We have had a couple interesting moments around the Chaney household lately. Several I-Can't-Believe-I-Just-Had-To-Say-That-To-My-Three-Year-Old Moments.
Just Where was that Toothbrush?
Take that Out of There.
Why? Oh Why?
And then there's the getting somewhere, anywhere on time.
Little kids are chaotic, people.
There truly was no preparing.
They don't always listen to reason or schedules, but want things NOW. Instant gratification is often all they understand.
Now doesn't always work with Mama's schedule.
Now doesn't work when we're already running late.
But now is often exactly what they desire.
Living outside of schdules is what they need.
The toddler may need that little extra bit of attention before she falls asleep at night.
The baby may need that extra meal at 2AM, because he played so hard all day.
They may need a little playtime with Mama, instead of watching while the house is cleaned.
Sometimes both things can be accomplished at once.
Sometimes something just has to give.
Something has to be a little less than perfect.
The gift of time has to be given instead. Time can be a beautiful thing. A gift, especially for a girl who likes to live life by schedules.
My downfall is when I look at the world around me.
I loook at other familys and it seems like they have all the pieces together. They make things work.
I honestly can't figure out how they mange to have such a spotless house, and manage to go to the gym, and have their kids looking all nice and polished.
There are many days when I'm thankful the laundry is clean, don't even mention putting it away.
There are mornings when my key goal is to make sure my daughter has a shirt, pants, and shoes on. No matter if the shoes are on the right feet (that's not a battle I'm willing to fight).
There are days when I just barelly drop her off and pick her up from school in the allotted time frame.
Days when I'm lucky to brush my own hair and teeth.
There are days when I feel victory by simply getting my kids to the end relatively unscathed.
In my own life I see a girl who barely has it together. Who is gasping for air. Who is holding on for this crazy thing called life.
And maybe that's what I am doing.
Maybe there really are days, seasons of this life that are hard. Really hard. Maybe there are time when we look around and only see pieces. We can't look ahead and see the full picture. We can't see what God is doing in the end. So, we get discouraged by everything that looks less than perfect. We look with human eyes and see all the inadequcies. All the schdules that aren't completed. All the things that didn't get accomplished.
We forget that we aren't bound to lists. We aren't bound to a set of to-dos. Jesus, when He died on the cross, set us free from such things. He set us free from rules and regulations and things that we think we have to do.
We forget that He can see the end picture. He can see this beautiful mess and see the good that will come from it. The lessons I'll learn about myself and others through parenting. Through being a military spouse. Through being a friend.
The lessons I'll learn by living outsides of lists and schdules and expections for myself, my family, my home.
Even more than having a picture perfect life, I'd love to have a God-breathed life.
I would love poeple to see Jesus in the midst of my home.
Jesus as I balance to children while I make dinner each evening.
Jesus when we steer our crazy three year old's passions and point her toward truth.
Jesus in the way we love, discpline, bring up our little ones.
Jesus as I go to the grocery store, pay my bills, take my children on an afternoon walk.
Jesus as I interact with random people throughout my day.
I've gotten some very un-encouraging statements from well meaning strangers before. Things that didn't uplift me or make me feel better about myself or my parenting skills.
My goal is to do better than this. To speak life into those around me.
To let everyone know that it's ok to be less than perfect.
It's ok to let go of that perfect image.
It's ok to let people see the messiness.
It's ok to let go of scheduled expectations, to dos, things to accomplish.
Because in those messy moments people see Jesus.
My earth eyes see the inatiqucies, my faith eyes see the beautiful possibilities. The beautifull moments that speak truth and encouragement into my life.
When my daughter brings me a cup of water she got out of the kitchen, just because she thought I might be thirsty.
When both kids actually nap for the name consecutive 1 1/2 hours in the afternoon. A rareity to be sure.
When the house actually looks reasonably clean.
When my two little ones laugh hysterically as they chase each other around the room on their hands and knees.
When we're cuddled up at the end of a long day, reading books, saying prayers, singing songs.
Those are some of the moments I live for.
Moments when I'm reminded that it's ok.
Ok to imperfect.
Ok to let go of the lists, the schedules, the ideas of where my babies should be, what milestones they should be passing, what our house should look like, what writing I should have gotten down.
There are moments when I'm reminded what really matters. Where my priorities ultimately lie.
That lists are only lists.
Schedules are only there to try to get us to appointments, school, church.
Life, well, life is meant to be lived.
It's when the list girl drops her schedules.
It's when the girl who always has one more thing to do walks outside and soaks up some sunshine, just for a minute.
It's when the tired girl drinks another cup of coffee and plows on through her day with confidence and strength.
It's when the mama who has too many tasks pushes the laundry to the side and sits on the floor to build a castle.
Focusing on the things that matter, the truths of this life, make all the difference. Focusing on the gifts God has given us, the beautiful people, the beautiful plan we know is up ahead, means everything.
"Therefore, since we also have such a large cloud of witnesses surrounding us, let us lay aside every weight and the sin that so easily ensnares us. Let us run with endurance the race that lies before us, keeping our eyes on Jesus, the source and perfecter of our faith" (Hebrews 12:1-2a, HCSB).
Keeping my eyes on Jesus, that's what I want. I desire faith eyes that believe in the things I can't see. The pieces that will one day come together. This caotic world that has meaning and purpose. The seemingly high hurdles that Christ will cover for me. That's what I desire.