Pictures are deceiving, wouldn't you agree? I often envision capturing that perfect moment when Carsyn is smiling at Hank and he is being perfectly still while W and I stare blissfully at the camera with pressed clothing and perfectly applied lipstick. (On me only of course, because W doesn't wear it and Carsyn has yet to learn less is more).
Anyway we were waiting for Hank to finish his bear bait pancake breakfast Sunday morning and I convinced W to get a picture of me and baby girl on the porch. The birds are chirping, the sun is shining and its going to be a good day. I feel it.
I was wrong. Sort of. We head into church with one shoe missing and one button popped off and I remind myself those are unimportant things. We drop Hank off at the nursery and head to sit with our friends. Carsyn is a little ticked she has been torn away from the toys in the nursery but her spirit quickly brightens when we spot Kyria. (Bless you Kyria. I adore you.) We break out the snacks and sing. Things are good.
I turn my shoulder to see Hank coming my way. No surprise. He's going through mommy issues and likes to be on my hip a lot. If you see me years down the road and I walk lopsided you can accredit that to Hank. However my biceps are fairly impressive and you can accredit those to him also. You win some, you lose some.
I think he might be wet or hungry and figure I'll take him out for a bit and mistakenly ask Carsyn to go with us. She's giddy because she thinks she gets to go play in the nursery now. Mom fail # 1. Ever since VBS she thinks church is going to be filled with play and dance. In fact she asks every Sunday if they are going to be singing the wiggle song. Fun times.
Hank is fairly content now that he's united with momma and Carsyn is beyond discontent that she's forced back inside church, torn from blocks and kitchens and books and friends. I make my way back to our seats with Carsyn who is showing signs of a major melt down. I keep trying to explain that church is for listening and not for playtime and she just does not get it. I figure its best we leave.
And in that one moment the tears are welling up in my eyes and I feel like the biggest failure ever. I'm failing my children, I'm failing God. I'm just frustrated. Frustrated my children cannot make it through one Sunday service. Frustrated at myself for even expecting them to. Why should I expect them to sit like grown ups and not make a peep. How am I willing to give up that quickly? What am I teaching them?
As I make my way out the doors my dear friend is in my footsteps. (Hi Susan if you're reading!) And she tells me to get my butt back in there and she's taking Carsyn to the other building for children's church. Carsyn is happy to go and I whip a snack out of my bag for Hank and enter those doors again.
I start listening to this Pastor and funny enough he's talking about "being on the ropes." Do you ever stop to think about what that really means? You see, as I was shuffling Hank back and forth and shoveling blueberry Nutri-grain goodness down his throat I knew exactly what the pastor was talking about. Being on the ropes- the implication of being overcome with weakness and distress. And I thought I was there. I was down for the count; ready to give up, when a sweet friend rescued me.
I am unwilling to give up on the Lord. I am unfaltering in my faith. Unwavering. But, what does it say about me to give up so easily on my children?
Where do you go when you're on the ropes?
Do you come back up swinging, or lay down in defeat?
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