I sprinkled cumin, garlic salt and pepper over three cans of beans, a can of green chili and enchilada sauce and mixed it all with ground beef. I chopped a bit of onion and cilantro from veggies that had about one day of life left. When the family started asking “what’s for dinner?” I quickly made up a name: Green Chili Stew because that sounded a lot better than MOMMA NEEDS TO GO GROCERY SHOPPING. I topped each bowl with the last of the cheese and called everyone to dinner.

It was a lazy Saturday, they are few and far between theses days. The day had been perfect so far, so I hopped on Facebook to say so.

And then while carrying hot bowls to the table, my husband dropped my daughter’s soup on my cute kitchen rug; it splattered in a thousand directions, even reaching the paper leaves of our thankful wreath. My mouth gaped as green juice seeped deep into the cream of my rug. She snapped at him, I snapped at her, things went downhill from there. By the time we’d recovered stray beans on the floor and picked melted cheese from the rug, I wasn’t that hungry.

Or that thankful.

The stew was good, the tension wasn’t. We ate a hurried meal and I asked everyone to clean up while I went to go print my grocery list, knowing I couldn’t scrape another good meal from our bare pantry.

From my desk, I could hear the scrabbling, the picking, arguing about who was doing more or less or not enough.

I jumped up and stormed into the kitchen, “What is going on?”

And then the barrage of excuses and complaints and “he did this” and “she did that.” Something in me snapped.

“Stop it!” I yelled. “Quit fighting. Why can’t you get along?” and it went downhill from there.

Sometimes family life is like popcorn. It’s fun and harmless until it piles up and covers you.

I ranted. I complained. I did all the things I tell them not to do.

And then I started crying. It wasn’t a manipulative move to get their attention either, it was just one of those moments when the popcorn was covering me and I recognized my own sin, while pointing out theirs, I was also thinking about my WHAT A PERFECT DAY lie hanging out on Facebook. My husband and youngest entered the room and we all ended up sitting down for a long, but good impromptu family meeting.

This mom stuff is so hard.   [Let’s all take a deep, cleansing breath together.]

Most days I feel like I’m still in the parenting classroom, learning how to pick battles, let my kids work out their problems and flick off popcorn. It’s easy to fall into the role of chief herder, correction officer as a momma.

What started out as a great day, suddenly wasn’t, but ended up being better than I thought. Sitting down and talking it out is healthy, so is asking for forgiveness. I love my little family and I’m so thankful for them on the perfect and not-so-perfect days.

Oh, and them grabbing hands in this picture (without being told to?)




  1. 1


    Wait, are you sure you weren’t in my house yesterday describing our evening scene? No, I guess not, because my husband is out of town so it would have been oldest daughter who spilled the soup and our meal consisted of the kids splitting the last 3/4 cup of couscous in the pantry and some random chopped veggies… and then the things I put on my facebook wall most have been incredibly pitiful because I had 2 friends call and offer to bring us food… Fun times and you worded the emotions that go along with the journey so well!

  2. 4


    Sounds like every house in America.

    My own “happy” family can get down & dirty with disagreements!

    I <3 forgiveness & the redemption that follows it.

    I'm giving away a McDonald's giftcard at my blog! I'm celebrating 1000 posts! Woohoo!

  3. 5


    This weekend I had the opportunity to speak at a women’s conference our church was hosting. I talked about the Myth of Today’s Woman. One thing I pointed out was that what we see in a person’s life is just a moment – esp. online. We all struggle – some times with different things, because we’re different but we all struggle. And guess what? God loves us – struggles and all. It’s funny how God will use those struggles to keep us humble.

    Thanks for sharing!

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