Tuesday, February 16, 2010


It was one of those days.

The snowman figurine dashed to the floor, one mittened arm lying broken, bent just the way flesh and bone would be, she thought, and Mama sadly scooped it up with her hands. She whose long blonde hair spun as she twirled and caught the snowman and sent him to his fate stood to the side, her hand covering a muffled, I'm sorry, Mama.

And from her knees, Mama smiled and said, You are more important to me than this snowman, precious! It's all right- let's see if we can fix it!

But before long (less than ten minutes), and not very far away (about ten feet as the crow flies), came another shattering sound. And this time, a ceramic mama holding her baby close lay in ruins, head and body severed cruelly; even the soft carpet couldn't save her. The flesh and bone mama knew there was no repairing this one, no- but before her heart ran away with her thoughts, there was a touch on her shoulder, and a sniffle. I'm sorry, Mama!

And the mama turned and pulled gangly four-year-old, all legs and angles and shoulders, into her arms and said gently, and with a smile, It's all right, Eliana. I love you more than this piece! And they fingered it sadly, together, and rose as one and walked deeper into the day.

And the mama was thankful, and rather proud, for the way she had handled those moments. For she felt that finally, she was getting the hang of

quickly extending grace.

But suddenly, the lemonade spilled. An entire pitcher. Right before lunch was served, when food was hot and ready and four hungry souls circled the table in that pure happiness which comes from food that fills...

But the sugary drink left a sticky mess on the table, and she just knew it was dribbling between the cracks and puddling on the spare leaf underneath. Oldest boy fetched a towel and middle boy tried in his eight-year-old way to mop up the lemons life gave them and Mama caught her eyes across the table.

Sorry, Mama, she murmured, all hopeful and vulnerable and waiting.

And the mama tried to smile, tried to reassure, tried to fix all with the Jesus words she knew by rote but still required a channel to be pulled through heart and up and out... but she stayed silent, and smileless, and moved to the sink to wring out the rags.

She tried the words on for size. You are more precious to me than... I love you more than... what? And she knew why the words stayed stubbornly still, did not move from their place to take wing on her lips and fly to the child whose heart lay in her Mama's hands.

Her time. That was the culprit. It wanted her full attention, did not want to be interrupted by silly spills and severed heads and broken mittens.

My time. Is that it? That's what is holding me back? Is she more precious to me than my time? Do I love her more than my time?

Oh, it's easy to give time when it's on our "clock", so to speak. But when it's taken from us? Well, then, Jesus words require an effort that a stay-at-home mama must hone with preemptive quiet time in the morning, with whispered prayers all day long, with nighttime knees-by-the-bedside talks with her Lord.

There at the sink, she heard her pride crack, and felt as if her own heart were made of ceramic and was severed from the head that now bowed in humility.

Yes. That was the answer. Yes. I love you more than my time!

I love you more. Always!

Yes, just one of those days. A day when Mama learned a great lesson, when cracked heart and head moving of its own accord were lovingly placed back together, and they sat and drank deeply of a fresh pitcher of lemonade.

Their feet were kind of sticking to the floor, but that was beside the point. There were other things far more important.

Such as time, well spent.

19 fellow travelers shared:

Samuel said...

thank you for this beautiful reminder. The lump in my throat and tears filling my eyes tells me this was very timely for this mama! Thank you again.

Cathy said...

I'm so glad God kills pride (again and again for me). It is the most painful death, I think, by far.

Sarah said...

I love you Elise! Thank you for this:).

Stacy said...

Oh, Elise.
I love you and thankful that God gave you the gift of forming into words these mama-lessons so many of us have.

(((Love you, friend)))

Stacey said...

oh yes, again and again I wonder if I can speak the Jesus words I know so well. And my pride and my selfishness win.


Thank you for the encouragement.

Emily said...

Oh, how I NEEDED to hear this today. This heart humbly bows in prayer over your lesson shared... and extended. Thank you.

laura said...

sweet friend- thank you so for these words. my time: is naptime- and often i guard it too fiercly. the quiet hour or so before "round two" begins in our home. but they are more precious. it will be written on my wipe-y board, if that's alright with you? the reminder i desperately need. pleasant words are like a honeycomb.

emily said...

amazing, really, that literally less than an hour ago in my home, i said nearly the same phrase to my daughter, " you are more important to mama than that plate." my sweet 9 yr old girl, with big tears rolling, holding the antique plate that she had tried to glue secretly in her room before showing me what she'd done.

i said it, but inside was begruding ... why was she so careless? ahh.

thank you for your words - always a blessing.


Hoopster said...

Your words aren't just for mama's; they are meaningful to me this morning as I reflect on my (our) children and the way I often struggle to take joy in them instead of being irritated by them. I am thankful that God speaks so eloquently through you!

Linda said...

Elise, I marvel at the wisdom that abides in such a young heart. These are truths that will serve you well all of your days. Even when the nest is empty and it's a husband, or grown son or daughter, or grandchild or an aging parent that intrudes into the well-ordered day I had planned. It is this very thing. Do I love them more than my time, more than the wonderful things I planned to do with my day? I still struggle, still walk this path with you.
Oh how you enrich and bless my heart.

megan said...

oh, elise....such wisdom today. your growth spurs me on to the same.

thank you,

{a long time reader but, *sorry*, never commented before....pleased to "meet" you}

Kimberly said...

Elise, I was so blessed by this that I linked to your site on fb. I hope this is okay and realize that I should have asked permission first rather than forgiveness later.It was just so good and my heart was very encouraged. I wanted to pass it along...

Christine said...

I've had to learn this lesson many times...and I'm sorry to say that sometimes I should have learned it and didn't. You speak for all of us what we need to hear, as you learn your lessons day by day. Thank you for this. :)

alli said...

just what i needed to read at this point in my life - thank you for being used by Jesus through your transparency. i see those kinds of incidents as interruptions to my time schedule - you are looking at them through Jesus' eyes - oh, to have those eyes. blessings to you and yours...

Elizabeth said...

A few hours after I read this, my little one's eyes filled with tears as she accidentally emptied our carton of blueberries yet to be purchased.I could see those blue eyes searching mine...

Those comforting words and affirming hugs mean so much..I'm working on being slow to anger (or irritate!) and quick to love. Thanks for sharing. :)

Anonymous said...

I am reading this on 2/19...thank you. It was just what I needed to hear and my son is almost 22. Thank you.

Sandi said...

Once again you reach the heart like few I know.

For me it's not the everyday life it's the whole big pictures. His struggles have really changed how our life is being lived. I still need to look in his face and say "Son, I love YOU (just how God made you) more then what I thought it would be!

Thank you for speaking aloud and not just keeping this for your own heart. If only i had the guts to do the same sometimes.

Linda said...

I'm leaving a comment in the only place I could find, just to say Eliana is so sweet. Loved the video. I think a "star" is born!!

Kimbra said...

Thank you for sharing your heart and reminding me of this very important lesson!

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