Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Kids, Cracked Pots, and Grace!

3 kids. A completely messy house. Thanksgiving break. AND family coming for the holiday usually equals one horrible day with a mommy losing her cool and only half of the job done.

That was supposed to be Monday.

But Monday was THE best day I've had with my kids in a long long time!

Now, I'm no parenting genius, but I know what works for me.
I dislike cleaning.
A lot.
I only do it because I love what it looks like afterwards!

So... I stacked the deck for myself. :) 

-I prepped their minds for the task as they went to bed the night before.
(Mainly, that PBS wouldn't be on until the job was done.)
-I decided that this could really be fun!
(I didn't dread it with an attitude.)
-I let them stay in jammies.
(who cares what they wear if they're working!)
-I put on upbeat music for dancing purposes!
(They could only dance if they were putting things away :)

It worked!

I should've taken before/after shots of the living room. The dining room table was covered in random bits and pieces from the weekend. Sunday school papers, toys, books, homework folders, backpacks, wii remotes... you get the idea. The living room had landmines of Legos strategically placed for the unassuming foot to find. The kitchen looked like I hadn't had the thought of cleaning it for quite some time. Food/crumbs all over the floor, each counter holding a piece of some meal that was partially cleaned up not to mention piles of dirty dishes - we have 3 sizeable counters... so you do the math. Oh. And the dishwasher was chock-full of clean dishes.

So, with Mandisa, Jamie Grace, and Go Fish pumping through the speakers, we danced and twirled our way to a clean house! Complete with Chloe and Michael asking to vacuum the couches (almost fighting over who gets to do what!). At one point, I almost fainted from the shock of watching Chloe ask Michael if he could get some large thing that couldn't be vacuumed and he obliged without issue! 

It was the greatest day... EVER!  So much so, that I almost forgot about parent/teacher conferences!

Even then, the conferences made for an even better day - more reflective.

Chloe loves to write stories, her vocabulary is enhanced by her love of chapter books, she's using paragraphs when they haven't covered them in class, she's great at math, and has a bestie that her teacher knows better than to seat together. :) I sat there listening, thinking how this little girl is so much like me. And for the first time - I was not beating myself up for my issues but so very proud of her strengths. She's growing and learning! My heart simply overflowed.

Michael's teacher commented how much fun he is to have in class. His huge smile and "willingness to contribute in class" which is to say he loves to talk! He has come so far in the first 3 months of school - reading and learning so much! His teacher  said that when he asks a question he can always count on Michael to have the right answer!! We just chuckled. :) This kid knows so much and loves to share! My heart kept on flowing over...

In case you're thinking this post is a brag on my kids or my parenting, it's not. At all.
Photo courtesy of

This cracked pot has enough cracks that it's obvious it has nothing of its own. It's only (and I mean ONLY) what's God's doing in it. I'm thankful beyond words for the days I described above where things all fall into place, but they can only be appreciated if there are the other "not-so-good" days. You know, the ones when you feel like the worst mother alive... when it's work to believe that there is grace out there for even me.

That's why I can write this.
I'm not boasting. I'm living proof of God's goodness! His grace is big enough for even me! 

Your day may not go so well today, but God's grace is enough for you too. :) Drink deep!

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