Wednesday, March 19, 2014

How Fritos Helped Me Yield to God

I started lunch happily sitting around the table with my boys drinking delicious fruit and veggie smoothies that little hands helped make.

Half way through lunch I shut myself in the laundry room and leaned against the dryer eating Fritos between calm-down deep breaths.

Yep, it's one of those days.

I could still hear the one who bugs, bugging, and the one who screams, screaming, and the one who was "frozen" complain about still being freezing.

But I just needed a time out.

The salty indulgence and satisfying crunch helped a little.
The added oxygen was probably good for my brain.

As I took 30 more seconds to just be a-lone (praying no one was knocking the baby out of the high chair or smearing pink smoothie on the walls) I had to wonder...

Am I crazy that this mothering thing can be so hard?

Am I chemically low on patience or creativity or backbone the way some women are low on estrogen or blood sugar? Because that's seriously how it feels sometimes. Feels like no matter how much I plan or purpose, muster or try to master this thing called motherhood, I just can't get it together sometimes.

Without a clear answer as to whether the root of my struggle was grown in the soil of my own self or if it was just in the DNA of the Parenting Beast, I had to get back to the three small breathing beasts in the dining room (and whatever mess had been made in my absence.)

But as I emerged from my hiding place, a different series of questions rose in my spirit.

Where is the beauty, Becky? Can you see it? Are you willing to look?

I'm no stranger to finding unexpected beauty in expectedly ugly places. In fact, I love the search.

Love how a blossom past its prime can still give witness to the perfection of its Creator.

Love how the detested part of a rose bush can still attest to the skill of its Artist.

But it's easy for me to see beauty in God's handiwork of nature.

Easy to see how a grasshopper stuck on stucco might be called gross by some but is gorgeous to its Maker.

Easy to see how ordinary pathway pebbles usually lost underfoot are beautiful beyond their function.

Oh, but what of His handiwork of my nature?
I'd rather brush the ugly parts of my character under the living room rug with the hidden piles of cracker crumbs. I'd rather not focus my macro lens on the sharp or fragile parts of my soul or peer too long at the prickly pieces of my personality that make my own skin crawl.

But God keeps asking, "Becky, where is the beauty in your struggle?"

I answer with more questions:

If there is beauty in the dry and brittle flower,
If there is majesty in the bitter thorns we try to avoid,
Then mustn’t there be value in the dry and thorny moments in my everyday?

If there is wonder in the spindly antenna and spiky insect legs,
If there is goodness in the rocks we oft discard, ignore,
Then mustn't there be purpose in the undesired, not-so-pretty parts of me?

Yes, there must.

If I'm willing to see.
When I'm willing to yield.

We made it through the rest of lunch with chocolate chip granola bars, yelling, apologies, and lots of deep breathing. Noah was the first to finish and got out of his chair (without asking to be excused. sigh.) and came right up to give me a hug. Then he stopped. Sniff. Sniff. Sniffed with his nose right in my face.

 "Mommy, I smell Fritos."


Mindy Rogers said...

one of my absolute favorites of yours Becky! <3

elizabeth said...

I'm next to you at Holley's. I'm way past your age, I'm a "nana", but I sure did love this post!

elizabeth said...

oops! I'm after you at Jennifer's!