When life gets messy

I returned from a 4-day business trip last night.  My parents and niece graciously moved into our home and took the challenge to sustain life for 3 little people and 2 dogs.  That’s no small challenge.

Just before these sweet people literally ran out of my front door, my mom said “sit down, I need to tell you about what happened at daycare while you were gone.”  So I braced myself.  “Baby girl was on the playground, hiding in the castle… and when they found her… she had been playing with poop.”

NOOOOO!  Please no!  I’m not ready for this! This can’t be my life.

Y’all… life gets messy. It happened again this morning.  She came to me, “mommy look!” showing me her dirty hand.  What is it???  “It’s poop mommy!”   NOOOOOOOO!  How can this be happening?  I.can’t.handle.this.

“I sorry mommy. You ‘give me mommy?”  (You forgive me?)

March was a messy month.  There are various factors that came into play but as I reflect on all I walked through, it’s a lot like stepping in poop.   {I literally hate that word.}

In the midst of all the messiness I have recognized key things in my life and had to make choices to live in authenticity, embrace the pain, suffering, crucifixion and death so that I can fully experience the beauty of resurrection, life and glory.

What does that look like in my life?

We were married 10 years before we jumped into this form of parenthood.  I would say we have a pretty solid marriage.  But there is something about parenting that reveals so much more…  and after 2 years in the pressure of parenting children from hard places, this lady started cracking.

I am convinced marriage has to be the most vulnerable relationship we will ever experience, if you have the joy of experiencing it.  Parenting is a close second, but marriage takes the cake.

A few weeks ago a perfect storm formed and I took a hit (metaphorically) that knocked me off my feet.  Through a series of circumstances what started as a small difference of perspectives gradually grew from a snowball, to a snowball fight, to what felt like an emotional avalanche…. and there were about to be casualties.

But I had a choice to make…

When I am hurt, deeply hurt, my natural instinct and desire is to strike back, cause pain, punish, make sure the other person hurts at least as much, if not more, than I do.  I know, that’s not pretty… and certainly not what you expect from me 😉  but it’s true.  Deep down there’s this crazy little Mexican lady in me that is fierce and wants to fight back.  When I see her fight coming on strong I have to stop and understand what is really happening here.

In the messiness of my pain  I had to consider what kind of woman I want to be.  What is at stake here?  in the woman I want to be, in the wife I want to be and in the mother I want to be?        Everything.

As we authentically walked through the conflict I had to truly own my story.  What was I hearing and believing through these circumstances that made me feel so strongly?  My feelings don’t matter.  I am alone.  Everything is always going to fall on me.  I can do this, I don’t need you.

Friends, these aren’t easy things for me.  As I began to reflect on these more, knowing these aren’t the truths of my reality, I began to uncover distortions that I was operating out of.

When we stepped into fostering, I did so in such a calculated way so as to make sure that it wouldn’t be more than I could handle.  Remember? 1 child, aged 5-10… I could reasonably handle that.  But God, in all his funniness, gave me 3 children, under the age of 3…. and I seriously tried to live life as if it wouldn’t change anything.   In my mind I have tried to walk this out in such a way that nothing else in my life had to “give”.  I tried to absorb 3 children without dropping any other balls.

If I work 8 hours a day, there are clearly 16 more hours to parent, cook, wife, clean, Bible study, be a friend, daughter, sister and sleep.  I CAN do this!  God wouldn’t have asked me to if I couldn’t, so I gotta do it.

Through tear filled eyes I shared with my husband how hurt I had been and how through all these circumstances these are the things I was believing, and this is why I was acting like a crazy person.  I can do it all…. but I don’t want to do it all by myself.

{disclaimer, I have an incredibly helpful husband… my feelings had very little to do with his contribution or a lack of… it had everything to do with lies I was believing and how evil hunts me.}

A wise woman, mother of twins, gave me advice this weekend – get as much help as you can afford.  Let people help you.  Take care of you.  This will let you be a better mother, wife and person.

These are life-changing realizations for me.  So much of my own distortions are based in a need for control.  But my control is not helping anything.

What’s my biggest learning point here?  Conflict.  In life, in relationship, in community,  we are going to experience pain.  People we love most may very well be the ones that cause it.  We are fallen, sinful people; there’s no way around it.  The choice is yours – will you embrace it and grow or will you withdraw, strike back and punish? Or will you enter it, muck around and discover what’s really going on here?  There is fruit in the perseverance, there is growth and in the end, there is glory.

The hardest thing I did was sit down and say, I am hurting, and you are a big reason why.  Everything in me wanted to hurt him back, but he wasn’t the real enemy.  I had to risk my own heart, not knowing how he would respond, and offer to show him my pain.  By God’s grace, he was able to respond with love, owning his part in my pain and talking through how we could grow and do life differently.

I have experienced so much freedom just from realizing what I was believing and owning that this is not at all what I expected my life to look like.  There is more poop than I ever thought possible!  Even in all this messiness, through all of it, God is revealing his glory.

I thank you friends for the many ways you support us.  Your prayers, your faithful covering and making us laugh are what gets us through everything.  We still don’t have an update from our recent “big thing” we asked you to pray for.  I promise you, you will know as soon as we do 🙂

Thanks for being a part of this crazy story-of-a-girl. Here’s a glimpse of my heart’s song for today:



2 thoughts on “When life gets messy”

  1. Your an amazing woman who took on a huge responsibility, your doing and amazing job and as a mom I can tell you that the days of feeling like you can’t do it come and go. Gosh I remember several times thinking the same things you are. Keep God in your heart and he will lead you in the right direction in life, through all life’s challenges and through all life’s happiness! You got this!! I’m praying for the right judgement on the last big thing that’s happened, you know that God knows what’s best for those sweet girls and that’s you and Daniel. Love ya lady! Keep your head up high and know that your doing a great job juggling all that life has given you!


  2. what a brave girl you are..you and daniel are always in my prayers.so are the girls.. i love you all …yes, we are covering you in prayer. you two are doing great…….i love you sandy


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