We never think we’re going into motherhood with a script, but we are. All of us are. We have a plan that we put into motion, and then life happens. Our scripts get washed down the toilet and we’re left trying to do an improv routine with the props we have left over.
With seven kids, this has happened to me more times than I can even count. There have been times that we think we’re going to make it through the month with the money we have, and then we’re left with five days where we’re all eating beans and rice and producing enough combustible gas to fuel a small community. Life throws us curves all the time! Once, my girls and I took a road trip. We planned it all out ahead of time, but ended up getting lost and freaking out while we are trying to maneuver our big-bottom car through tiny little streets in the middle of the night. It happens to the best of us. We prepare the script, but God takes it in a different direction. The real question is not “how are you going to get back on track,” but rather “what are you going to do with your story?”
There’s a reason I love this picture so much. In fact, I don’t even need the picture because the image is burned into my head. This sweet smile represents what I had pictured when I first started out as a mom. My kids would be all smiles. My house would be all neat and organized. My life would go according to my plan.
But things change. Stupid stuff we never anticipated jumps into the scene and we have a split-second decision to make. Are we going to fight against it or embrace it? This sweet smile belongs to my sixth child, Klara, who was just 18 months old at the time. I had just bought a beautiful potted plant to place in our front room by a window. Well, Klara was in that room and it was awfully quiet…too quiet!
When I walked in, I saw a dreadful sight. Klara had scooped all the dirt out of the plant and tracked it all over the carpet. There she was, sitting on top of the pot! The plant was destroyed, the carpet was a dirty mess, but Klara was all smiles! Here’s the bottom part of the picture:
Yep, she was covered in dirt!
I had a split-second decision to make. Do I repel it or embrace it? It was one of those story-writing moments when your script takes a different turn and you have to decide what to do. I decided it was improv time. I picked her up, gave her dirty face a big kiss, and tossed the plant outside in the woods. I figured there would be a time in my life when I could have potted plants. This wasn’t it. It was my time to have dirty baby piggies and stained carpets.
I wish I could say I’ve always made those kinds of decisions, but I haven’t. There have been times I’ve overreacted and repeled the direction God was leading me. But God is merciful. He has a way of rubbing those rough edges off of us. It doesn’t feel good when your script gets tossed out. But the story God is writing is always so much better.
Please get this down into your spirit. You are living out a story. No one wants to pick up a book about someone’s normal, average, perfect life. There’s nothing there of any interest. No one would want to read about the road trip we took where everything went according to plan, or the months where we had plenty of money to pay for groceries. No one wants to read about the plant that grew nice and big beside the window, and the little kid who always had clean feet. Where’s the action? Where’s the suspense? I guarantee the stories you will tell later in life are about the mishaps, the mistakes, the times when your life took a different direction.
Don’t repel the curve balls. Embrace them.
Jeremiah 29:11 says, “‘For I know the plans I have for you,’ declares the Lord, ‘plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.'”
God’s plans are always bigger and better than our plans. It may not seem like it at the time, but He’s writing a story through your life. Be willing to get in there and get dirty! Do some improv. When things don’t go your way, just consider it a turn in the plot, and be willing to go in a new direction. God will always go with you!
So, what about you? Did you have one of those “mom moments” where expectation and reality clashed big time? Share it, and keep the conversation going! And remember to share this post. There’s a mom out there that needs encouragement; and you may be the one God wants to use for that very purpose…