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Today, I want to say NO to :

vacuuming up tiny little pieces of paper that Finley felt needed to be made.

spending literally hours finding and matching flip flops that my 5 children have left outside in the most random of places.

crawling on my belly looking under couches and beds for the wii remotes.

registering shock and disgust when I find old milk bottles during the wii remote hunt.

sorting the laundry and figuring out new ways of stain removal.

loading the dishwasher at least 3 times and being creative on ways to cram more dishes into it.

cooking healthy, colorful meals that make me feel like a good mom.

being concerned when I find money, crayons, matchbox cars, popcorn and a stick in John Bridge’s diaper.

And I want to say YES to :

playing outside all day.

watching Donut Man as many times as they want to.

putting make-up on Fin and letting her imagination run wild.

thawing out pb&j sandwiches that are full of gross preservatives but the kids love them.

building a tent fort instead of nap time.

knowing that one day of wearing the same clothes won’t hurt anyone.

letting the kids help me with dinner and not act like it’s putting me out or going to make a mess.

Messes can be cleaned up. Clothes can be washed. Floors can be vacuumed. Bleach hides a multitude of sins. Magic Erasers are heaven sent. But my house and things? They will fade away. (Regardless of how clean it was.)

The little hearts of my babies? They are eternal! The memories I make with them carry over to adulthood. Do I want them to remember me as a mom who told them “no” when I could’ve said “yes”, but it was too inconvenient for me? Do I want them to resent me because I didn’t just let them be kids?
Do I want them to struggle with insecurity and self worth because I made their little lives performance based? Do good and I will love you more?

absolutely not

Christ loves me in spite of my performance! Jesus died so I wouldn’t have to spend the rest of my life trying to live up to a standard that I could never meet. He did it because He loves me. He allows me to mess up and learn from it because He loves me. He waited patiently for me to realize that I needed Him and no one else. That His way was the best way and apart from Him, I am nothing.
He was the one that gave me children. Not to keep hidden in my perfectly clean house, but to send out to our community with hearts full of Jesus.

He loves me

I want my children to see me as a mom who loves God, adores their dad, loves and protects them and cherishes the little things.
The wilted weeds that are given to me with all the presentation of a dozen roses.
The hugs from boys who have been outside all day and smell like puppies.
The light in sisters eyes because she looks in the mirror and loves what she sees.
The sticky kisses that cover my face and leave me smelling like pb&j.

This is what I live for.

He loves me. And I love them.