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Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Dropping the Ball

One morning last week, I sat down at my computer and discovered the following note left on my keyboard by my 7 year old:

That would be my first grader actually writing a note reminding me to pick her up from school. As if I could ever forget her. I would never do such a thing!

Wait. Would I???

When I first read this little note, I laughed out loud. As you can see, I even took a picture of it for posterity. But as the day wore on, it started to bug me. Seriously… WHY did Madeline leave me this note? Have I really been that scatterbrained recently?

I am learning that one of the greatest challenges of having a large family is coordinating everyone’s schedules. My children are young, Madeline is the only one in school, we keep the outside activities to a bare minimum...but it’s always a three ring circus around here.

All of the coordination we do -- carpools, birthday parties, swim lessons, one-on-one time with each child – it’s like putting a puzzle together. A really complicated, 1,000 + piece puzzle.

The busier we get, the more reality hits: I just can’t do it all. I can’t be five places at once. In fact, I can’t even be two places at once. I cannot have two sincere conversations at the same time. I can’t solve two multi-piece problems at the same time. I can’t be completely present with two children at once.

I might as well face it – sometimes I’m going to let people down.

Sometimes I intentionally let the ball drop – in the sense that I make a conscious decision NOT to do something. Not to be somewhere. Not to return an email. Not to answer the phone. Because I need to guard my time in order to be somewhere else or to be with some ONE else.

And then there are times that I just drop the ball. Life gets crazy. Details are left off of my calendar, an unread email is marked as “read,” or a voicemail is deleted before I've even listend to it. It is amazing how one little, forgotten detail can completely wreak havoc on a well-planned day.

And when I mess up, sometimes it hurts feelings. Somtimes tears are shed. Sometimes I feel like a really rotten mom, wife, friend, sister, daughter and so on.

But I’m human – I’m flawed and I’m sinful and sometimes that's life. I break promises, I make commitments I cannot keep and fairly often, I just forget things.

But I rest in this: "God is not a man, that he should lie, nor a son of man, that he should change his mind. Does he speak and then not act? Does he promise and not fulfill?" -- Numbers 23:19

People will fail us. But our God will never let us down. He'll never make a promise He can't keep. He'll never bite off more than He can chew. He can be an infinite number of places at once and He can talk to all of us and deal with all our problems and bear all our burdens at the same time. Because He's God. How grateful I am for that.

I also rest in this... when I do mess up, there is grace. There is forgiveness. And every morning we get to start a new day and try it all over again.

The same child who left me the reminder note at the top of this page drew this picture for me yesterday:

You are my "tresher." That's "treasure" in first grade speak. Wow. I might forget what time I need to pick her up from school...but I'm still her treasure. Rejoice, for His mercies are new every morning.


hnjgregory@gmail.com said...

love this. keep sharing ;)

Mandi said...

ahhhhh, good stuff sister. from one "momma brain" to another, you are an encouragement!

Erin said...

What precious treshers you have. :)

Wild Olive said...

Aw...love that Madeline! I might have to frame that one.

Alison said...


Heather said...

happy tear...

jkseevers said...

love this!! Our kids keep us humble, don't they?

Hoping to meet you next week at Summit.



Christy said...

Have I ever told you about the time that I forgot to pick up Nina at school? She was in first grade and I had 5 kids 6 and under! One of the teachers brought her home for me!! :) SOOO grateful for those 'new mercies', and that his strength is indeed perfected in my weakness! What a great God!!

Connie Miller said...

Such a sweet reminder of what we are and praising of Who's we are....thanks Shelly. (sorry I missed the BD party - had a family event). Hope to see y'all soon.

Kerry Siereveld said...

This post is absolutely fantastic! So thankful for His mercy!

Taryn said...

LOVE this...and I know exactly what you mean...Since Kai has been home and I now have three kiddos, i have missed several dr's appointments...i NEVER used to do this, but i seriously CANNOT keep track...it is crazy, but a good kind of crazy ;)

The Raudenbush Family said...

Hi - my husband and I along with a board of directors just launched a nonprofit last month (The Sparrow Fund - www.sparrow-fund.org) to give grants to adoptive families. We are trying to get adoptive families who blog to post about it to spread the word. If you have any interest, can you email me? We'd love to have you!

Jen said...

love it!

from another CRAZY mama!