This week turned sickly and dim for our entire family of seven. We all dropped at the same time and well…we know what happens when momma is sick in the middle of everyone else. Let’s leave it at – Jesus help.
Signs of life returned just in time to make my big escape. I loaded up the toddler monkey and off we went in search of blue sky and sunshine.
We rounded the corner that led to Sonic’s Happy Hour. Ahhh the relief that a calm mini van and fresh air ushers in!
With my sweet tea/lemonade in hand, some good-for-the-soul music playing, and the little guy contained in his car seat…I was well on my way to serenity now.
We made our way out to the country road and I had this childhood flashback of my own mom loading us kids up and taking a drive.
It was in the back seat of my mom’s powder-blue Buick station wagon where I learned the ways of Sandi Patty.
My momma was an on-the-go woman and nothing stopped her from jumping in the car and hitting the road. My sister and I would make our requests from the back while mom sang her ever loving heart out. We wore that tape out y’all.
As far as I can remember, we WERE Sandi. I just knew that she would approve of all our harmonizing and hitting of the high notes.
I had no idea as a young elementary girl, that those long drives or the words my mom blasted from the cassette player would become such consistent strength to me. I don’t really think she did either.
Her heart found hope and maybe even some escape in the singing and in those words. It was her way of connecting with Jesus and without her knowing it, she was teaching us girls in her own way, what trusting God looked like for her.
I don’t remember having many life altering conversations about God growing up but I knew He was there. I can’t really pass the blame on that one because… that wasn’t something passed down to either of my parents.
But in her best way possible, she did what she could to lead us to the God of the universe, whose ways were higher than both hers or ours.
Some things are surprisingly influential aren’t they?
My mom didn’t “plan” to teach us in those moments. Honestly, she was just living. She wasn’t perfect in her mothering…but she loved big, protected us with her very life, and showed us comfort when hurt.
As I was driving my own little one around, I became very aware that the time we invest as moms will not be wasted. Even the small moments. Especially the routine, non-fireworks kind of living.
The carpool lines.
The watching ball games.
The talking at the kitchen counter.
The chatting about music.
The cleaning up house.
The grocery shopping.
The reading stories.
The feeding meals.
The school projects (heaven help us).
All. Of. It. Matters.
The day to day comings and goings are the very places we get to show where our hope is stacked. My imperfect moments do not overshadow my picture-perfect mothering.
My kids need to see a mom who needs help, not a mom who appears to have all her ducks lined up in instagram form.
What a disservice, when we offer false reality to our kiddos…this will not play out well when they get married and understand the harsh realities of day to day life. They just might hate us for it.
Your kids aren’t looking for what to do, they are watching for how to do it and why.
Of course I’ve had moments of wishing my childhood did or didn’t include certain chapters…but God has used every element in my life to His glory.
That flashback of me being the one in the back seat as my own mom took a break and drove around, reminded me of the importance not in perfection, but in connection.
God can and will use our tiny and extravagant mothering efforts to show His loving hand…especially if those efforts include Sandi Patty from the back seat of the family Buick.
You just never know what memories will be etched in the hearts of your kids, so live life in a way that includes them in the seemingly dull and “fill up the time” spaces.
Those might be the moments when they experience genuine hope for the years to come.
This article originally appeared at Jenny Howell’s blog.