And when I say rain, I mean rain.
Imagine dogs and cats and then triple…
We spend most of our month in soggy socks, walking on dirt-smeared floors and invariably waiting ‘til the eleventh hour to search for an umbrella. This usually leads to shrieking when the only one found falls apart because somebody landed on it one day while playing Mary Poppins. So sadly and inevitably, one kid has to walk into school with a floppy, falling-apart, poor excuse for an umbrella.
Whereupon I am simply left to scrounge for one that is not a mess until someone asks for a snack…
And I forget all about it until the next rainy morning.
We are rain pathetic, y’all.
But no matter how many umbrellas I push out of my failing mommy brain, I can’t help but remember one soggy April afternoon a few years ago.
It was dogs and cats, pull-over-til’-it-passes, horizontal downpour.
And there…in the middle of it all…was the school car loop.
God bless us, everyone.
Teachers in superfluous ponchos. Kids with turned out umbrellas. Boys smearing mud all over themselves.
It was NOT pretty.
I seriously wanted to scoop everyone up, plop them in front of a warm fire and give them copious amounts of coffee and cocoa.
Especially when I saw my Grace, standing ever so dutifully at Cone #2, looking like a forlorn, drowned rat.
BLESS HER AGAIN.
Wanting to save her ASAP, I swiftly pulled up to the appropriate cone, ready to welcome the deluge. I figured an open door would be enough to cue my sweet girl to take refuge in our crumb-covered minivan. But even after I began waving her in…
She stayed at her precious Cone #2.
So I started to yell, “Grace, in the car, now!!!! Run, baby! Run!!!!”
But she held her hand up as if to say, “Hold the phone mom, I have not been released from my cone by the proper authorities…”
Finally, a poor teacher who I can only assume was so blinded by the rain that she didn’t even know who she was talking to, gesticulates wildly and shouts, “Go, go, go…” in Grace’s general direction. Huddling over her as she climbed into the van, the sweet soul laughed, “Got a rule follower, eh?”
I giggled back in response knowing full well that my girl comes from a long genetic line of rule followin’ firstborns.
It is that soggy moment, that little memory that has reminded me every April since to evaluate my own firstborn rule followin’ ways.
Some days, I am stuck in the rules of motherhood.
Potty-training. School choice. Food selection.
Good gravy train, being stuck here is a blessed disaster. (And I believe that we can all agree it is never wise to stand in one place when toilets and 3-year-olds are involved.) It doesn’t make any sense but somehow, because I decide on a method or a choice or a selection, come hoot and high water, I am staying put by my “cone.”
But as a result, I become imprisoned by my own choice, my own rules when God’s so clearly calling, “Sara, would you just get in the van for a moment??? I think you need a dry place to flex and bend and find some much-needed grace. Please?”
Some days, I am stuck in the rules of “godly” womanhood.
Devotions. Bible study. Domesticity.
Where I am trying to be who I imagine Proverbs 31 tells me to be. Where I come to loathe that darling, made-up woman. And where I sink into the lie of failure and inadequacy.
Over and over and over again.
But all the while, my Father is saying, “Sister, time with Me can be anywhere, anytime, anyplace. Especially in this crumby, old van. And domesticity? I am not looking for the perfect underwear fold or a gleaming toilet, girl. I just want you to be faithful.”
“Sara, do you hear me?”
And some days still, I am stuck in the rules of doctrine.
This one, dear friends, has been the fight of a lifetime.
Picture me standing at my cone with 9 other brothers and sisters standing at their own and we all think we have the beeline to Jesus. We are stuck, arguing over things that are only getting us muddy and cold and wet. And NO ONE is winning.
But God is calling to us, beckoning each into different vehicles as he pleads, “Would you please dive into the freedom that allows all my kids to take different vehicles Home? PLEASE?!?!?!”
You see, rules may not be the devil, but holding onto them too tightly can destroy us.
At a time of year where we recognize the sacrifice of a Father and the suffering of a Son, does it not also seem appropriate that we remember why it happened? Why He sacrificed? Why He suffered?
It wasn’t to impart a self-made prison. It was meant to set us free. And it was designed to make us whole.
Jesus is sufficient, friends.
Even without our man-made rules and our blasted “cones…”
He. Is. Sufficient.
Claim it. Know it. Live it.
And this April, let’s be willing to leave our cones behind…
Especially if it means we get to run to the One who is leading us Home.
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. She recently began her own blog called Where Feet May Fail. Be sure to check it out.