This morning we were all playing with Duplo blocks in the boys’ room before Johnathan had to go to work. I love this kind of play because it’s a little more subdued than some of the other forms of play my boys usually get into… so I thought.
My boys are obsessed with super heroes. Any kind, any story. Any character can be changed into a super hero just by adding “super” to the front of their name. And as with any good super hero story, there must also be a villain. Enter: Cake Robot. A character J and the boys developed during their bedtime ritual of “short story” (which usually aren’t very short…). J built a Duplo version of Cake Robot while Isaac was Superman. I’m playing on the floor with Rosalee when BAM! Cake Robot right to my head. Holy Toledo that hurt!
All of a sudden I felt myself breaking down, essentially sobbing in front of my family. I mean it hurt, but did it really hurt that bad? I left the room because my children didn’t really know what to do with mom crying and I didn’t really know why I was so upset. Johnathan was visibly concerned about my reaction thinking maybe I had a concussion, but I couldn’t bring myself to talk about it at that moment. Despite his best efforts to lighten the mood I was in a funk of sadness.
After about 20 minutes, Johnathan nailed it on the head. He told me, “You were hit in the head, but it hurt your heart.” (man do I love this guy). And that was it exactly.
It had felt intentional, even though I KNEW it wasn’t. Like my kids were finally so tired of mom telling them what to do, being grumpy, making them nap, not letting them have dessert, etc. that they just launched a huge duplo creation at my head. But my kids haven’t learned how to hold grudges, so why would I think this?
I think it was really my guilt about my parenting skills/success (or lack there of). As if this final example of their disobedience or carelessness was a reflection on my failure to teach them right and wrong. As though they’d finally seen through the façade of mom and saw me for the broken, angry person I am. Like I deserved it…
Now where would I get that idea?
Has my husband ever said something like that to me? Have my children? My family? My friends?
What about the world?
Ah, there it is.
So no one has told me explicitly that I’m a failure, but somehow I’ve allowed the lies of the world to slither into my vision for my family. All the blogs/articles/Facebook posts that I’ve read over the last 6 years of parenthood have condensed into this idealistic vision for my family. Like the serpent in the garden telling Eve that, “God is wrong, this isn’t all there is, you can do more, be more, know more!”This vision, often unmet by my very real and often sinful offspring has bred discontent that I’ve buried. I know that I shouldn’t have these expectations and yet I also feel that I should be able to do better, be better and have better behaved/educated/skilled children.
All of this welled up from my heart in that instant of pain. It overwhelmed me like a dam breaking and I wasn’t ready. Honestly, I’m probably still not ready to face the things God has been trying to show me, but God’s ready.
Ready for me to learn that I am loved, even at my most unlovable moments. That when I do fail, His grace covers it and seeps into the brokenness of my relationships with my kids and my husband. God’s grace…
It’s not just for those visibly broken. It’s for me too. The one who looks like I have it all together when really I’m just a Duplo away from the dam breaking.
I am reminded that everyday is a battle, often with things we can’t see. As such I turn to Ephesians 6:10-18 for the Armor of God:
10 Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. 11 Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. 12 For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.13 Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. 14 Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, 15 and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. 16 In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith,with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one.17 Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. 18 And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people.
What about you? What voice do you choose to give authority in your life?