Thursday, March 1, 2012

Some Days, You Only Get to Wear One Eyebrow

“I’m going upstairs to put my makeup on, and then we have to go to Braden’s conference,” I announced to the my three boys over the sound of Jake and the Neverland Pirates. I began putting on the “5 minute face” that I learned from Carmindy. The last step was one that I have added. My eyebrow pencil. For the past 16 years, I have used my Revlon Dark Blonde pencil to color in my extremely blond eyebrows and very few people have seen me without it.  After finishing my right brow I heard it.

“MOMMY!” All three boys at once. This is was different than the other “mommy”’s I  hear during the day. This wasn’t  “Mommy, he stole my truck” or “Mommy, I’m hungry” or “Mommy, I need you to wipe me.” It was “Mommy, drop everything and come here now!!!” And that is what I did. Somewhere between my master bathroom and the family room, I dropped my Revlon Dark Blonde Eyebrow Pencil. I rounded the stairs to see my three boys pointing at a pile of dog vomit on the carpet. Then I looked at my lovely yellow lab laying on her bed, looking at me as if to say, “Mommy, the scrambled eggs I ate while table surfing this morning did not sit well in my tummy, but don’t worry…I’m fine now.” Nice, Molly.

In 4 minutes I managed to steam clean the carpet, tie shoes on three children, help put on coats, and race back upstairs to finish my barely visible left eyebrow. I couldn’t find my pencil anywhere, and I had to leave or I would be late for the preschool conference.  I had to give up, buckle my kids in the car and go.

I debated in the car. What is better? One nice, arched, and defined eyebrow and one completely natural? Or one smudged off eyebrow and one natural eyebrow?  I went with the latter, knowing that I probably just made it worse. After coming back from the fantastic conference (Yea, Braden!!!), I still haven’t found that eyebrow pencil.

I know this is silly and it sets me up for comments like “You should feel beautiful without any makeup!” I understand that and I won’t go into the reasons why I still like makeup on this post. This made me come to a different realization.

Sometimes, things just don’t go our way. I’m not talking about getting a horrible phone call regarding a loved one’s diagnosis, noticing the signs of a miscarriage, talking to the police after a car accident, or anything else of a serious nature. We, as Christians, know to turn to God when our world is crumbling around us. The Bible is full of stories where men and women are on the verge of death and they pray to God for his deliverance.

But what about the times when we knock over our water on our phone? Jam our fingers in the bathroom door? Realize the $9.00 worth of chicken we bought has expired? Find a rip in our Spanx? Learn that our children have designated a corner of the basement a bathroom that is not meant to be a bathroom? Yes, these are all true stories from my life.

What do we do then? I tend to cry, mope, or yell, depending on the severity of the frustration. One time  I sat down next to the running vacuum cleaner and just sobbed. Another time, I told my boys through gritted teeth, to go up their rooms until their father got home. I have also been known to yell out to God, “Will you please help me out a little here?!”  

I believe that is exactly what God wants us to do (maybe with a little less sassiness). God wants us to turn to him for help in these moments that make up our lives as well as the big tragedies that change the direction of our lives. Remember when Jesus listened to Martha’s frustration about her dinner party not going so well (Luke 10: 38-42)? What about when the Lord grew a leafy plant in just a few hours to give Jonah shade, even as he sat in his bitterness (Jonah 4:6)? Haven’t you always loved when Jesus tells us he knows every hair on our head and that we are worth more than the ever-cared-for sparrows (Matthew 10:29-31)?

Do your best to keep these moments of God’s faithfulness in mind when your moments are not what you hope for or plan for. And don’t underestimate the power of laughter in getting through the frustrating moments. If the biblical example of the Proverbs 31 woman is lauded for being able to “laugh at the days to come,” then we are surely allowed to laugh at the day that is here!
Now pray for me, that I find that silly eyebrow pencil!

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