My kitchen counters/workspace (for lack of an office) looked like this.....
I couldn't handle it anymore, so I started plucking away, washing dishes, organizing my clutter - really it could have taken me all day. I realized time was getting away from me and dinner was coming, so I took out the pizza dough to rise, and pre-heat the oven. Continuing to clean up my mess, Kaelyn, my three year old yells from the bathroom....uh oh. The clogged toilet had been flushed some time ago and now there was water evvvveryyyywhere. Fun. The big girls hunted down towels for me (hard to find, cuz most are in the middle of being washed) and we managed to mop it up, mostly...until...
...I heard "Mom, Smoke!!!" The oven was pre-heating and something apparently dropped on the bottom the last time I used it, so now our kitchen was not only filled with clutter, but smoke as well. My kids are super freaked out by the smoke detector, so we worked quickly to avoid the crazy loud beeping.
*picture of oven, no smoke....note, oven also needs cleaning* :)
Towels left on the floor (they're actually stilllll on the floor), I went to work on the pizza, attempting to get dinner on the table before bedtime (didn't succeed :) ) Rolling out the dough, as I have many times before, my end result looked like this....
Fabulous. An odd, long pizza with a giant hole in the middle. My patience was done. Nothing was working. I was exhausted, kids are starving....just too much for a tired mom to handle within a few moments after a long day. I almost just took the kids to McDonald's, except we've already been there today.
So, I worked on the dough, trying to shape it into an edible pizza, trying to patch the hole. Ehh, it would do.
Then, I started to spread the sauce. And what I saw, truly brought tears to my eyes.
A heart!! Oh my! ---Literally, a beautiful thing came from my mess of a pizza....and boy did I need to see something beautiful. I was tired, kids fighting in the background, still towels to mop up in the bathroom and don't forget those counters, but the mess of a pizza turned into a heart! Thank you Lord for giving me something beautiful amongst my crazy. How could he turn something so frustrating into something so beautiful?
(Actually, my pizza ended up looking like this since my oldest doesn't like cheese on it :) )
Still beautiful :)
Us moms, we are in the thick of it. Laundry, diapers, potty training, bottles, post-baby bodies, dirty ovens, messy carpets, checkbooks that won't balance, responsibilities, duties.....it goes on and on....and it's all messy. But you know what? Out of the mess is something beautiful! Motherhood really is beautiful - loving these children with a love we never knew we had. Watching milestones come to pass. When they finally sleep through the night, or say "thank you" without being prompted...or that first "I love you, mommy." Ohhh be still my heart. These things come out of our mess and they are beautiful. And furthermore, life is hard - we have pasts, full of hills and valleys....and out of our bruises is God's redemption!! I am forgiven even though I lose patience with my children, even though....lots of things! I am loved, and forgiven for all of it.
This year's theme verse is Ephesians 2:10 -- "For we are God's masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago."
Amidst it all, God has planned GOOD things for me....and I am His masterpiece! - and you are too! :)
This is going to be a truly amazing year at MOPS @ BVG .... I know this because you are all a part of it! And great things are happening! And with a theme like this, that we all can relate to, understand and get behind (we all have messes, yes? .... right?? :) ) I know we are sure to grow on a great journey together this year. I look forward to growing as a woman and as a mother while in community with you.
On your end-of-year evals from May, your #1 Need was "Community" -- I totally get it! I am with you! Mothering is SO much better when we are doing it with others -- with growing friendships and others who help us know we aren't alone. SO many of you talked about loving MOPS because "I know I'm not alone." We need to know that our feelings, and our kids' stories aren't wacky - that someone else understands. I'm so glad you are finding that at MOPS, and I know we will find that again this next year too. One of you asked "Who can come to MOPS?" and if they could invite anyone - YES!!!! Absolutely! MOPS is for EVERY mother of preschoolers, no matter her circumstance, life, beliefs - MOPS reaches every mom because we all need to know we aren't alone!
We are so blessed to be able to open up registration again for this fall. So, if you come across a mom at the park, or at Target, and you love MOPS - tell her about it! We'd love to have her! You can email firstname.lastname@example.org to get registered.
I hope my messy story brought you some relief, to know that you aren't the only one with a messy oven, an overflowing toilet, bickering children, and dinner that just didn't come out quite right. We are in this together, mamas! I love you all! :)