We strive for clear photos. For capturing perfect sunset moments. We wipe faces and tuck hair and get kids into church clothes at the very last minute.
Now that I have a spitting baby again who I nurse minutes before tucking into his car seat, even I stay in comfy pajamas till the last sensible minute.
We blow through clothes and diapers at a dizzying rate. Baby Landon was on outfit #4 before noon today, so laundry accumulates in landslide speed. Attitudes splash wide over supper dishes and simple chores.
My heart feels weary at saying the same thing a million times, to keep the edge out of my voice. Just as my children struggle to work cheerfully, I battle to keep my heart soft and approachable. Their attitudes and my attitudes land us all squarely on our face in need. Complete need.
We are reaching for character these days. Pulling back the veil on the word “discipline” and staring ugly honest at the attitudes behind actions. It’s not pretty. But oddly, it’s safe.
In these moments of gingerly pulling back the facades over our heart, God never winces. He doesn’t pull away. When I get angry, again, at an attitude in my child, God doesn’t look away and gulp. I fight my tendency to retreat when a child losses control and yells angry words. When I want to run, God stays. He is not afraid of our melt down sessions. His love is not dependent on my behavior. He loves me because He IS love.
“God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” – Romans 5:8
The beautiful thing is that when my kids see me fail, and apologize again, the barrier between us crumbles a bit more. Arm in arm, we are together receiving grace.
We can give grace freely when we see clearly how badly we need it.
This photo was an accident, snapped in the blur of life. Kids feet lost in the swirl around my own. But it is these blurry moments of our days, when needs in our own hearts and those of our dear children, lies naked and ugly, that God IS love.
It is in these moments that He died for us, when we weren’t presentable or photo ready.
We love because He first loved us.
We can pour love on those around us, because we have experienced love in our worst messes.
Everyday and in every moment, underneath are His everlasting arms.