Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Mud Baths

Yesterday I snapped too much, and didn't extend enough grace. I got to 6:00 PM, with the day almost gone, and my toddler gave me a look that said "Mom, get off my back." He doesn't know how to verbally express to me that I'm coming down too hard on him, or that I'm being a bit of a nag about things, but he can let me know through his eyes and through his behavior. William tends to run the opposite direction in which I want him to when I'm tipping on the Drill Sergeant side of the scale. (I mean, who wouldn't?)

So in that moment that I realized I had been incredibly grouchy and serious all day, I resolved to turn a corner. I jumped into the pillow pile with them and gave them a silly bubble bath and made funny noises. I confessed my ugly day to Jesus on the way to Bible Study later that evening, and told Him I really wanted the next day to be better and asked for Him to help me. 

Today I woke tired, but I had my quiet time and asked again - Lord please show me today that these moments with my children are priceless and precious. Help me to slow down and notice them...the way they eat their breakfast, and the way they laugh, the way they play together...

And just like always, He was faithful to answer my prayer. 

We drove over to the park, but I completely forgot the night before there had been a torrential downpour. So the park was covered in mud. I decided to take the kids down the creek to throw rocks in the water, but the giant mud puddles kept enticing them to come and jump in. 

They are dressed a little too nicely for this, I heard a voice inside say. I just bought those leggings for Lydia, I heard another little voice say. This is the first (and probably last) time she'll ever wear those new sneakers, still another voice said. 

But I ignored the voices and let them be kids. Because I knew this was THE moment. The moment I had prayed for earlier in the morning. The moment I could've missed if I was being too serious, or too concerned with the new clothes/shoes. 

They spent the morning laughing at each other, and letting their imaginations run wild with stories about bears and mice chasing us through the "river." They stripped off their soggy shoes and socks, and jumped right in like it was a 90-degree summer day and this was their wading pool. 

And I sat, and watched, and snapped some photos of them enjoying each other's company so much. I laughed at them, and with them, and got muddy too. We were all sad when it was time to leave. 

And we came home, I threw all the muddy clothes into the washer for a good soak, bathed my muddy babies, and we ate a yummy lunch together. The memories of their muddy day are removed from the clothes (to my surprise!), but I hold that morning dear and close to my heart. Because just like they did, I jumped right in and embraced the moment. I lapped every second of it up, and it's etched into my heart. 

I wish I could say I did this every day, but I admit I don't. I have to try really hard to do it, very consciously make the effort, and pray and ask for God to help me see it. But THIS day, this mud-filled, simple day...inspired me to do it more often.

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