I drone a continuous, "Please shut the gate. Why is the door open? The flies are coming in. PLEASE SHUT THE DOOR! Don't hit your sister. Don't touch your brother. Give that back. Don't throw sand. Don't throw toads. Be nice to the dog. Don't pull the toad's legs. Don't colour on that. Don't eat that. Don't lick that. Please, PLEASE, PLEAAAASE stop arguing. Just eat. your. dinner."
I even sunk in the dried up river so far that I completely lost my boots. I screamed, I ranted, I muttered, "UGGGH!!! Could these days get any WORSE!" and army crawled (seriously) back to shore to find three young kids staring in both horror and wonder at this crazy lady they got for a Mom. I cried on my walk home - drenched, socked feet, toes oozing swamp goo. I cried. My neighbour just looked on in amazement as we trudged into the backyard.
Every night seems to end in an exasperated, "I love you hunny..." and a weary-eyed return to a messy kitchen and 3 hours of chores that need doing before sitting down to the articles due and the Homeschooling to plan. Nights end at 1am and kids wake by 6.
So, when relatives I haven't seen for decades commented the other night that I'm 'the perfect Mom!', it didn't feel good - it stung. It stings because they are SO wrong. So horribly wrong. I'm nowhere near perfect and some days I wouldn't even accept 'good' as a description for my parenting.
My parenting is this: Imperfect. Just like me.
But yesterday was different. I found Perfect. Not in myself. Not in our children or my husband. But in a simple visit to a waterfall. There is no perfection in human beings - don't look for it - it's not there. The only perfect on earth is that which is pure, God-made...untainted by free-will or materialism. And I see perfection in a showering cold waterfall. In the rocks. In the crystal clear pools of gathered water.
In a trusting boy, gripping Mama's hand.
I see perfection in all He has given. It is in nature that I find clarity. That's why it's so important for me to "unplug". No hope is found in shopping malls or stores. We are not refreshed by consuming or looking to ourselves. Hope is found in the simple, every day beauty of God's creation.
If you need a new start, like me... if you're worn out and so tired of everything imperfect, find 'perfect' today... close your eyes. Listen to the breeze. Find flowing water and dip your toes in... watch your children fall in awe with the simple things and dare to sit and be still and small in nature.
Seek and Cling to Times of Refreshing...
It was like all that water, rushing over my toes and feet could wash away all the mistakes. All the frustrations and upsets of the past few days, all the regrets.
I can start anew...
I can start anew...
Roast a marshmallow. Slap on some Chocolate. Hug it with crackers. Bite. Soothe the soul with giggles and hugs and books by fire-side. Embrace the moments as they are - refreshments. Gifts.
Strength for the journey.
Life is sweet... but not forever. Find it today, friends...