I believe we all have moments of weakness. Sometimes there are just days that we may feel like “throwing in the towel” or we may justify our “right” to throw ourselves a good ol pity party. Life is unpredictable, sometimes hard, and oftentimes messy.
When these “messy” days come, I like to think back to an old song that probably many of you know and it goes something like this… Count your blessings name them one by one, count your many blessings see what God has done! It’s good to remember all the many ways that the Lord has blessed us, isn’t it? Our lives are messy because we are all imperfect, but it’s a beautiful mess. The Lord is truly gracious to us.
Another great “go to” thought I once learned is this: on those I –think –I-might-should-just-go-back-to-bed-and-start-over-tomorrow kind of days, to remind yourself “I AM ABLE.” I learned this “I AM ABLE” idea from a Lisa TerKeurst bible study I once led. I love this idea! It gives such a wonderful perspective for this messy kind of life.
Well, last week was definitely a messy week. My week first started off by quickly loading my kids into the car for school only to find that a sippy cup of milk had been left in the hot car all weekend long. Apparently some of the milk had leaked out onto the carpet, right underneath the driver’s seat, resulting in a horrid smell. I spent most of the week chauffeuring my family around to various activities with the windows rolled down, trying to air out the death-like odor that was seeping out from under my chair. I kept trying to remind myself of my little “go to” thought: “I AM ABLE”. I am able to drive, I am able to smell, I am able to own enough sippy cups that this particular cup was able to be missing for an entire weekend, I am able to buy milk, I am able to clean the carpet in my car, I am able to have a car in the first place…Yes, thank you Lord, for all these blessings!
The next day, I was folding laundry and feeling very good about my productive afternoon. The kids had had a great day at school, I had given them an after school snack, we had snuggled for a while, I had folded the laundry (left on top of my bed and still needed to put it away), and now the kids were playing while I began to cook dinner. My plan was to put away all of the laundry that was nicely folded on my bed, after dinner had been started. Then, I heard laughing. It was the kind of laugh that my sweet boy lets out when he is having one of his “Autism moments”. The only way I can describe this laugh would be: complete abandon. Its goes beyond silly. It is a very peculiar noise. It is the kind of laugh that does not signal regular “happy play”, but rather a very odd since of being detached from reality. I followed the laughing only to find every single article of clothing that I had folded to be put away, scattered all over the bedroom. There were socks hanging from fan blades, underwear on the curtains, t-shirts in the floor…it was a mess! I am able to fold laundry, I am able to have clothes, my child is able to throw, look at all these clothes that the Lord has provided for us!…Thank you Lord, for all these blessings!
Then, there was bath time. It was towards the end of a very messy week. I was tired. I ran the bathwater and put my sweet boy in to play. He loves bath time! It’s one of the happiest times in his day. Ezra loves to lie back in the water and feel the bath bubbles cover his skin. It’s a sensory thing! He played for quite a while and had a great time. When it was time to get out, I reached in to pick him up out of the water only to realize that beneath the bubble topped water, my little man had pooped. Gross!!! I disinfected the kid. I disinfected the tub. I am able to clean the tub, I am able to give my child a bath, I have running water, I have soap, my child has well-functioning bowels… who am I kidding? This is disgusting! I mean really, how much more messy can this week get? Can’t I catch a break? Ahhhhhhh!!!
That’s right. I was done. I was done with my messy week. It didn’t seem like a beautiful mess at all. It was smelly, gross, and messy. I felt completely justified in having at least a small pity party for myself. And I was pretty sure I was getting a head cold. What else could possibly happen?!
Later that same night, our family sat on the couch together for our customary pre-bedtime snuggles. Grace was curled up in her daddy’s lap on one side of me and Ezra had actually climbed up in my lap and was snuggling me. He sort of shifted this way and that way until he was sitting with one leg on either side of me and we were nose to nose. And you know what? My three year old, mostly non-verbal, Autistic son looked me straight in the eyes and said, “Hi Momma!”
This is probably only about the fifth or sixth time I have ever heard him say my name.
I am able to hear my sweet baby’s voice, He was able to say my name, I am able to sit and hold my babies on my couch, I have a family, and I am able to care for my children. All these messes are evidence of a full home and a full heart. Even when life gets tough, I AM ABLE because You Lord, give me strength from day to day and You provide my every need.
Thank you Lord, for all these blessings! Thank you for my beautiful mess! Thank you that I AM ABLE! And thank you Lord, for the refreshed perspective.