It's like a page out of Thomas' Snowsuit - you know, the Robert Munsch book about the kid who gets wrapped in layers, goes outside, throws one snowball, then yells that he has to go pee.
Only in my case, it's not pee with my bundled-up three-year-old. It's poop. Every day I ask him if he has to go. He says no. I wrap him up in his snowsuit, he exits the door for about 5 milliseconds, then races in crying because he's desperate to make it to the potty in time. It's a flurry of mittens and neck warmers and hats - and most days, he makes it.
But on this particular one, he doesn't.
And I'm sitting there on the floor with him, all 38 weeks of my pregnant self, my womb aching from rushing to get the potty and now there's poop on the floor and on my hands and we're both crying, and somehow the cat has gotten in the house.
Yeah. Those are the moments (and trust me, there have been a lot of them, the more pregnant I become with my third child) that I beg God for Me Time. Mommy Time. 5 Minutes of Peace. Is that too much to ask?
My friend tells me about a family from her neighborhood whose house burnt down in a fire - and they weren't able to make it upstairs in time to reach their four oldest kids. Four boys. Now in heaven.
It's the hardest thing I've ever heard. I just weep and weep. Some things are too much and this feels like one of them.
No mother should have to outlive one of her children, let alone four.
And I want to cling to every single one of my children's moments, good and bad, long and short, messy and smudged with kisses, because I'm never going to look back and miss that Mommy Time. I won't even remember the Mommy Time. But I'll remember them. Their little arms wrapped fierce around my neck. My eldest gently touching my womb saying, "I'll protect you." My youngest exclaiming, "Mommy, I love you so, so, so, so much" - his arms extended wide.
Some moments feel like eternity, the ones in which we're so exhausted we can't think of a kind thing to say, moments that find us unraveled on the floor with poop on our hands. But what if we were to actually invite eternity into those moments?
What if, instead of lamenting how little "Me Time" we have, and resenting the ones who stand in the way of that Me Time (the amazing little human beings whom we'd give our lives for, whom we GIVE our lives for), we asked God to give us an eternal perspective? So we no longer see the mess, but the glory too?
So we no longer see a three year old in a snowsuit, but rather, the man he'll one day become? The warrior, the courageous pilgrim, the tender heart?
Another friend of mine says it like this:
"As a mom, I am learning what it's like to live for eternity because nothing is mine anymore! We resist it so often, searching to create 'me time' or 'boundaries,' but I am coming to a realization from our Gentle Father that it is the very moments, days, weeks, etc that are so full we feel like we don't even know ourselves anymore, that are leading me into an eternal way of living...preparing me for heaven when none of what I feel I must cling to on this earth will matter. All this giving away of self to the seemingly thankless mundane, it is really His gift - His way of preparing us to RECEIVE all of Him! "
Heaven is real, friends. We just need to invite the kingdom into the everyday-ness of our home. To allow bad to be redeemed, and hurts to be forgiven, and laughter to outlast the tears. To pull close, more than we push away.
Don't get me wrong. I still want Mommy Time. But I no longer need it.
No, I just need Jesus.