My 17-month-old son hid my car keys last night. Nothing new. Nothing out of the ordinary for him or any other kid his age. As insignificant of an occurrence it was last night, it completely shook my world (and my confidence) this morning. You see, I didn’t KNOW he had hidden my keys until I was ready to head out the door, 20 minutes later than I had intended to. They weren’t in any of the usual spots. I searched through yesterday in my mind and knew I hadn’t left the house since I last knew where they were. I remembered that I had a friend over and L had started playing with her keys. I told him, “Now don’t you lose her keys!”
He lost mine.
It had been a fairly good morning compared to most. I had actually gotten up only 30 minutes after my alarm went off. And I had been able to take a shower. During my shower, I had a great conversation with God and prayed about my family and my attitude. I had prayed for compassion and patience. And then I was given a chance to use what I had prayed for.
I had wanted to get to work early and now thoughts were running through my mind that I may not make it to work at all. And how horrible would it be to have to call into work because you can’t find your car keys? I could feel my frustration rising and I told myself that my children were mere bystanders in this conflict. Don’t take it out on them. Don’t bring them into the chaos. Then with my next thought, I found myself wondering why they could be so innocently playing and laughing and wanting to talk to me about shapes when this storm was going on. I did not snap, but I replied with short, frustrated answers and immediately kicked myself for it. Then I was kicking myself for not having the foresight to keep L from playing with my keys. I had noticed the possibility of him losing my friend’s keys and mine were RIGHT BESIDE hers. I could hear people asking why I didn’t just grab my spare and look for that set later. Oh that’s a great idea except I LOST MY SPARE KEY YEARS AGO. And I never got it replaced. How stupid of me, right?
Fast-forward through me nearly crying and praying that God would help me to be calm and clear-minded enough to find my keys and get to work. I fought my anxiety and sent my supervisor a text letting her know I may be late and then almost immediately found the keys UNDER THE COUCH. Grabbed the kids, got in the car, and headed to work.
In those first moments after the dust settled from my personal flurry, I continued reprimanding myself for being so absent minded. Then I heard these words from the speakers in my car:
“You’re not the only one who feels like this; feelin’ like you lose more than you win.”
I just smiled and thanked God. Just like that. An overwhelming calm rushed over me. But it went on:
“Like life is just an endless hill you climb. You try and try, but never arrive. I’m telling you something, this racing, this running… oh you’re working way too hard. And this perfection you’re chasing is just energy wasted. ‘Cause he loves you like you are.”
I had just done a video post about God’s unconditional love and here I was putting myself through so much for something so little when I knew I had Him on my side no matter what. Through these lyrics by Hawk Nelson, God was telling me the same thing he has been telling me for quite some time now: Slow down! Be still.
I get so caught up in getting my kids to school that I forget to have the morning moments I always dreamed of having with them. I forget to wake them sweetly and start their day off with goodness before heading them out into the cold world (preschool can be pretty brutal.) I know. It’s not always going to be an ideal motherhood. For anyone. But I do know that if I make the conscious decision that I want to be the mother that brings peace to her child whenever possible, I can make enough meaningful moments to count.
Even though this morning I ignored my daughter’s words in my search for my keys and I acted flustered; I am thankful that before all that, I had talked with the Lord. I’m thankful that my day started with a plan and me knowing (even though I clearly forgot for a bit) that He has my back. If it weren’t for that, I know the chaos would have been a million times worse. I turned a mole hill into a mountain in my mind,but God moved my mountain. He gently reminded me that I am His child and that my mistakes will never deter him. That my mistakes will not define me.
I turned a mole hill into a mountain in my mind,but God moved my mountain.
Guys, I had called myself stupid. Are you kidding me? A child of God… and I was putting myself down like that. Thankfully He was there to bring me up and to remind me that I never want my children calling themselves names or feeling incompetent because they had trouble finding misplaced car keys. I don’t want them feeling incompetent… ever. I want them to know that there is nothing they will face alone. And while I fully intend on telling them that truth, it is my responsibility to show them. When they see Mommy tackling the world through prayer and scripture, they will know they can do the same.