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The right response

The other day, one of my children (who shall remain nameless) peed all over the shower curtain. Today my toddler took off his clothes during nap time and pooped. Friends, that's life. That's circumstance. 

And what matters a thousand times more than my clean bathroom is the spirit of peace that I'm sharing with those around me.

Do I throw a fit and shout and get angry at me for making an obviously wrong decision ? Or do I smile, kindly remindthat we pee in the toilet and that movies can be paused or games returned to (fun as it may be to soak moms new pretty curtain), and correct while still maintaining fellowship within our relationship? 

How do I want my children to approach the circumstances of life? Pissed off that things are difficult, hard, messy, broken, and ‘unfair'? Or do I want them to recognize that Christ has accomplished all necessary work, our to-do list is eternally finished, and that while the struggles of this earth are real, they are ordained and orchestrated by a Sovereign, Holy, Good God who loves us more than we could ever imagine?

You know what matters a zillion times more than my children growing up in a perfectly clean, organized home? Growing up in a loving home. Growing up with a Mom who is peaceful.  We had company for two weeks. In that time everything we used seemed to end up on the counter in the kitchen. I couldn’t even see the beautiful wood my husband installed a month before. How is it so messy? And the floor is dirty. And the bathroom dirty. Ans our room unfinished. And on and on. Frustrated, I grabbed the sprouted I had been growing among the mess and left to feed the chickens. I fled the house and was tempted to throw a lit match in the doorway behind me. Wouldn't it just be easier to start over sometimes? Yes, friends, I'm afraid that life IS messy. Parenting is messy. Farming is messy. Working at home is messy. Homeschool is messy. Marriage is messy. It's all just a big ‘ol slippery, boogery, pee soaked, emotional, rushed mess. And yes, there are moments of incredibly pure beauty amongst the mess. Moments were you can be tempted to think “Man, I got this. Look at my house! It's (pretty) clean! Look at my kids! They're (pretty) well behaved!) And check out my progress! I've (almost) ramen steps toward getting better!” I might not be the most capable at keeping showers and floors clean, but only I am capable of being a mother to my children and a wife to my husband.  So the next time  you hit your elbow on the fridge door and spill that gigantic glass of raw milk that you just poured (on the floor that you just mopped, no doubt), rest easy, my dear. Keep the four letter words to yourself and the snapping remarks for the rest of the day at all the little things. Little eyes are watching you… learning how to respond to heartache, pain, frustration, and obstacles. Reflect God's goodness. Reflect patience. Reflect mercy. Reflect the work accomplished by Christ and the inexplicable joy that comes with knowing him as Lord. Even if you have to see that reflection in a mirror that shows a pee stained curtain. 

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