This was seriously my 3rd attempt to get this comment to stick – ugh!) :)
Sorry, I was editing on the back end and broke something there for a second. My bad!
Or… my phone hates it when I cheat on it with blogs. ;)
“I keep going back to church on Sundays because I believe Jesus moved into the neighborhood and He knows me by name.”
This. Love this line. This whole post is so great because it is a picture of what Easter means to you, right where you are (and me too, by the way.)
Lisa-Jo, your words met my heart tonight…thank you for the sweet reminder that He loves even this mess of mommy-ness like me. :)
Thank you for being so real, so open, and so honest!
I love this one! Amen, and amen. From a fellow messed up, redeemed mama.
Thank you for this. After our Good Friday service, my son – also not thrilled with all of the church this weekend – asked me why I believe, why I like being a Christian. I said because it means I’m not alone, that when I’m having a hard time, when I feel I can’t do it, there’s Someone with me. It means having a community to back me up. Your thoughts are the perfect follow up. Thank you
very much enjoyed reading this….
I fight daily to love Jesus the most too. Daily. Thank you for this post Lisa Jo.
(BTW, I love that hymn. I always get choked up singing it.)
Your honesty is beautiful.
So good. I love the realities of teaching our kids by example: we enjoy reading, so they enjoy reading. We pray, they learn to pray. We confess & apologize – and they do the same. We repent, they learn it too.
I’m so excited to see your authenticity in action with your kids, and it’s good for other moms )and used to be moms) to remember the importance of honesty and brokenness.
Thanks for being real!
Your transparency and realness remind me that I am not the only one….and your heart for the only One who can make a difference & change us blesses me to the core! Keep being you…authentic, genuine, you.
Oh, thank you, Lisa-Jo. It’s 5:40 am and I’m up because my brain won’t stop running through the list of things I need to do for work (I work from home), we’re out of practically everything in the fridge, and all I can think about is how the hell I’m going to make it to storytime with my 10-month-old today because if I spend that time going to the grocery store instead I’ll have more time to work once the sitter gets here.
Days like today, I wish I believed in Jesus, too (I’m Jewish), because it sounds like that would really help me out. But I think maybe it’s enough that, just when I thought I was all alone in this space, YOU GOT ME. So thanks – and now I better start working before I start to cry. XOXO
Whoops! Too late. :-) Thanks again.
Loved your honesty, Lisa Jo! And the only thing that matters in moments like that car ride (and the thoughts that came pouring out)…Grace.
I love your honesty and this post – as always you speak to my heart. The line about Jesus moving into the neighborhood, when you used that a few days ago that stuck with me. There is real truth in that statement. I’ve been dwelling on that.
Thank you, Lisa Jo!
I love your honesty. Good post!
You looked into my heart, and you spoke the words that were there. Thank you.
So love your writing and it’s honesty. Your words could be mine.
Oh Lisa-Jo. We appear to be living parallel lives these days. It’s comforting to know on my side of things: I’m not terminally unique in my need for a Savior every single minute. Oh how I wish I could do it on my own, says my foolish heart, a heart that loves itself. But the Spirit of truth rises up and teaches me to love the grace I desperately need, shows me that my need for Him is a beautiful offering. The beautiful offering, in fact. Thanks for writing, for being honest, for pushing many of us to reflect through our own writing. It’s a gift.
Oh, Thank you God! I’m not the only one. I thought it would get easier when the children moved out and had the perfect life that I couldn’t / didn’t have, but the truth is that broken dosen’t fix over time. I thought that it would be fixed – but it isn’t. Because the broken isn’t situational, it is spiritual. And we could live to 1,000 years and still have a temper and say bad words out loud (The Lord only know the count said out loud over at this house!)
The truth is, the broken never gets fully fixed in us, in this life. And beating ourself up over it only makes it worse – guilt, guilt, guilt – guilt over feeling guilty! The only fix is Jesus. He is the only one who got it right! And If He is the ONLY ONE, the ONe and ONly one…then why in hell am I beating myself up?
Oh, yeah, it is because I am believing the lie of hell instead of the Truth of Heaven.
I love you, Girl! You know that. I know you are an amazing Mom! Because it is in the broken that we find the Beauty of Christ. We are all cracked eggs, Susta!
Oh, man – I needed to read this today! On the Monday right after Easter and I’ve already gone back to my old selfish way of living. Thank you for waking me up – and reminding me why I went to all those services – and what I want to be focussed on and living today! Thank you, thank you!
We can’t be God for our kids… or ever be a good enough representation of who He is for them… but we sure can point the way, can’t we? I’m so good at pointing the way to Jesus with my own depravity. “See kids, Mommy needs Jesus too….”
thank you for this.
“I’m a desperate lost, minivan driving mom who knows what her insides look like and how incapable she is of keeping them clean. So I put both hands in the air because I surrender this lot and this life and this trying to get it right by myself. I give up all my own best ideas of trying to fix things and win my sons and bubble wrap my daughter. I give it up and put a hand up for rescue from all that’s drowning me.”
I’m standing next to you with both hands raised. Thank you for your realness, your honesty, and your open heart.