There are mornings I am awakened and immediate crisis ensues.
“Mom, Roman took off his diaper.”
“Mom, I threw up in the bed. “
“Mom, I can’t get the TV to work.”
“Mom, Momma, MOOOOMMMMMM…”
This was not one of those mornings. Sweet summertime allowed the bliss of a quiet sleep in, and miraculously, my children had gone along with the game. This meant at a whopping 7:20, I was still sleeping. (Oh young ones, cherish those days that sleeping “late” means noonish. It won’t last forever.) They burst through the door and started to shake me, “Mom! Momma! Moooommmmmm! Come see! We’ve got to show you something! It’s a surprise! A really good surprise!” Now with kids, this can be tricky. A surprise can mean they colored you a picture—on the wall. Or they decided to make you breakfast—but their culinary skills aren’t quite up to par. So any surprise that is initiated by littles… proceed with caution. I got out of bed and was dragged to their room. “Close your eyes, Momma!” Playing along, I closed my eyes as they led me through the hall into their room and announced, “SURPRISE!” They had made their beds and cleaned up the toys they had already managed to scatter without waking me prior to 7:00am. And they were SO. STINKING. PROUD.
“You guys! This is awesome! The beds are so neat (they weren’t quite up to Mom’s military OCD, but the effort was there). And you cleaned up all of the toys! I am so proud of you! THAT is how to be a leader! Really great job, guys!” They beamed. They were thrilled with their work and thrilled with their praise.
We moved on to breakfast and as a reward for their morning job, I told them they could have a picnic on the floor. So we spread out the blanket, and I began to pour the cereal that each had chosen. They never get to eat cereal on the rug (with or without blanket protection) so they were extra excited. I put the bowls down in front of each and said, “Now be very careful. Eat over the bowl and DO NOT spill.” My middle looked up at me with big wide eyes, “But what if I spill?” Without any hesitation or thinking, I said, “It’s going to be ok. We’ll clean it up.”
Instantly my thoughts turned to my own life and I found myself with wide eyes at the foot of the Father. Doing my best to walk the right path… But oh God, what if I spill? What if I don’t get it right? The thing is, I knew that my own answer to my middle was accurate. So what if he spilled? It was simple. I would hear him say, “Oh no! Momma!” and I would instantly swoop in to clean up the mess. Wiping him clean. Cleaning up the mess that would have gone beyond the cereal bowl to the rug, the carpet, and everything around him. I would have cleaned him and given him more cereal and given him another try. Because that’s what mommas do.
“And if you hard-headed, sinful men know how to give good gifts to your children, won’t your Father in heaven even more certainly give good gifts to those who ask for them?” I love the translation of this verse. I am hard-headed. And I don’t always get it right. But I do my best to love my children and love them well. And if I can manage that, how much MORE can a perfect Heavenly Father get it right for His daughter? He never loses His patience with me. He never gets tired of second chances. His mercies are new EVERY. SINGLE. MORNING. And oh, how I am grateful.
No matter where you are today, it’s not too far. God’s grace is reaching out to you. No matter how many times you’ve spilled the milk, He’s ready to swoop in, clean up your mess, and give you another chance. All you have to do is call. He will be there ready to meet you right where you are…