complaining experiment :: when it gets messy | part 2

It’s the second week of the complaining experiment and it happens to be Valentine’s Day too! They are totally connected, but I’ll have to explain that in a minute.


I wish I had some awesome news of great progress to report this week, but it didn’t happen. I think this project is going so much deeper than I thought it would. The first full week was apparently “open your eyes” week, because I had no idea just how easily complaints roll off my tongue. Ick.

I had a great weekend and a sad one all in one. Starting Friday, my body was giving me lots of signs of exhaustion- achiness,  grumpiness, the ineffectiveness of caffeine {!}, tired mind, you know what that feels like, right? I’m no good at resting at home- so I figured a day trip out with the fam would be good for me, but it ended up being even worse. {I know, I know!}.

I failed at the complaining experiment totally and completely. I was tired, I just wanted everything to be easier {going to Dallas with four kids with a ready-to-sell perfectly mud free car to meet someone who doesn’t show up on hmm, not easy, Mandy}, and by the time Sunday afternoon rolled around I ended up in a crying heap on the laundry room floor, sobbing about how many loads of laundry I had to finish and how many crayon wrappers were all over the house, and how I will NEVER be done.

Real. Life.

Not so pretty.

I had some major confessing to do with my Lord this week. I’m realizing a lot of things this month. So much ugliness comes out when I’m pressed and pushed to my limits. I just hate seeing it. It’s awful.

Last week I was so happy to be a mother, thanking God for the privilege and blessing- so filled with joy {seriously, no joke!}, and not even three days later I’m bawling, digging through the wet clothes, looking for a Hot Wheels car that was banging up my dryer, wondering why I brought all of this on myself.

Sometimes I think extreme joy catches the attention of Satan, so he brings it hard and heavy, and in just the right way to make you want to give up on it all. He wants to make life not worth living. He hates real joy.

It was a rough weekend, but the Lord is restoring my joy in being here, in motherhood again this week. It’s such a crazy ride, and part of me doesn’t even want to share this side of it, because it’s awful and messy, but I know I need to. This is life. And it isn’t always crazy happiness or struggle-free, you know?

So, for week two of the experiment here are real-life things – pictures of life this morning. They are the scenes that normally bring me to complaining and here’s why they really should not: :)

This sink full of dirty dishes means:


I have this amazing family to share a wonderful Valentine’s meal with:


This creative painting of the toilet seat with my foundation brush and toilet water:


and the sneaky drinking and pouring out of my soda on the table:


means I have a beautiful, very busy little two-year-old.

These piles of laundry:


mean I care for five lovely people, four of which are healthy and growing like weeds, all of whom get to change into clean clothes every day.

And the buckets of toys, the piles of clothes gathered from the house this morning, and food stacked and waiting to be put away on the dressers:


all mean I spent yesterday with my family grocery shopping and then went on an amazing surprise Valentine’s date with my husband last night instead of cleaning. :)

And the tiny bits of paper all over the floor:


mean I have busy, content little children using their hands and creativity to cut up all kinds of paper and make their Valentine’s cards today. :)


It’s funny that this post comes on V-day- I’ve learned this week that complaining has so much to do with love, actually.

I complain because I love...


And more than anyone else.

I’m inconvenienced, I’m put-out, I’m unhappy because things aren’t going the way I like them.

I’m not fulfilling the command to love my neighbor as myself- I’m still putting myself first when I complain.

I need the Lord to change my heart- to be the heart of my love for others. My own sinful, human love doesn’t even come close to obeying this law.

I love that He is Love. That He showed us the way to love:

By this we know love, that he laid down his life for us, and we ought to lay down our lives for the brothers. 1 John 3:16.

I need Him so desperately in this place. My sinful flesh fails me. I stink at this.

I need Him every single day.

In this is love, not that we have loved God but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins. Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.  1 John 4:10-11

Praise Him for His sacrifice- for Him taking my place- for Him doing the work that I cannot do. I’m so praying that He will do His work in my heart- that He won’t let me go until He finishes the work He has started. It’s a messy job, and I’m so thankful He loves me enough to show me my sin.

Oh, sweet Father,

May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in your sight, O Lord, my Rock, and my Redeemer. Psalm 19:14

Thank you, Lord Jesus for your mercy that is new every morning. And every week.


Do you have weeks like this too? Highs and lows in your journey of motherhood on a weekly {daily!} basis?