I blew it.


I get it wrong.

I get it wrong a lot.

No, I don’t have a self-esteem issue. I’m not fishing for compliments to build myself up. I’m just telling you the flat out truth.

I mess up all the time.

Sure, I write about heartwarming parenting moments. I talk about those times I say just the right thing (thank you, Jesus!) and a little one gets it. I share goofy, fun glimpses into our chaotic world.

But those last all of about five minutes.

The other 23 hours and 55 minutes of the day, I run three paces behind where I should be.

I have piles upon piles of disorganized chaos everywhere. In my bedroom, in the kid’s bedrooms, in the bathroom, tucked behind the couch. I keep committing to a day, a week, a month of getting it all organized but if I’m realistic, that day won’t come until Savannah graduates in 2031 (or so).

I forget birthdays. I overlook important people and space out on simple requests. I don’t take enough time with my man, my bigs, my littles, my mom, my dearest friends. It takes me 23 days to respond to simple texts requiring a one word answer. I drop the ball on my quiet times and blow the budget because… well, preparing the budget is one of those items on my endless to do list. I don’t do the follow up therapy with Lovence, all the homework with Wilna, the ABC’s with Laurentz and Savannah. I keep planning the trip to the library and hope to set aside a nightly reading time and work on cute art projects. It just hasn’t happened yet.

So we have no cool Dr. Suess memories and zero cute art in our home. (Except of course, the art my mom does with the kids – that stuff rocks).

Yesterday I overheard some parents at Savannah’s gymnastics class. They were talking about forcing their kids to sit quietly for an hour so they could take a nap. They looked young and capable and energetic. If they need a nap… my nearly 50 year old body said to me, you should definitely take one.

So I did. I went home with Savannah after class, I told her we were going to have some cuddle time. We both fell asleep and I savored the feel of her warm little body next to mine.

The dishes stayed undone.

The bills stayed unpaid.

Friends, when I get out of bed every morning, I fall on my knees and beg God to live, love and serve through me.

He does. But even God has limits with what he can do with this crochety old body.

This season of life, my kids and their unique needs, the meltdowns, the chaos, the laughter, the noise… I literally could not do it without him, and even so, still mess up with him.

There is a lot that stays undone.

And that’s why I’m writing this – first, may this serve as a blanket apology for the ways in which I may have let any of you down. I don’t mean to, I will get better – yeah, not really. I probably won’t get better – I just ask for your forgiveness. And for those who think I’m a little unrealistic on my warm fuzzy posts, just know that in the midst of my chaos – I need to write them. I need to focus on the good, highlight the joyful. I love to celebrate those sweet, beautiful moments – and thank God for them – because that sustains me in the midst of the meltdowns, the weariness and the weakness.

Because the beauty makes it all worthwhile.

And in that beauty I see our God.

Who loves me. Who loves you.

I may not be enough.

But he is.

And he will ultimately see us through it all.

Don’t Mess With My Boy!

It happens nearly every time I give the boys a bath.

Lovence and Laurentz spend 30 minutes laughing, splashing and playing make believe – Laurentz lines up his plastic animals and squirts them with water, Lovence takes his toy trucks and gives them a thorough washing before driving them up and down the edge of the tub. Then we condition hair, wash up all the important parts and they climb out of the tub, one at a time, to get on lotion and jammies.

I’m not sure why it happens then, maybe because Lovence (our non-verbal, special needs son) feels safe in that vulnerable moment, but it’s then that he will hit the counter and then look at me. It’s the same thing, the same routine every time.

He hits the counter. He shakes his hand and scowls, pretending he’s hurt, “Ow!”

I look at the counter and sternly reprimand it. “Don’t you do that! Don’t mess with my boy!”

Lovence laughs his deep belly laugh. We both look at the counter and then he nearly says it. “Gettouttahere!” as he points in the other direction. “Get out of here!” I say. “Don’t ever hurt my boy again!”

Lovence smiles and wraps his arms around me, burying his head in my shoulder.

Then again.

Smack the counter. “Ow…” in his low guttural voice.

I jump in. “Hey counter, stop it! Don’t mess with my boy!”

Laugh, laugh, laugh.

“Getouttahere!” He says.

“Yeah, get out of here!” I say.

Laugh, laugh, laugh. Bury head in my shoulder.


It brings tears to my eyes. Lovence has known trauma. He’s been hurt in ways I can’t begin to imagine. And in those little moments after bath time, in those sweet connections, I am there in his memories. I’m stepping in and saying “No! Don’t you dare mess with my boy!”

And he is grateful.

While I am humbled.

I remember my mom talking with someone who had experienced huge trauma in her childhood. “Take Jesus back to that memory. Imagine him there. What would he have done?”

“He would have taken me by the hand and got me out of there,” She said in a trembling voice, “He would have brought me to a safe place.”

“Can you let him do that now?” My mom said. “Let him take that little girl out of that pain, away from that memory. He will ultimately make all things right, He will exact justice. But will you let him take you by the hand and make it right for you now?”

Because He does that with us. “Ow…” our hearts say. Low, Gutteral. Hurt.

“Get out of here!” He says. To the pain, to the loss, to the abuser, to the destructive memories. And He wraps his arms around us.

And our healing comes. Because our defender is near. We tuck our head into his shoulder.

And finally, we laugh.