-new every morning-

It’s one of those days.

You know, where three of the kids are going on a field trip and they have to take packed lunches. But last night was so busy that we didn’t plan ahead. They have sandwiches and chips and that’s about it. There are no cold drinks, so we’re frantically mixing gatorade in water bottles and hoping there’s enough ice in there to keep them cool(ish) until lunch. As an afterthought they get peanut butter crackers and pretzels shoved at them – just in case.

And we ran out of milk, so only one kid got cereal the way he wanted it. The others had to experiment with it dry or eat a granola bar or… I have no idea what they ate.

And there’s a school project due that has to be carried safely to the bus without being squished.

And there’s a problem with someone’s shoes. (There’s always a problem with someone’s shoes.)

And one or two of them can’t find clean socks. (This wouldn’t be a problem if the socks had made it into the laundry hamper when they came off their feet. We’re not that behind on laundry.)

And at the last minute, as they’re walking down the driveway and one of them is already on the bus, I remember that I forgot their spending money. Buying things at the gift shop is their favorite part of this trip. I can’t let this slide! So I grab my purse fast, scrounge up some cash, (fortunately there IS some – I need to go to the bank) practically throw it at them and tell them to RUN to the bus.

Then I walk back to the door in complete frustration and irritation, grateful to be rid of them.

And then I think of the stories. You know the ones. A guy dies and the last words his wife/mother/brother/etc. remembers saying to him were angry ones. They’re left with feelings of regret because they said goodbye wrong.

I hate saying goodbye wrong.

Every morning every kid deserves a kiss and an I love you and the feeling that they will be missed while they’re away from home.

But some days perfect mom goes on vacation and it all falls apart. And then I expect the worst to happen. The pessimist in me believes this will be the day they don’t come home again. I didn’t say goodbye right; I sent them off in frustration. That’s going to forever be my last memory with them. Maybe I should follow the bus to the school and make sure they all know I treasure and adore them and can’t imagine my life without them.

But, no. That’s just dumb. I say I believe in Grace, but in this moment I’m wondering if I’ve been lying to myself. Do I really see God as the big, vengeful guy in the sky who’s waiting for me to mess up so he can snatch something precious away from me?

As I walk into the house, my husband is standing there singing a piece of an Andrew Peterson song, looking me straight in the eyes, “…hold up my arms when the battle goes long… when my arms aren’t strong…” And it reminds me of the reality of this whole grace thing. In one of my worst moments, there’s still this wise and kind man acknowledging that I am the person who helps make him stronger. He’s not reprimanding me for starting everyone’s day off wrong.

He’s reminding me that grace exists.


About ruthie.voth

Wife of one, mother of four, friend of many. Lover of details, color, good conversations, finding balance, and being honest. Passionate lover of a well-crafted sentence - even more so if it's witty. Weird blend of cynical optimist. I'm the worst kind of woman. I'm high maintenance, but I think I'm low maintenance. Somehow, people still love me. Must be grace.
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9 Responses to -new every morning-

  1. joanne says:

    I’ll have to hand it to you – you tell it like it is. I hope all are having a good day -mom


  2. By now they should have arrived home and noticed your eyes light up when you first saw them. God’s in His heaven. All’s right with the world.


  3. Uncle Dave says:

    Ruthie, (not for the first time) your blog brings tears to my eyes. Thank you for being real

    Uncle Dave.


  4. Jeannie Smith says:

    Every parent has been there and done that. Most of us just don’t admit it. Thanks for being honest and vulnerable. Love ya.
    Aunt Jeannie


  5. Roy Hunsberger says:

    I love that man and you, too. I have no regrets of entrusting one of my dearest treasures into his care over 17 years ago. Yes, that is an example of God’s wonderful grace – giving you two to each other … and giving you those “frustrating” (sometimes) jewels to tend and care for for a short time. Thanks for the uplifting word for today. Daddy


  6. dchartzler says:

    This is just the way it is! Great job in the telling of it.


  7. linda clark says:

    I love your sentences. They make it easy for me to digest the reality of what you are writing. You are life lived real and God at work in this world. And we so think alike. I always have that rush of feeling after a morning like that and want to follow the bus so i can make sure the goodbye was good- just in case. But then i am reminded- that is not trust. And it is not God. You are an awesome interpreter of the present reality of God.


  8. Roy Hunsberger says:

    As i read your story over again it takes me back over 50 years ago when I was one of those children frustrating my mother so much as she struggled to get us out the door to our bus or school or whatever it was. And I think I knew even then that I really had the best Mamma in the whole world. And deep down, I really knew that she loved me more than any other person in the whole wide world. And you know what? Your kids have probably figured that out already too!


  9. mplum3 says:

    Gosh, truth is powerful 🙂 your honesty is beautiful… You simply amaze me.


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