Admittedly, I’m not much of a pop culture fanatic, but it doesn’t take you long to hear information about upcoming or past awards shows, the fabulous dresses and the amazing parties.
So in the spirit of the awards season, I am pleased to announce that I have recently won four incredible awards in the “All the things I could do wrong” program. Drum roll, please, as I prepare my acceptance speech:
- Most likely to wear sweatpants to the grocery store award. Thank you to the Academy! My purple sweatpants by Eddie Bauer were also joined by a hoodie (I wear J.C. Penney) and a baseball cap. Makeup and hairstyling of my own design (or should I say no design?).
- Most likely to lose my temper with my kids award. Unfortunately, the “mom of the year” award will not grace my mantel this year; I have to accept this one instead. I have struggled this week with not getting totally frustrated with my kiddos – whether it was having patience with my youngest and her excessive exuberance or my son and a very challenging middle school essay on Joseph Stalin. Raised voice? Check. Frustration? Check. Remorse? Check. Award deserved.
- Most likely to rush around and not appreciate the little things award. This award should have a race car instead of Oscar on it. I’m wired to be busy and to get things done – who needs to sit and take a break? I need to get to work, come home and make dinner, get the laundry done and make sure homework is complete. Don’t forget presents for a new nephew, cards for a friend and a trip to Goodwill. Did I hear crazy giggles of my daughter as she wanted to have a giggle contest? Did I hear my son’s voice as he talked about the new game he’s jazzed about? Did I stop to be thankful for my husband’s positive job interview? When would I have time for that? I just won the award for rushing around….sorry, gotta go.
- Most likely to forget to encourage award. If you win the rushing around award, you’re likely to get this award as well. I have excelled at forgetting the essential act of encouragement….when my husband needed a kind word and support, when a neighbor needed a friendly smile and conversation, and when an employee needed reassurance. No one will know what might have happened if I had been that encourager.
So I accept these awards with my head hung in shame. I am a sinful mess of a woman and mom.
I may excel in my messes, but I’m guessing that there are others of you out there right now who might feel the same way….like we can’t do anything right, even when we know what we should do.
Guess what? There’s good news. We have a Father in heaven, who if we just come to him repentant and on our knees, will give us this encouragement from Psalm 103:8-13:
The Lord is compassionate and gracious,
slow to anger, abounding in love.
He will not always accuse,
nor will he harbor his anger forever;
he does not treat us as our sins deserve
or repay us according to our iniquities.
For as high as the heavens are above the earth,
so great is his love for those who fear him;
as far as the east is from the west,
so far has he removed our transgressions from us.
As a father has compassion on his children,
so the Lord has compassion on those who fear him.
So I’m going to take a HUGE sigh of relief. I’m not getting what my messy sins deserve if I fear, love and trust God. Instead of the just punishment I should have for my sins, I am receiving a true award – eternal life – because of the death of Jesus. He took my punishment; he takes my sin and my shame; and he comes to me and says:
“Daughter, let me take those ‘awards’ that you’re burdened with. Let me replace them with my mercy and love.”
Suddenly, I feel like I am on the red carpet in beautiful new clothes.
Maybe this awards season isn’t so bad after all.
Winning with Jesus,
– Jen Clark