Last night I fed this to my children while they watched shows on their Kindles:
What you are seeing is a PBJ on a hot dog roll, barbecue chips, and gummy bears. My younger daughter was still hungry and finished the rest of our turkey lunch meat by eating it directly from the container while she watched other little girls play with their dolls on Kid’s YouTube.
KEEP ON MOVING WITH YOUR JUDGEMENTS AND DROP THEM OFF SOMEWHERE ELSE.
My husband is away this week, and has our oldest with him. He’s our middle school pastor and she’s part of the youth group. They’re doing some great work in a community a few counties over. Our younger two are in a local day camp that is keeping them busy! While they’re gone, I’m cleaning out part of our basement. It’s huge, and when we moved in here three years ago so much of our stuff was just dumped down there. Three years later, I have the time to work on it. But all of this is making me tired!
Last night we had about an hour at home between day camp and our 9 year old’s soccer practice so I decided to let them full on crash. A mom’s gotta do what a mom’s gotta do, you know? The kids thought they had won the lottery when I let them have their food in the living room WITH A SCREEN. I got so many hugs and I love you’s.
Here’s the thing… I’ve come to realize that there will be days when the kids eat junk and watch more tv than usual, and these days do not need to cause a spiral into the pool of mom guilt that I would eventually drown in. We still only allow trace amounts of red dye in their diets so I feel like I’m winning at something. (If my kids ever call fruit punch “The Devil’s Juice” around you, please don’t be offended.)
I’ve reached this point in life-maybe because of the age of our kids, maybe because I got help for depression, entirely because of Jesus-where I have dropped so much of the shame that used to be my constant companion. I used to say I didn’t care what people thought but oh my goodness I absolutely cared. So much. I hid from friendships because I figured if someone really knew me they wouldn’t like what they saw. But God has given me freedom-and it’s been the journey of many years- that has allowed me to drop this stuff.
We have a bird-feeder in front of our house. My dad built it. It’s tall and sturdy and cemented into the ground. It’s not going anywhere. He put white PVC pipe around the thick metal pole the feeder sits on so that squirrels don’t climb up and eat the seeds. I put cooking spray all over that PVC pipe so that the squirrels, when they try to climb up, just slide right off. The food meant for the birds stays safe, and the squirrel goes away for awhile.
Sometimes shame is like that squirrel, trying to climb back up and take what is meant for good. I don’t let it win, though. I don’t coat myself in PAM, but I do guard myself with God’s word. I guard myself with vulnerable and transparent relationships, my husband first of all. I guard myself with service, because seeking to serve others is a quick way to get over yourself. I am aware of shame, that squirrelly pest. But I do what I need to do to keep it at bay.
Tonight we’re having sweet and sour chicken for dinner (THANK YOU HELLO FRESH). The kids who have not bathed since Monday will get bathed. (But isn’t swimming in a pool basically a bath? Asking for a friend. Nope. Actually, asking for me.) I might play a game or even do a craft (gasp!)-we don’t have any other plans. But it doesn’t mean I’m a better mom tonight than I was last night, with the Kindles and lunch meat out of the container for dinner. It means it’s what I can do tonight.
Do what you can do today, with great love for God and your people. That’s a great plan, right there.