As You Are

“Jesus wants you as you are,” she told me…

“Yeah, yeah, yeah…,” I wanted to tell her.

I probably did after I hung up the phone. Thing is, she wouldn’t have cared if I had said it TO her. She loves me like that.

The truth…I wanted to lay on my living room floor in a puddle of tears as I placed an online order for pizza delivery, then drag myself to my bed to watch Netflix for the rest of the evening while I polished off the remainder of our chocolate truffle ice cream. I don’t know what the kids were going to be doing during this pity party, probably stealing my ice cream, jumping on the bed, and talking over my shows.

But…I didn’t do what I WANTED to do.

Instead, I finished installing four car seats, some still dripping from the hose rinsing they needed, changed out of my smelly pants (I would say you wouldn’t believe what came out of the car seats, but if you’re a mom, you would), hollered for the kids to put on warmer clothes, and we headed out…

We loaded up, set off to church for Wednesday night dinner and children’s Bible activities. We arrived. We were quite a sight. One kid had leftover green chalk on her face. Bless her poor chalk-stained eyebrows. Don’t worry, no one noticed her face or the torn hole in the pants that I quickly grabbed out of the clean laundry basket and tossed to her. Of course, the only thing nearby was a pair of play pants.

The reason no one would notice…as I was scrambling around, long after the time had passed when we should have left for church, to finish installing car seats and finding the toddler’s shoes, green-child’s older sister ALSO chose a pair of play pants with, not one, but TWO holes…one in both knees.

Yet, still, no one would notice because the 4-year-old arrived in her pajamas, purple chalk polka dots on her face, with a head full of Vaseline.

SURELY someone noticed THAT. Nope, she was overshadowed by her 2-year-old sister who had a slightly shinier head of hair AND a face adorned with bright pink highlighter drawings. She told me, “ate my hair.” That means she hates it. Apparently, the look she acquired was NOT the one she was going for.

“Honey!!! Hide the motor oil.”

We came as we were. THIS is US.

My kids were fed pizza and dessert, they played games with friends, had fun, they learned about missionaries, and they learned Bible verses. They also learned that the people in our church family love them JUST AS THEY ARE. They were all probably highly amused at the sight they beheld. I am not EVEN going to lie and act as if we haven’t made other grand entrances, but we are always embraced in love and smiles.

I have the best church family ❤

And that is SUCH a blessing because…it’s not always easy.

Wait, it’s never easy…pregnant, homeschooling 4 active girls, a husband that works incredibly long hours during the week and sometimes on the weekends…

Just this week…we’ve had three days of torrential rain. Our chicken coop flooded and we had to save our 6 wading baby chicks. For lunch, we decided to head out for some Chicfila and lost a windshield wiper, causing us to drive home without wipers IN THE RAIN.

We’ve had our wiper replaced. My husband has worried with a flat tire. We’ve had chalky faces, a kid eating paper AND Styrofoam, we have had to rescue our cat from under the porch, and I still have residue in my tub from ice skating on coconut oil.

And that’s NOTHING. That’s my normal.

So, here we were at church.  It was Wednesday. We had made it to Wednesday, hump day, halfway. Earlier that day, the two littles and I had headed to pick up the pictures we had taken a few weeks prior. My husband was off for an appointment so I was able to leave half the crew behind. Ahhh…a blissful break…no fighting in the backseat…

No, instead, I had one child pee in her car seat and the other dumped a chocolate smoothie. What a waste.

This is where the real fun actually began. Mommy was busy in the backseat of a minivan with two car seats and the 4-year-old needed to “go to the potty,” which pretty much translated to, “douse myself and my sister down in the Vaseline that my big sister so graciously left low enough for me to reach after she finished applying it to her chapped lips.” We use Vaseline because the littles EAT chapstick.  Well, they didn’t EAT the Vaseline. That’s a plus, right?

Jesus wants us to come as we are. He accepts us that way. And you know what else? He wants us to accept OTHERS that same way.

He wants us to judge not.

Shouldn’t it just BE that way? Can’t it just BE that way? Can’t we accept people for and in spite of their good, their bad, their ugly, and just embrace them and love them? Encourage, but not judge?

The question is asked…where am I when all of this craziness goes down? Oh, I’m there. Trust me…I’m ALWAYS there, but sometimes a mommy needs a pee break and a shower. Sometimes a mommy just has to trust that her child is ACTUALLY going to potty when she says she is because you can’t ALWAYS just stop, climb over the middle row of folded van seats, and follow her.

Yes, sometimes I look at other moms and think WOW! She’s awesome. She’s got it all together. But, you know what? She has her own kind of crazy. Her crazy just looks different than mine. Guess what! My success and/or failure as a parent does not depend on how well SHE is doing or how well SHE thinks I am doing.

Success? Failure? Who defines it? It’s all relative.

Anyone who would care to judge my greased up, chalk and marker faced kids, with holes in their pants really has NO idea!

I can assure you that four kids are NOTHING like two.  The big kids have STUFF…cool stuff that paints and stains and fits into tiny nostrils.

I HAVE learned to never say what I WOULD or would NOT do in a situation that I have never found myself trapped in.

I wasn’t just thrown into this stay-home mom to four 2-year door-step kids (with another on the way), a husband that works insane hours, no immediate family living nearby thing and expected to sink or swim. I was gradually introduced to it. It’s not easy. No, it’s the hardest thing I’ve EVER done, but it’s my life. I do it because I AM “it” and “it” is me.

I’m a hot mess mama, but my kids are healthy, they are happy, and other people think they are kind. All in all, isn’t that what counts?

All you other hot mess mama’s, strap those mismatched, disheveled, sticky kids in the car and go do whatever it is you feel you have the energy to accomplish. Just let those judgers be judged. I’ve got your back.

And local friends and neighbors…

YES, the cute little Minnie Mouse shoe that was on the center line in front of the old Western Sizzlin’…OURS. But that’s another story for another day…

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