Ever have one of those days where you feel like you put in a lot of effort and it doesn’t show? Yeah, that’s the life of a mother, or at least for this mother. The laundry is finally clean till everyone gets undressed. The dishes are done, till someone eats. The floors are clean, till the kids walk back in the house or the baby sits in the high chair to eat. The bathrooms are clean, till someone uses them, etc etc. it’s a lot of effort that seems to be undone constantly. It can get really frustrating fast and send an already hormonal woman over the edge!
If it weren’t for an eternal perspective, I don’t think I would be able to enjoy, or endure for that matter, motherhood. Today when I went grocery shopping with my baby, I remembered how I used to hate taking babies to the store and how I wished they would just be happy long enough for me to checkout. Today I looked at him and realized after 4 kids, I see differently. It’s still easier obviously to shop alone but I enjoyed seeing his face light up when I would push the cart faster, or when I wasn’t looking and he reached out and grabbed 2 bags of chips off the shelf. I laughed. The best was when I actually gave him a bag of chopped kale because I could see he enjoyed crinkling the plastic. No harm I thought. Next time I looked, he had somehow gotten it open and was shoving pieces of kale into his mouth as fast as he could. So funny. I wish I had taken a pic. I guess in some ways this OCD mom has learned to chill. That’s good news. I also see that very soon, this nine mo old will be dating, and going to college and having kids of his own. Today was a sliver of time for me to enjoy with him. (Usually I have 2-3 kids at the store. Not quite as fun:)(not sure why I added this tid bit, guess I really enjoyed it.)
Sometimes I think as mothers we do so much but feel like our efforts go unnoticed or don’t look as ‘good’ as we would like them to. We would like our homes to be clean and look nice, our children to be clean and look nice, and wouldn’t it be great if WE were always clean and looked nice too? But let’s be realistic, shall we? If I exhausted all my efforts on how everything LOOKED to everyone OUTSIDE of my home, I would never have the time to enjoy the people IN my home! It’s kind of like this plate of brownies…
Yeah, not too pretty. But they taste AMAZING! Tonight was Pack mtg and my Bear den was in charge of bringing a dessert. I decided to make mint brownies. I even bought Hershey’s mint truffle kisses to put on top of each one. Only as I was trying to get them out of the pan they all fell apart so the perfect squares I was hoping for, looked like this…
I was getting so frustrated because it was 30 minuted before I was supposed to leave so I knew I had no time to start anything else. My nine yr old daughter could tell I was getting frustrated so she tried to help…
Ok, by this time, I gave up. I could not take these and serve them. My daughter said, “But mom, they taste really good!” I said, “I know, but they look horrible!”
So, I did the only thing I knew. I ran to the closest grocery store, bought mini cherry turnovers, placed them nicely on a tray from home and called it good. Then I just had to chuckle to myself when we got up with our boys to tell everyone what we had been working on this month. Our cooking achievement! Hahaha! Yes, cuz I’m such a great cook! Wanna hear something else that’s funny? We won the contest for the best dessert at pack mtg! LOL!
Anyway, it just got me thinking. I think our Father in Heaven smiles when he sees us trying so hard and then getting so frustrated when things aren’t perfect or when they just don’t look the way we want. My efforts may not look so great on the outside (like my brownies) but they are precious to him because he knows I’m giving it my best shot and learning along the way. In the eternal perspective, it all adds up to a lot, and sometimes what seems important in this life isn’t really so important. In the middle of all my brownie stress, my 4 yr old started screaming because I had accidentally thrown her picture in the trash that she had drawn for me when I was trying frantically to get things cleaned up before my husband got home. My first impulse was to scream back at her. (She screams…ALOT, and it grates on my nerves) but I caught a quick glimpse of what she must be feeling, I kneeled down, pulled her into my arms and we dug the picture out of the trash. I almost cried myself when she grinned from ear to ear as I hung it on the fridge. That moment was more important than perfect brownies. I proceeded to call my husband and inform him that we had a code red, dinner would not be ready, the kitchen was a mess and could he please pick something up. I then sat on the floor…and we chilled.
My eternal perspective was fine again. Yes, my floor is gross and covered in brownie crumbs and my husband came home to a kitchen looking like this:
…but, he was understanding and even had it all cleaned up by the time I got home from cub scouts. (I know. What a GEM!) and life goes on, tomorrow is a new day. Life can be kind of like a plate of crappy looking brownies. If we focus on the mundane efforts (a.k.a. The outward appearance) we make every day it doesn’t always look so great, but if we take the time to “taste” the fruits of our labors ( and savor the sweet little moments) it is delicious!!