“I painting, Mommy!” my daughter triumphantly announced, bare-bottomed and smiling.
After an hour long nap time, I walked into my toddler’s room and caught her “painting” her crib with poopoo. Yup…poopoo.
“I see that…” I croaked back. Surveying the mess and registering the smell, I felt my blood pressure begin to rise. I knew she didn’t do this maliciously and I didn’t want to respond with anger. I attempted to pray, blocking out the chaos with my hands. I couldn’t muster anything eloquent, so I simply whispered only thing that came to mind: Jen Hatmaker’s timely quip, “FIX IT, JESUS!”
While He didn’t send in a squad of Merry Maids in hazmat suits, He did provide me with a calm heart and the eyes to see the situation humorously. I was able to take a deep breath, extract my daughter from the “situation”, and get her in to the tub. Then I went back into her room and texted a video of it to my husband. I didn’t want him to feel sorry for me, but I couldn’t imagine keeping this particular “joy of parenthood” all to myself. Eventually, everything was cleaned up (a few things thrown away) and the crisis was over.
So, why share this gruesome story? Because, I think we have a tendency to forget about God in the ordinary moments of our lives. We pull Him out for church and traumas, but otherwise, we fend for ourselves. We expect His peace to be there for us in the face of cancer, but we don’t cry out to Him when our feelings are hurt. If there is one thing I am learning through this season of being home, it’s that God wants to be invited into every situation.
Philippians 4:6-7 tells us, “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”
Life is full of sideways moments and He is asking us to bring them all to Him.
I guarantee you when Paul penned, “in every situation” he did not imagine one of those situations being “when your toddler paints with poopoo”. Lord knows I never imagined it. But life is full of sideways moments and He is asking us to bring them all to Him.
Now, just because I didn’t lose my ever-loving-mind when I walked into my daughters room that day doesn’t mean that I haven’t lost it 100 other times over much smaller things. I have far from mastered this truth. But when I do think to cry out to Him, He is there. He is faithful to meet me and provide His peace.
Motherhood isn’t glamorous. It’s full of loneliness, fear, frustration, and poop. But we can take comfort in knowing that we’re not really alone. We can count on Him to help us be peaceful- even in the face of some pretty unsavory situations.
I don’t know what you’re going through today, but I encourage you to seek God in it. Talk to Him about whatever you are dealing with in that moment, small or large. If we, in our imperfect human condition, can extend grace to our babies when they need it most, how much more is our perfect Father able to lavish it on us?