Tuesday, February 19, 2013

The Ragged Prayer of a Weary Mom

God be praised in the good and bad and so-so days.
God be with me when the cries of children snap that very last string on my instrument of peace.
God be near me when the day is full of the mundane; when I want to pull my hair out with the tedium of color, cut and paste.
Be with me; lift my head bowed in shame as the maintenance man has to sprawl on a scandalously filthy kitchen floor to check a phantom gas leak.
Be with me as I search for just one single matching pair of socks for each child.
And as I fruitlessly toss a room for their shoes.
As I watch the laundry multiply.
As I bathe a cat-like little child.
As I overfill the closet and watch a cascade of deal-with-it-later slide to the floor.
As I clear the floor for the 50th time and hope to vacuum before the toy tide washes in.
As I pull the evening meal out of my magic hat.

Lord be with me as I teach a child who crosses arms and steels gaze and refuses pencil-to-paper.
Or one who waits too long to potty and is very sad.
Or a toddler arching back, kicking, shrieking, not wanting to be held but wanting to be held.
Make me kind and compassionate.
Even as I wait for customer service to get back to me.
Or risk my life driving anywhere in the Chicago area.
Or when someone uses their "patient" voice on me.
God, grant me grace to own my temper flare, apologize, and try yet again.
Grace for now in my moment of need.
Grace for the little ones who are hungry, thirsty, love-needy, naked, sick, or confined "time-in" hostages of a parent's firm love.
Grace that chooses mercy, not judgement.
Gentleness, not pride.
Love, not dagger eyes.
Peace, not violence.

May I have the grace to carry on whether or not I can keep calm.
Courage to face the simple ordinary.
Perseverance for this long-term investment of time, energy, patience.

May your grace wash over this tired soul and spread a healing balm to everyone I know.

And then some.


8 comments:

  1. You totally made me cry this time! And laugh. At the same time. Your kids are so cat-like, haha!

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    1. Lol! I figured that line would elicit a laugh from anyone who knows my kids.

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  2. Yep, totally crying here, too. Beautiful. And oh-so-scary-accurate for my life as well. Thanks :)

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    1. Thank you. Yes, it's a crazy, wonderful life we lead.

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  3. "Before the toy tide washes in." YESSS. I experience this daily but couldn't quite put it into words. And the kitchen floor is pretty bad, but today my MIL came over and the 3-year-old was in the downstairs bathroom (which I cleaned) so she went upstairs to use the other one (which I really, really didn't). Blush.

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    1. We have a "really, really didn't" bathroom, too, Jenny. :D

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  4. Jamie, you really have a way with words! Beautiful prayer which we all can identify with. Even though I don't have any more little ones at home I can remember what it was like :) I love these lines: "Grace that chooses mercy, not judgement.
    Gentleness, not pride.
    Love, not dagger eyes.
    Peace, not violence."

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  5. Thanks, Mom.

    I think I used dagger eyes on one of the kids the very morning before I wrote that. And I felt so bad, like "what is this really accomplishing other than shaming?" And shaming is never about love.

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