Dear God, I tried this morning. I set my alarm for 6:45 a.m., a few minutes before the kids wake up. I’d planned to brew a hot cup of coffee and just sit with you a while in the quiet living room. A favorite blanket was ready and waiting at my seat by the low table lamp. I thought we could go over my prayer list, thought I’d remind you about some people who are hurting down here.
But the baby woke up early and needed to be held. I can’t find my prayer journal and even if I could, my hands are too busy nursing him to flip through the pages of my notes. My brain is too tired to remember the names that need prayer.
I sigh—another day that’s already been derailed, and it’s only 7 a.m.
Dear God, I tried at breakfast. I opened my Bible to read a page to the kids. I’d postpone my own breakfast to read them something, anything, that helps them know you more.
But they started falling off their chairs. One had too much butter on her toast—the other, not enough. I barely got one verse read aloud before their attention was long gone. I scooched the Bible aside before it got buttered, too. We’ll try again tomorrow.
Dear God, I tried at the park.
I wanted to engage with them and watch them play and push them on the swings. I want them to see their mom laughing and smiling.
But as I walked up to the swingset, I heard their sibling rivalry beginning. Who got the best swing first? They hollered at me to mediate. And I. Just. Couldn’t. Not at the moment. So I kept walking.
Dear God, I try when I write. I put pen to paper or hands to keyboard, and I pray these words would bring you glory. But the baby is crawling now, and he’s up on my lap, pulling at the computer cords. When I turn an article into an editor, and she rejects it, saying, “This piece lacked focus,” I know she’s right. It did lack focus. Because I lack focus.
I lack the focus it takes to do what I say I’m going to do. I lack enough focus to get some quiet time when I know I need it. I lack the focus it would take to finish one complete thought before a thousand others vie for first place.
But I’m thankful.
Dear God, thank you that even though I lack focus, you don’t.
Even though I don’t always see you in the midst of my busyness, you see me.
Even though I call it chaos, you call it beautiful. The ones who keep me busy are the most beautiful blessings from you. Maybe the way they need me 24/7 is a sweet reminder from you—that I need You like they need me. Except there are a few big differences between you and me.
You’re wide awake at 6 a.m.
You never forget the ones who need prayer.
You’re not surprised when we derail—whether it’s a butter battle, a swing rivalry, my messy heart, or my messy house.
You never lack patience.
You never keep walking when I need you. You don’t roll your eyes at a needy child— you stoop down to sit with her.
You are also a multiplier. You can turn one verse read aloud into a source of wisdom in our lives, just like you can turn one drop of water into an ocean, or a few loaves of bread into a banquet. You can turn one decision—a soft-breathed, “Yes, dear God”— into a brand-new life.
So I hope you’ll meet me in my mess, God. I hope you don’t mind the shoes that are everywhere, or the unswept fireplace, or the handprints on the windows. I hope you see me when I’m falling behind. I hope you’ll be the parent I need so I can be the parent they need. I hope you’ll meet me in my chaos—and I hope you’ll stay awhile.