I sit with dried tear paths down my cheeks and what I am sure is a startling look of make-up covering the blotchies that I have been genetically cursed with after an ugly cry. It is only 12:37 on Mother’s Day and I have had an epic meltdown that had been brewing since 6am.

Mother’s Day is a fantasy in which I envision the people in my life taking time (a whole day…maybe even the weekend) to acknowledge the things I have sacrificed for them. HA! Oh my, when I face my own expectations, I can’t even say it out loud with a straight face. The cost of this type of Mother’s Day is to grow and evict all of my children into the world and for them to marry and have children of their own. I am only now (as a mother myself) seeing the importance of this day. Thankfully, I still have my mother with me on this day and I get a chance to tell her, in person, how much I appreciate what she did for me in those hard, exhausting, and wonderful years that were the favorite years of all her life. But in return for getting the type of one-day celebration fitting for a Mom, I have to give up the daily kisses. The “hold me, Mama.” The sweet requests for another rendition of “Let it Go” before bed. The request for a date night or some special Mommy-Daughter time. Or the fact that my boy still lets me kiss him in public. I have to let go of the sweetness that drenches these really, really, hard years in order to have a chance at getting the type of day I envision.

Maybe getting a 6am wake-up call on the morning I so badly wanted to sleep in is part of the trade-off. Maybe I shouldn’t expect for these little people to see the importance of what I am doing for them here in the moment. Maybe I should simply be able to look up and fix my eyes on the One who gave—entrusted—these three beautiful souls to me. I can use this as a teachable moment for myself. People are not always going to appreciate you when you want or think they should. But God, he is always proud of you. Even in this moment as I go over and over the blowup that just happened downstairs, I know that God is not mad at me. He isn’t hung up on the fact that despite talking and praying with him continually for the past 6 hours, I lost it anyway. I had a meltdown in front of my kids and directed towards my husband. I screwed up. I had an opportunity to rise above the cruddy morning and turn it all around. I could have chosen the pass less traveled and pressed into the comforting words I was hearing from the Holy Spirit.

But I didn’t.

I hear them now. They are not filled with that lecturing tone of “I told you so.” They still carry the vibes of eternal love that transcends the heat of the moment. He says “Learn from this.You can do better next time. I am certain these kids are for you as much as you are for them. Trust the process.”

There is compassion in the mess ups when you keep your intimacy with God as a priority. I am here to say you will still make mistakes. Christianity is far from arrived perfection. But in these moments of despair and knowingly making mistakes, we have a lifeline. A hope that will not die as long as our relationship with God is alive.

So to those of you who had a less than stellar Mother’s Day, and your worst came out…you are not alone and God is still certain that you were meant to mother.

And to my family: I know the day did not turn out like anyone planned. I know it was not intentional on anyone’s part. I also know that I would rather have a thousand so-so Mother’s Days then to have one without you. I am blessed to be a part of the crazy family that God has placed me in. I love you all and feel loved in the everyday activities that we call our life. I am not perfect and show you my ugly more than I care to admit. Thank you for loving a Mama that wears her emotions on her sleeve (a little too much).