Sometimes, life just doesn’t go as planned.
Sometimes, life just doesn’t fit our plan.
Over the last few years, I have learned this the old-fashioned way:
Through knockdown, drag out, real-life experience.
You see, my body has always been a little different than the average mama. But over the last few years, it has made an impressive leap into the “So not my plan for what I will have experienced by the time I turn 35” category.
Mild stroke. Septic shock. Infertility.
And what I will simply refer to as “other stuff.”
Please accept this final category in lieu of specifics. I assure you this is not the kind of “stuff” one wants to be discussing on a Friday morning. Particularly following breakfast.
Most recently, the kiddos and I braved my recovery from a minor surgery. Toward the end of six weeks, after being virtually housebound, I found myself regretting all those snide comments I made about moms who had appeared on “Nanny 911.” Instead, I secretly wished Jo Frost could swoop in and save me or at the very least, clean my toilets.
On one particularly challenging day, I had run out of interesting things to do within our four walls. So, out of sheer desperation, I said with enthusiasm, “Let’s look at pictures on Mommy’s computer!!!”
And it worked.
For about ten minutes.
But as we were perusing, I found a picture that, at the very least, entertained me. It was a photo of baby Grace and I. I was young, fresh-faced and rested.
I hardly recognized myself.
And yet, in that moment, I wanted to sit that younger version of me down Buy her a cup of really good coffee. And tell her what I wished I had known six years ago.
I imagine it would have gone something like this…
Take the time to run, jump and dance with your kids. There may come a day when you can’t.
When in doubt, leave the dirty toilet alone and paint little fingers and toes instead.
Write. It doesn’t matter if you are Seuss or Shakespeare. Some day, those words may remind your kids of who you really are and who you really love.
Remember, wet pants happen. And it could always be worse. Poopy pants happen too.
Marvel at the wonder of each pregnancy. Forget the morning sickness. And remind yourself that someday, you might give anything to have an amazing reason to gag.
A happy heart beats a broken spirit any day. Besides, dry bones hurt. And require steroids.
You may think that the perfect way to celebrate a 10-year-anniversary is a trip to Venice. But you will find that holding hands in hospital rooms, marveling at a makeshift bed in your minivan made just for you or hearing whispers of “I love you too much to lose you,” beat a gondola ride any day.
Please, for the love, put down the parenting book. If you have the energy to read, tackle the crowd fave, “The Princess and the Potty.” And don’t forget to do the voices.
Even if you have a rough day, make sure you end it with hugs and kisses and “I love you to infinity and beyonds.” You may find yourself fighting for your life the next morning. And desperately wishing you could go back in time.
Grace. Grace. Grace. It is sufficient for every fall, every foible and every mess up. Even yours.
When you have the option to laugh or cry, laugh. Tears typically don’t let you choose.
In some seasons of life, your house will look like some kind of clothes-toy-food bomb exploded. Don’t sweat it. It just means you were doing more important things.
And finally, sweet sister, if you can listen to nothing more, hear this:
Jesus loves you.
He loves you so much that he will carry you through the deepest of valleys. Up to the highest of heights. Straight over the unimportant.
And even though you might protest and shout along the way, “This was not the plan!”
Jesus will wait.
He will wait until the day you reverently whisper, “Yes, Jesus. Yes.”
“This was the plan. You have lovingly turned my eyes from the things I am without. And mercifully and purposefully fixed them upon the treasures I already hold.”
Sara Cormany guest posts on the first Friday of each month. Sara is mommy to six-year-old Grace, four-year-old Drew and one-year-old Sophie. When she is not wiping noses, changing diapers or chasing her kids, she is a sometimes writer and a sometimes teacher to teenagers. But her most cherished role is that of one who is perfectly held by Jesus. She loves watching Him take the broken, the messy and the seemingly mundane of her everyday and turn it into something beautiful.