Last night I sat on my kitchen floor and cried. My dog stared at me with her soulful eyes, while my daughter pranced around me in her pajamas and tiara, her plastic heels clickety clacking against the tile. Every now and then she stopped to stroke my cheek with her little hand, asking me what we were going to have for lunch tomorrow.
I was broken. Spent and exhausted, I was throwing in the towel there on my kitchen floor. In the span of only a few hours, I had failed in every way and there was nothing left to do but sit and cry. So I did.
Brokenness is discovering that your child, who has never colored anywhere other than on paper or her own body, has taken a sharpie and decorated her bathroom cabinets with treble clefs and quarter notes. Well done piano lessons.
Brokenness is finding your child, who has been potty trained for two years, peeing in front of the refrigerator, because she’s angry you told her no and is testing her power.
Brokenness is hearing yourself losing control, raising your voice to your child, exposing your emotional upheaval, rather than focusing on consequences and life lessons.
Brokenness is taking your daughter by the hand and telling her how you love her more than the earth and the moon and the stars, before explaining to her why you are disappointed. It’s putting the carpet in the wash, teaching your child responsibility by assigning her chores, and the giggles that mend both your hearts as you fold clothes, cook dinner, and stare in bewilderment at the bathroom cabinet together.
Brokenness is planning and prepping meals for the week, because you’re too busy to run back to the store once Monday hits, and the excitement of trying a new recipe that you hope your little foodie will love, one that will nourish her body, mind and soul.
Brokenness is your dog eating a pan of freshly cooked, pumpkin ricotta lasagna as it cools, while you are hanging the carpet out to dry.
In brokenness, we find loving words from our mothers, encouragement from friends without judgment, and heroes knocking on our door with frozen lasagnas and roses. We find gentleness from repentant dogs, and sweet kindness from a child learning about empathy. In our brokenness, God meets us with love and grace, pulls us up from the kitchen floor, and reminds us that we have all we will ever need in Him.
It was the day to end all days, but finally it was quiet. I laid my tired body down to read, before drifting off into what I prayed would be a deep, healing sleep. That’s when our dog started ferociously barking at the front door on and off for a span of four hours. We live in a safe neighborhood, one where people look out for each other and you don’t worry about walking around after dark. I peered out the front door and saw nothing. Frustration set in full force and I begged God to quiet her down so I could reclaim some sanity.
Brokenness is waking up in the morning and checking your email, only to read a message from your HOA warning residents that the previous night, during the time period that your dog was going absolutely insane, there were a group of people canvassing the neighborhood, banging on doors and trying to kick them down. I hit my knees in humility.
I think I’m going to make another pumpkin ricotta lasagna for my dog.