The Butterfly Effect


Today was my scheduled “shave armpits day”.  It didn’t happen.  It didn’t happen because as I was showering, my 2-year-old Curious Kitten crept into the bathroom softly crying in her oh-so-mournful little voice, “pooooooopeeeeee…poooopeeee Mama…”  Rinsing as fast as conditioner in fine hair rinses, I hurried through the rest of the minimal hygiene requirements and attended to a reeking, smushed pile of poo in pretty pink underwear. Trying to hold my pre-coffee patience with a sobbing, writhing, shrieking Wild Cat, I sent earnest prayers that the 3-year-old Man-Child stayed asleep through the ruckus.  And thus started the Day of Trials.

You’ve had those days, right? Start off chin up, determined to accomplish the set goals for the day. Then the kids wake up with needs that don’t fit into The Plan (reference The Morning of Poo). The phone rings with news or needs from others that veer the day in a totally different direction.  The weather doesn’t obey the forecast and so plans for desperately needed fresh air and outdoor revivement are ruined.  Or worse yet, the behavior of the offspring leads one to have to cancel their (and your) anticipated fun. Or you have three more poopy accidents with a devastated little girl who really is trying so hard to be big.

Each new disappointment ripples into greater distress, anger, frustration, and despair.  The once bright day becomes unbearable.  A day of misery instead of a day with promise.  Moments to create those special memories together lost in tears and hurt feelings for all.

So as I write this tonight, in my sweatpants, armpits itching, I’m wallowing in the guilt of situations mishandled, temper blown, and hopes crushed. Today I failed.  I failed to live for my children the persevering love of Christ.  I failed to live the love that says, “Yes, you made a bad choice and this is the consequence for that choice…but I LOVE YOU STILL.”  The love of Christ that grants me forgiveness with another chance to do what is right (I am way beyond that 2nd chance!).  How will my children know the character of our gracious Father, if I choose to live in my emotions, instead of choosing to love them through their own difficulties.

As the Day of Trials fades into the restless night, as I pour my aching heart out to the Lord, begging for forgiveness…asking for strength and courage to love my children through their growing years…those words of forgiveness ring through my soul, “Yes, you made a lot of bad choices today and you suffered those consequences…but I LOVE YOU STILL.”

And so, The Baby dramatically flings her head away from her nursing position, heaves a heavy sigh, smacks her milky lips and my heart breaks just a little more at the fleeting time and the pricelessness of these precious, beautiful moments of motherhood that are so poignant in the face of a Day of Trials.


Help me Father, to cause tomorrow to be a day in which I respond with kindness in the face of frustration, with forgiveness in the face of disobedience, and with love in the face of difficult behavior. Let our family grow in grace, one small choice at a time, to love one another more every day. Because you first loved me, let me choose that same love for my children.

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1 Response

  1. Beautifully written! Bless you for bearing your soul! May God help even those of us with grown children (or no children) to show His love to all we come in contact with throughout each day!

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