Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Pride and Poop.

True fact:
Mommies love their children in a way that is indescribable...incomparable.
That bond, that relationship can bring more joy to my heart than anything else.
There are no other humans on earth that can fill my heart with love like they do.
These two children melt my butter.

Here is another true fact:
Motherhood also reveals other strong emotions in me.
Ones that I'm perhaps not so proud of,
ones that I don't normally blog about.


Like nothing else I've experienced in my entire life,
motherhood has peeled back the layers
and exposed me for what I really am.

And here's a very real peek into my world:
the past couple of weeks,
I've realized that potty training exposes me more than anything!

I mean, I know in my head that it simply requires patience.
That he's new at this.
That he's really doing well.
That he won't be having potty accidents in college.
That his success or failure at potty training is not
a direct reflection of the kind of mother I am.

But in the moment
the worst emotions bubble to the surface.

Here's an example:
After being homebound (and going stir crazy) for a solid week,
and going several days without having any accidents at all,
even waking up dry from naps and in the mornings,
I was brave enough to take him to church.
I was so hopeful,
and because of his wonderful teachers I didn't worry a bit.

And then I picked him up,
and they told me that he had 2 poop accidents.

Do you know what I honestly felt in that moment?
A little frustration.
A little disappointment.
But mostly what I felt was humiliation.

I had just told them how wonderfully he was doing,
and how well he was catching on,
and then that.

I was embarrassed in front of his teachers,
and in front of the other parents standing around.

What I was feeling that moment was rooted solely in pride.
I want to be the best mother,
and I want others to think I am,
and I suppose somehow my son's bowel movements determine that.
I don't know.
It sounds silly writing it down,
but it's what was actually happening in my heart.

ugly, rotten sin
rooted in pride.

Here's another example:
a few days ago,
Tucker had a poopy accident at home.
If you're sensing a theme, 
yes, they're all poop accidents.
Which was ok.
Yes, I was frustrated
but you know, accidents are part of it.
I told him to sit right there on the potty
while I went to throw his dirty clothes
in the washer to soak.
When I came back,
he was not on the potty.
He was sitting in his room.
On his carpet.
And no, I hadn't cleaned him off yet.
Oh, you can imagine the mess.
I didn't say a word,
but I'm sure that precious little boy
could see the steam coming out of my ears.

You know why I was mad?
At the root of it?
Because I'm selfish.
Why didn't you listen to me?
Why am I having to clean up poop?!
I didn't sign up for this.

When I was 21 years old,
marrying the love of my life on an island,
I had no idea
the kind of
sin that would be revealed in me.

I had no idea that
when I had that man's children
and fell head over heels in love with them
and then they got poop on my floor,
I would turn inside out
with selfishness and ugliness.

I had no idea
that God
in His infinite love and wisdom and goodness
would use poop
to discipline me.
To show me the pride and selfishness in my heart.
To call me to repentance.

Back then, I thought being a mother
was about me discipling them
me teaching them
me guiding them
and instead I'm learning
that God is using them
to teach and guide and disciple me.

1 Corinthians 2:7 has never been truer:
But God chose the foolish things of the word to shame the wise;
God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong.

In His kindness,
God is using a 2 year old who hasn't mastered control of his bowel movements
to shame me.
To sanctify me.
To expose me.
To cause me to put off pride and selfishness (again)
and call me to look more like Christ.

A few hours after the poop incident in question,
Tucker and I were cuddling in Dan's recliner.
I was rocking him,
he was playing with my hair,
and he asked for music.
I turned on a new album that we've been listening to.

The song "More" came on,
and by the end I was sobbing and laughing, all at the same time.
It was just what I needed in the middle of that day.
A kindness from God, even in my wretchedness.
A reminder of how I really feel about this precious son of mine.
A reminder of how God Almighty loves me.
Even when I'm stinky and dirty and messy.

You give me giggles
Cause you're really funny
Sometimes I laugh
Til it hurts my tummy
I'm so glad that I know you

Of all the things that I love,
You're my very favorite
And so I'm trying to find a way to say it
Maybe this song will show you

I love you more
than all the water in the oceans more
than all the myriad emotions more
than every piece in all the puzzles more
Kinda makes me want to snuggle more
Of all the things that I adore
I love you more

I never get tired of being with you
I consider it an honor just to get to 
Call you my buddy, my friend
And I would clean up all your dirty messes
Even when you're stinky you're the very bestest
And that's why I want to say it again and again

I love you more 
than all the sand in every desert more
than every ruler every measured more
than all the stars that shine above you more
now I really want to hug you more
Of all the things that I adore
I love you more

More than I would love a mountain made of my favorite ice cream flavor
More than I would love a giant candy house in Disneyland with cartoon neighbors
More than I would love a talking dog with superpowers living in my backyard
More than anything that I could think of and I think I've thought of a whole lot so far

Of all the things that I adore
I love you more.

I have every intention of dancing with him at his wedding to this very song.


  1. Rachael, thank you for sharing this with us. Oh how I have been there this week. I applaud you and thank you for humbling yourself to share these truth about you. I know it is hard at times to share these hard things about ourselves because we want others to think of us a certain way. Thank you for giving us a little peak into your life. Many blessings to you and your family. I pray you have a Merry Christmas and a blessed New Year! ♥Karla

  2. Every potty training Momma has been convicted by this post. Thank you. Love you.

  3. Vomit....this week it was sanctifcation in the form of vomit in my life. Praise the Lord that He's not finished with us yet...amen?! Thank you for being so transparent and sharing this encouragement to keep clinging to the Father as he molds and shapes us using such sweet, small, (sometimes smelly and challenging) instruments!