It was one of those days.
A dreary day at the end of July found us at each other's throats by the time breakfast was finished. Disobedience and sass, yelling and screaming, bothering and being bored.
Normally, I don't mind our small house. We have what we need and utilize the space we have, so nothing is wasted. Clutter is overwhelming in small spaces, so it's a great reason to not go crazy buying things and to get rid of the extraneous crap we already have. All in all, it's a great system.
Except in the summer.
I love my children dearly, but they drive me a little crazy those few months. Mainly because we're all on top of each other like little, pink, baby hamsters, and I have nowhere to run and hide. With all the whining and squealing and begging and fighting, I can totally understand why a momma hamster would want to eat her young. Just for some peace and quiet.
Not all days are like that, but certainly, there are some. And this particular day at the end of a finally-hot July had been one of them.
To put things in context, this day had been preceded by a couple months which left me feeling like a failure of a mother, a shell of a human, and a mess of a Christian. I preached a sermon (I don't think I will ever get used to saying that, but I guess that's what it was) on Mother's Day about the Proverbs 31 woman, which I think I will include in this series at some point, and God met me that day. He helped me get over my fear of speaking and present His truth in a way many had not considered it, for His glory.
Then I fell of the spiritual bandwagon and hadn't picked up my Bible since.
Our dog of twelve years got sick in early June and we had to put him to sleep. And I just couldn't stop crying. My postpartum depression reared it's ugly head and refused to depart, no matter how hard I tried to snap out of it or will it away. I'd always just dug my heels in and got through it, but this time my out-of-control hormones were clawing those around me and biting them with sharp teeth. Sometimes a sullen, numb and disconnected beast, other times unpredictably wild and nasty, and I couldn't rein it in.
To lose control of your own mind is a humbling thing.
July arrived with little blue pills from my doctor, which, thankfully, helped me find a middle ground again, and my first case of head lice, courtesy of my son. I graduated childhood without a single louse, and here I find myself at 34 years old with a head full of them.
When my husband came home that day, I took the opportunity to get out of the house and walked to CVS for some lice shampoo. As a mother of five, sometimes "getting out of the house" isn't glamorous, but you have to take what you can get.
Yes, mommy is leaving. I will be right back.
No, you can't come with me.
I trudged down the sidewalk in flip flops and house clothes. I inhaled the fresh air and exhaled in stride, thankful for some silence and space to think. But my thoughts immediately wandered to my shortcomings:
I yelled and screamed at the kids today.
I took my own stress and issues out on them.
I suck as a mother because I can't seem to keep the house together, the laundry from living on the couch, or the dishes from overflowing in the sink.
I haven't picked up my bible in months. Why would God want to talk to me now? I'm sure He's disappointed...
Grabbing the generic lice shampoo from the shelf, I took a little time to wander the isles, looking for clearance nail polish and scoping out the dollar section. Not finding anything I couldn't live without, I checked out and headed home after chatting briefly with the cashier.
The words of a friend from the week before echoed in my ear. Questions about why God always referred to Abraham as faithful, yet he doubted. David was known as a man after God's own heart, yet he committed adultery and murder.
How can that be?
It occurred to me in the discussion that because of what Jesus did for me, God sees only Jesus in me. When my sins are forgiven, they are removed as far as the east is from the west, and He literally can't see them anymore. He only sees Jesus, who paid for them with His blood.
He only sees the good.
And sure, He knows what we've done. He's God. But He chooses to call us redeemed, to refer to us by the good, by the moments we sought Him in humility and repentance.
The dingy blanket of cloud cover began to shift, and rays of warm light burst through. I could feel the sun on my skin, a tangible outpouring of His love and grace. It was the reset my day, and my life, so desperately needed.
Looking up at the sky, I closed my eyes and breathed it in deep: the truth that I'm not what I scream; I'm not how I feel. I'm not my failures or my mistakes. I'm not the lack of checks on a bible reading plan. I'm not all the things I didn't get done or the things I would still like to do.
I'm just me, in all my humanity, and He loves me because.
Because of a man hanging on a cross, making a way for me to be free.
Free from the burden of measuring up, from figuring out my own way.
A way for God to call me redeemed, to see only Jesus in me.
This post is part of a series I’m writing for the month of October called, Walking in Humility: Learning to Abide with God in the Everyday. If you’re interested in the reading the rest of the series, you can find it here. Enjoy!