I’m in the final throes of editing a book, and one kid is down on the couch with the legit flu.
Next week’s lesson plans are finished but, a huge stack of research papers needs to be graded. Meanwhile, the holiday to-do list hasn’t been touched, we haven't put up the Christmas tree, and my house is a total wreck. Some time this afternoon, I need to make homemade chicken soup and wash a mountain of clothes. I also need to plan one 18th birthday party and stuff for two Christmas parties.
The last thing I had time to do this afternoon was sit down and play a homemade board game with The Kid. It’s not that I didn’t want to do it--if you know him, you know how much fun he is. It’s that I felt so much pressure to charge through.
I’m the mom, after all. The blame for everything that doesn't get done stops here, right?
But The Kid is so dang cute, I gave in. Smack in the middle of starting the vaporizer and making cups of hot tea for the invalid, I sat down at the kitchen table, picked up the pair of dice, and said, “Let’s go. Hit me with your best shot.”
I was halfway around the board when I saw it. The square that said, “Jesus loves you this I know.”
“What’s this?” I said.
“You land on that, and you have to go back five. But then you get to go forward seven.”
I chuckled, thinking surely a ten-year-old couldn’t have understood the theological ramifications of what he’d created.
“Ask him why,” my husband shouted from the other room.
The Kid said, “Because we have sin in our life, and that sets us back. But Jesus loves us so much that he forgives us and picks us up. The he carries us beyond where we would have been without him.”
Here in the middle of a week when I’m so overwhelmed-- scared of making a mess of my first book, scared of disappointing all those billion friends who are rallying around it, scared of failing my students, scared of all things flu, scared of planning bad parties, scared of messing up Christmas and an 18th birthday party, scared of failing at LIFE—here is a beautiful reminder.
His grace is sufficient.
I can sin, or I can even just flat out fail to be enough—but even if I am weak, Jesus will pick me up and carry me beyond where I would have been. That’s how big he is. That's why we needed Christmas in the first place.
It's funny how twisted our perspectives can become, even while working for good causes. But advent calls our hearts to recline deep into the sufficiency of God--even in the midst of the busiest, most stressful time of our year.
A Savior was born for writers of wobbly-kneed first books, for planners of "just-meh" parties, for tired moms and stressed out teachers--a Savior was born for you.
Five steps back? That’s okay. He’ll carry you forward seven.
“Jesus loves you, this I know.” The coolest kid in the world gave me me that reminder today. I needed it more than I realized. Thought I’d pass it along.