Monday, November 26, 2012

People Before Things {Mindful Mothering Mondays}

{Today, as we get acclimated back into normal life, I'm thinking about this post from last year.}

"Jonah, I am helping Ben with spelling.  Can you just go find something else to do?"

Something besides repeatedly sending matchbox cars across the floor, flying with a loud smack into the wall.  I wince each time.  Ben can't concentrate.

"Ok!" he's off and I relax a bit, finish up spelling, load the dishwasher.  Only then do I think hmm, what might he be up to?

Paint.  Blue.  Of the poster variety.  Smeared all over the coffee table.  MY coffee table.  And on the rug, my favorite wool braided rug.

I snapped.  Snatched it all up, and sent him tearfully packing up the stairs.  I scrubbed and mumbled and generally gave into bad behavior that is so hard for me to shake.

As I scrubbed and it seemed that yes, the paint was coming out, I recognized my mistake.

"Jonah?  Can you come down here please?"

He cautiously approached, eyes pathetically tear filled.  My heart shattered and I scooped him up onto my lap and looked deep into those warm brown eyes.

"I'm sorry, babe.  I shouldn't have yelled."

"Did the paint clean up?"  He's worried still about that stupid coffee table, that unimportant rug.  I cringe when I realize its me who has taught him this - that things matter most.

"Yes, honey, but it doesn't matter.  I'm sorry.  Will you forgive me?"

Its so humbling to apologize to one's children.  I'm asking him to set me free.  This Mama needs a full measure of grace.

"Ok Mom.  I love you so much!"

Its only then that I catch a glimpse of his jeans.  His bright blue, wet with paint jeans.

I peel them off, and 10 minutes later I'm vacuuming the rug, thinking I'm done and then - I see it, the rest, all over the couch.

"People before things.  People before things.  People before things."  Its my mantra and my lifeline.  It keeps me sane, it keeps me seeing what matters and what doesn't, the self sermon that just might stick if I say it enough.  I get the upholstery cleaner and go to town, but ghosts of the stains remain.  Bright blue.  I just keep chanting.

Maybe it is easier for me, with my second hand furniture, to let it go.  Its still hard.  But even if that $150 second hand couch had cost me $10,000, really, does that matter more than this little heart I just squished like gum under my shoe?

If I really put people before things, before all things.  If I had a heart that loved even in the messiest situations. If I could see once and for all that my anger and uncontrolled tongue is much much uglier than blue smears on my couch.

Maybe then I wouldn't have to chant it loud.  Or write it on the chalkboard.  Or keep that snippet of paper in my pocket, words burning into my fingertips.

People, ALWAYS, before things.

{And later on, I see it - paint blue, the color of Advent.  Perhaps the best way to celebrate Christmas is in putting people before things.}


{It's Mindful Mothering Mondays, a day to take a deep breath and write out your mothering journey, whatever form it takes. A day to link up for encouragement from others who are in this same phase of life. A day of writing out the trials and triumphs and what you're learning right where you are, right now.

You might post recent struggles or thoughts. Maybe just a picture or a quote. Or maybe you'll just come here and read the links that others post. Whatever form your participation takes, this is a day for you.
We are all in this, together. Together, we can encourage and build one another up, be honest with our shortcomings and strengthened by community to keep fighting the good fight.

I chose Mondays because what Mama doesn't need a little encouragement on a Monday? As such, I'll have the link up ready to go on Sunday night for you to begin submitting your links.

I hope you'll meet with me each Monday! Here's what to do ~

Link up your post below. Remember to put the link to the exact post you want to link, and not just your blog url. Include in your post a link back here so others who want to join in can find us! And visit some other Mamas who have linked up.

Post the community graphic within your post, so people who are reading your Mindful Mothering post can come back here and find the rest of us!

Invite the writers of your favorite blogs to join in!

Share this meme with others on facebook and twitter. This community is for all moms, and the more that participate, the more we will be able to enjoy!!}

Grab the graphic here:

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  1. Thank you for your honesty and encouragement! I always savor your posts in the early morning hours or late night hours with a cup of tea or coffee. They're my special treat for the day. Blessings to you and your family Lydia! :)

  2. I had a moment like this yesterday. I had worked for a while to get my teething, overtired baby to sleep when, just as I laid him down, I hear big brother yell for me. He walks in the room and, in a regular voice, starts asking for this and that. It seems when the day does not go with my expectations I tend to let it get to me. I feel that it is right for kids to see that parents are in need of forgiveness sometimes too. If we can humble ourselves enough to show them. Glad I'm not alone!!


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