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.
I write about motherhood not because I always grew up dreaming of being a mom. Not because I am a “parenting guru.” Not because I have it figured out, or have read all the books, or understand even remotely the best ways to educate, discipline or shape young lives.
I write about motherhood because 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.
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.
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.
I talk a lot here about how small a mother’s routine can feel.
Perhaps, however, I don’t talk enough about how big the impact of that routine can be. Celebrating the small is directly related to recognizing the massive, Kingdom impact. Kids are forever. They are eternity with skin on. And we mold them like so much play-doh until one day they walk out the door and take every small moment of a family’s routine with them.
I guess what I’m saying is that celebrating the smallness of a mother’s day in and day out is more than just making it through – friends, it’s a wild dance of recognition, of celebration, of courage. It has to be more than finding meaning in the laundry. It has to be a wild Hallelujah that laundry is just the tipping point for all that you invest, that you pour, that you knead and knead and pull and knead into your kids. These are the front lines. These are the glory days. This is the stuff of heroes – not the laundry, but the conversations that take place in between the loads.
Piece by painful, sometimes mind-numbingly boring piece, you are building a mosaic of memory love – a testimony. Something that your children will see the day they open the door and turn head back over shoulder for a last look.
It will all be there, the beautiful wonder you’ve woven into them.
And the miracle they’ve stitched into you.
Come back Wednesday. I’ve got a surprise. More about this motherhood story I’ve been writing. The long version….