I get it wrong.

I get it wrong a lot.

No, I don’t have a self-esteem issue. I’m not fishing for compliments to build myself up. I’m just telling you the flat out truth.

I mess up all the time.

Sure, I write about heartwarming parenting moments. I talk about those times I say just the right thing (thank you, Jesus!) and a little one gets it. I share goofy, fun glimpses into our chaotic world.

But those last all of about five minutes.

The other 23 hours and 55 minutes of the day, I run three paces behind where I should be.

I have piles upon piles of disorganized chaos everywhere. In my bedroom, in the kid’s bedrooms, in the bathroom, tucked behind the couch. I keep committing to a day, a week, a month of getting it all organized but if I’m realistic, that day won’t come until Savannah graduates in 2031 (or so).

I forget birthdays. I overlook important people and space out on simple requests. I don’t take enough time with my man, my bigs, my littles, my mom, my dearest friends. It takes me 23 days to respond to simple texts requiring a one word answer. I drop the ball on my quiet times and blow the budget because… well, preparing the budget is one of those items on my endless to do list. I don’t do the follow up therapy with Lovence, all the homework with Wilna, the ABC’s with Laurentz and Savannah. I keep planning the trip to the library and hope to set aside a nightly reading time and work on cute art projects. It just hasn’t happened yet.

So we have no cool Dr. Suess memories and zero cute art in our home. (Except of course, the art my mom does with the kids – that stuff rocks).

Yesterday I overheard some parents at Savannah’s gymnastics class. They were talking about forcing their kids to sit quietly for an hour so they could take a nap. They looked young and capable and energetic. If they need a nap… my nearly 50 year old body said to me, you should definitely take one.

So I did. I went home with Savannah after class, I told her we were going to have some cuddle time. We both fell asleep and I savored the feel of her warm little body next to mine.

The dishes stayed undone.

The bills stayed unpaid.

Friends, when I get out of bed every morning, I fall on my knees and beg God to live, love and serve through me.

He does. But even God has limits with what he can do with this crochety old body.

This season of life, my kids and their unique needs, the meltdowns, the chaos, the laughter, the noise… I literally could not do it without him, and even so, still mess up with him.

There is a lot that stays undone.

And that’s why I’m writing this – first, may this serve as a blanket apology for the ways in which I may have let any of you down. I don’t mean to, I will get better – yeah, not really. I probably won’t get better – I just ask for your forgiveness. And for those who think I’m a little unrealistic on my warm fuzzy posts, just know that in the midst of my chaos – I need to write them. I need to focus on the good, highlight the joyful. I love to celebrate those sweet, beautiful moments – and thank God for them – because that sustains me in the midst of the meltdowns, the weariness and the weakness.

Because the beauty makes it all worthwhile.

And in that beauty I see our God.

Who loves me. Who loves you.

I may not be enough.

But he is.

And he will ultimately see us through it all.

27 Responses

  1. Thank you, thank you, thank you, Elsa, for your transparency! This post was so encouraging to me as I go through a season of feeling as if I am alone and unable to keep up with life in general these days in the way I would like to. Glad to know I am not alone in the struggle! Blessings to you, my friend!

  2. In other words,. You are normal!! You may have different needs, maybe more severe, but we all have those moments of ups and downs, just on our own levels. God has surely blessed you with all of those little ones, and most of us don’t have that going on. But, most have had many days where we said”I blew it”! And, for the most part, most of us (and our kids) are just fine! Breathe!!!!!

  3. Mama, you have taken a lot on, but God led you and Brian to it all. You are right; GOD IS ENOUGH. You are giving your sweet family your all and they are so deeply blessed by you and the live you give to them.

    Your true friends will give you endless grace and treasure the connects you are able to give them.

    God goes before you, equips you and will sustain you through all. Always has and always will.

    Look into the sweet eyes of your children and know your love is enough because is the most important gift God has given them.

    I love you andvsm very proud of you and Brian and your mom for committing to these gifts.

  4. What a blessing you are, Elsa! Thank you for being real…it makes my life so much better to read about your struggles and I’m not in the child-rearing years anymore! I missed out on so many opportunities myself, so thank you for recording the wonderful moments that come and go so quickly!
    What would I do without the Lord? And, what would you do without Him, as well?!

  5. ❤️ This! Thank you for the reminder to go easy on ourselves and that God is always with us. Just as we love our children, He loves us with an unmeasurable love as well. I feel like I let people down all the time. Thank you for letting me know that I’m not the only one who feels this way. Keep on writing, Elsa!

  6. Elsa, I just Came back from visiting my oldest son and his family. There are six children in the household right now ranging from the ages of 1 to 20. The house is in complete chaos but the kids running around there are happy, healthy well cared for children. They can be that way because they know they are loved and that God is on His throne. It makes me so happy to see the chaos because my son & daughter-in-law know what’s important. Obviously so do you. Well done!

  7. Elsa, you are an inspiration to all of us who know you and those of us who are struggling and for that I love you. PEACE!!!

  8. Oh my goodness Elsa! You put into words just how I have been feeling. It helps to know ithat I am not alone in this phase of life. Thank you so much for sharing your heart ❤️

  9. Fun post! I could relate even though I don’t have kids. Rolling over my todo list into tomorrow and next week. Making the most of two acres. Living life to the fullest can be chaotic! Thanks for a dose of reality.

  10. Elsa, Your realistic, honesty continues to bring me to tears — every time you speak (or write)… Thank you for being so transparent, both in good and not-so-optimal times… We all love you, Elsa! You are an amazing woman of God! Thanks for your continued inspiration! 🙂

  11. YES! Thank you. And THIS is why I love mornings. His mercies truly are NEW every day. In our inabilities – He is able. I love you dear, sister.

  12. Hey my sweet friend. Don’t be too hard on yourself. You are living out James 1:27, looking after the orphans in their distress… you know – pure and undefiled religion. Sure, it’s messy, but you are putting first things first. If you weren’t doing that, you would probably have a clean house, feel like there was enough time in the day, etc…, but I don’t see that as carrying a lot of weight with God. In taking care of orphans, you are living a Matthew 6:33 kind of life – seeking first the kingdom of God and His righteousness. He’ll give you exactly what you need when you need it. Thank you for your transparency and for your heart! Be good to yourself, Elsa.

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