In addition to the regular routine of getting everyone out the door, this morning also included getting a baby gift wrapped, a fruit tray put together for my son’s Halloween party at school, treats together for his teachers, and getting to work on time to get ready for a meeting and handout Halloween treats to trick-or-treating Day School children. All was going fine, until my son had a meltdown because he thought he was going to get to wear his costume to school today – which he couldn’t. Not to mention the fact that this is the second costume we have bought him. I bought the first, an adorable Dalmatian so he could be Marshall from Paw Patrol (one of his favorite characters), six weeks ago. I was so proud of myself for getting that checked off the list (did I mention SIX WEEKS early?). Then, last week when someone asked him what he was going to be for Halloween, he very emphatically said, “A Knight!” Silly me. I thought it would pass, so I didn’t do anything about it – until it didn’t. Yes, I was at Party City on October 30 looking for a knight costume.
A busy morning at church, I ran to his school at lunch just in time for the Halloween party and two more meltdowns by my child who is normally a happy, easy-going child. We’re not talking just some tears, but rather him holding on to my leg screaming “I want to go with you!” as I’m trying to get out the door. Broken-hearted child. Broken-hearted mommy.
I raced back to the church for a baby shower for Sarah Garza, only to be reminded that this blog was due and I had not written anything. I tipped the adorable cupcakes over and ruined the decorations on several. The stand I had purchased for the cupcakes was chipped. And I was frazzled.
As we celebrated with Sarah and showered her baby with love and excitement, I took a deep breath, looked around the room at my colleagues and friends (and some of their children), and thanked God.
You see, I love that feeling of “having it all together,” feeling like super-mom, super-wife, super-staff person, but the reality is that I rarely get to spend more than a few moments as those people. More often than not I’m just me – the person who wants to do well, but often messes up; the person whose house is usually in chaos; the person who doesn’t just believe in grace but relies upon it daily.
I was thankful because I believe in a God who doesn’t just love me in those brief moments when I think have it all together, but especially when I don’t. I am thankful for a God who understands the human condition, who experienced both the mundane and the holy, who knows feelings of exhaustion when people want “just one more thing,” who experienced both the calm and the chaos. Our God did not remain far removed from creation, but CHOSE to do this. God knows. Furthermore, God remains present with us on our best days and on our worst, and loves us in the midst of it all. I was thankful for the community of friends and colleagues, who “got it,” because they have been there too.
I know that the frustrations of my morning were small in comparison with others that are facing much bigger things. Just this morning in our staff meeting, we prayed for members of our congregation with significant pastoral concerns. As I got back to the office this afternoon, news reports started blowing up my phone that yet another car plowed into a crowd in New York City.
I know these are times when we traditionally look to God and are sustained by our faith; but what about in our daily, mundane, sometimes chaotic lives?
I pray that I am always able to see the sacred, the holy, in the midst of the mundane chaos. The hope of a new baby when I’m in the midst of wrangling a threenager. The grace and forgiveness of others when I have a hard time forgiving myself. The significance of a friend stopping to say, “What can I do to help?” or the blessing of, “I get it.”
And when I can’t, I rely upon you, my faith community, as we journey together in the ups and downs of life, in the mundane as well as the life-changing moments. Thanks be to God.