On Serving as a Cautionary Tale

Four years ago, I agreed to be a MOPS mentor. MOPS is a ministry to Mothers of Pre-Schoolers that meets twice a month. I started out thinking that I could be an example. Hooray, it’s possible to survive 4 babies in five years. Hooray, after the intensity of parenting preschoolers, it’s possible to emerge with at least 3 brain cells left. Hooray, someday, you too can tell young moms that “this too shall pass.” I haven’t actually thought that way for awhile now.

Well, okay, I’m still an example, but really more of a cautionary tale. This week I was on the calendar to give the Mentor Moment at our MOPS meeting. I was kind of dreading it but I did prepare. It was the responsible thing to do. I’m weary with the young-adult parenting I’ve been doing and not really feeling all that inspired or inspiring.

I went to bed on Monday night, feeling not quite prepared but determined to do the responsible thing. I also reminded Baby A that he needed to be ready to leave on time to be at MOPS for the 8:45 AM set-up. Since he’s working childcare again this year, he could help with the early arrivals.

On Tuesday, at 8:59 AM, I opened my eyes after a night of broken, restless sleep. And swore. I cussed. I was due at the church 14 minutes before I even started my day! I swore some more. Only 19 minutes later, I raced into the all-purpose room that our MOPS group meets in.

Without my Bible.

Without my notes for my Mentor Moment.

Without my coffee.

Without the food I was supposed to bring to contribute to the weekly brunch.

Without my MOPS T-shirt. Hey, at least I was WEARING a shirt.

I was also out of breath. And sweating. Darn hot flashes. And a migraine….oh, it was pulsating in my head.

When it was my turn to share the Mentor Moment, this was all I had to say:

I need grace.

I was going to come this morning, all put together, to remind you that if you endure the preschool years, you too can be all put together again someday. But I’m here to serve as a cautionary tale. I am NOT all put-together.

Parenting isn’t any easier now than when the kids were preschoolers. It might be harder. (I didn’t have the heart to tell the young moms HOW MUCH harder.)

I needed grace when my kids were tiny. I need grace now.

I failed massively when my kids were preschoolers and I continue to fail pretty much every day. I need grace desperately. I did back then and I do now. Many things change as your kids grow up, but not that…not the need for grace.

I overslept, I forgot my Bible, I forgot my notes, I forgot my food, I forgot my shirt (but at least I have one on!) My head hurts and my house is a mess. I didn’t make my bed this morning and I don’t plan to make it this afternoon. I swore too. SEVERAL bad words. Some of them REALLY bad words.

I need grace. I need Jesus. Today. Right now.

And that’s all I’m here to tell you today. That, and there IS grace for this. For you. For me.


And I sat down.

One thought on “On Serving as a Cautionary Tale

  1. That is beautiful. And so true. And best of all, to see every day that His grace really is sufficient, no matter how much you and I need Him to be sufficient for. Maybe God gave you the best possible lesson for those young moms. I think I need to let my grace hang out more.

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