Sticky Grace for the Messy Moments of Motherhood


As a full-time working mom to two adventure seeking kids, I often find myself in the middle of chaos. Not just any kind of chaos but those messy moments when there is no clear cut right and wrong response. Those times during the day when a simple answer is not possible, when you have to rely on sticky grace to see past the moment and into the potential of the moments.

What’s sticky grace? It’s kind of grace needed to hold you together when you feel like falling apart. It’s the glue that keeps you from becoming totally unglued. Sticky grace makes it possible to be in the middle of the mess and not become an emotional mess. Let’s take a look…

Sunday morning church service starts in thirty minutes. Somewhere between the sibling bathtub battle and toothbrush war you’ve managed to get the kids all showered, dressed, and ready to go. Then you hear the phrase that sends a chill down a mama’s spine. “Mommy I’m hungry!”

She wasn’t hungry 20 minutes ago when you asked her if she wanted something to eat. But of course time is just a four letter word to a six year old. What to do? No time for anything but, of course PB and J.

Bread, check. Jelly, double check. Peanut butter, triple check. All the making for a tummy satisfying one minute meal. You turn to get a knife, only to find you didn’t wash dishes last night. Digging through the dirty dishes you find and proceed to clean off a knife. Your eyes capture the time on the clock, only twenty minutes before church starts. We can do this, you think.

You turn back to the counter with plate and knife in hand to find your little princess pulling peanut butter fingers out of the container joyfully licking away. Dark purple grape jelly stain on the front of her frilly peach dress and a small smudge of PB is sitting daintily on the tip of her bangs.

“What are you doing!” you yell.

Shock and anger start to consume you. So close. Almost made it on time and now this!

One tear then another starts to fall from the tiny face which only moments ago was blissfully radiant. “I was hungry mommy. I’m sorry.”  You feel a tug on the muscles in your heart. Something deep within is being strengthened in those hidden muscles. Something is being made stronger. A bond is being built and it’s one that can only be fortified here, in the messy moments of life.

You sit down on the stool beside your little darling. Reach for the bottle of peanut butter, insert a finger, scoop out a huge glob of creamy goodness and lick it off.

“No baby, I’m sorry. I shouldn’t have yelled at you. You know what? I like my peanut butter better this way too.”

Going to church today is exchanged for live streaming church. Yelling is exchanged with laughter. Knives are exchanged for ooey gooey fingers. Chaos is exchanged with living in the messy moment.



Messy Moment Action Step:

How you invest your time and energy ultimately reflects what’s important to you. Whatever you focus on intensifies and becomes more prominent. This is true both in life and in relationships. Rather than discussing what we don’t like about our kids, let’s focus on what makes them awesome.

Today purposely invest some time focusing on what you love about being their mom. What makes each child a unique treasure in your life? Write a note to each of your children telling them what qualities you love about them and place it on their bed tonight with a few chocolate kisses. Caring and loving involves investing. Invest in building an environment of love and acceptance within your home.

Sticky Prayer:

When my day becomes overwhelmed by the busy hectic pace of my mommy life, lead me back to the rock that is higher than I. Guide me back to a place of peace and move me to pause long enough to see you in my day.


You are the winners of my newsletter Mother’s Day Giveaway! I will be contacting you this week for the details on how to claim your prize! Happy Mother’s Day!

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