Wednesday, 7 November 2012

a hockey mom's laundry room

WHAT WAS I THINKING WHEN I  SAID "YES" TO CARING FOR THE JERSEYS?  REALLY????  Could no one have reminded me that my laundry room is a disaster at the best of times??  That I'm constantly tripping over misplaced shoes which suddenly went from a manageable size 6 (small trip) to a ridiculous men's size 11 (large trip and almost fall) and every other size in between??  That huge storage bins, ten gallon paint cans, smelly hockey jerseys and other assorted hockey equipment would occupy all floor space?  That the washer and dryer would become convenient although INaccessible storage for multiple random items such as Halloween makeup, 2 loaves of bread, recently worn hats, gloves and ski pants, toilet paper (?what), empty laundry detergent containers..... ???? 

Stuff is spilling out everywhere.

Oh.....isn't that the story of my life?  Of so many of our lives?  No matter how hard we work to pull it all together, contain it, control it, manage it........or AT LEAST TRY TO MAKE IT LOOK THAT WAY, so many of us are just one busy weekend away from having it spill out everywhere.

And it spills not just from our laundry rooms. If only it was that simple?  

Too often the spilling comes from a more private place --messier than my laundry room, at times, although much less obvious.  It's my soul I'm talking about.

I get overwhelmed by the schedule, sprinting to and from the car with arms full, and phones ringing, and kids hollaring "where's my....." and low gas tanks, and sticky-notes on my steering wheel, and printed schedules that were here a minute ago, and the whistle of incoming texts, and police with photo radar giddy at the thought of speeding moms just like me who are about to crest the next hill and help them meet their daily quota.

It's all a little too much at times......and when the spilling begins, it is ugly. My voice gets too loud.  My pitch gets too high.  And every wrong my children have ever committed replays through my mind in fullscreen, HD.  The long list of frustrations and wrongdoings (that were supposed to be forgiven long ago) begin spewing from my lips --lips that are meant to share encouragement, love, gentle correction, and healing kisses.  

I rant until their ears are closed and mine are suddenly open --open to the accusing voice that always follows, silently yelling words like "shame" and "failure." It is not the voice of my Soul's Savior, who loves and corrects me all in the same, gentle breath.  

So I have a choice.  Right there, in that moment.  I can slump my shoulders and sink into the miserable shame and guilt that steals joy, grace and second chances.  I can turn a sharp tongue to my own soul and batter it with those words we mother's often tell ourselves: "you're a brutal mom; what kind of example are you? When will you ever get it right?......."  

Or, I can choose Him....GRACE and TRUTH and LOVE.  Grace says that there is always forgiveness.  Truth says that I am broken, like the rest of the world, and need healing.  Love says that I can be free from guilt and start again.  

So today I choose well.  I take a deep breath, humble myself, and ask for forgiveness.  I'm convinced that my children are God's secret agents, for every time I humbly ask their forgiveness, they  throw wide their arms and embrace me with unconditional, unreserved love.  They promise me that I can make mistakes too, and that they will always love me, no matter what....Oh, they remember!  Could it be that I really have taught them well...that I really have modelled it to them, no matter how feebly?  That they've come to understand what God has whispered to me and I have whispered to them from their infancy: "I will always love you.  No matter what!"

Next time you are faced with the choice, I hope you choose Grace, Truth and Love.    xoxo

photos and text © melody armstrong


  1. Incredibly beautiful and transparent. I'm so very, very glad you are not perfect and that you post bad hair pics and laundry room pics!! Thank you for asking your children for forgiveness and putting that out for others to pick up. Luv you so much! xoxo Jo-jo

  2. Dear Jo Jo - thank you! With many loving thoughts of you these past couple days especially, it was such a treat to see your comment here. Love, love, love YOU.


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