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Charcoal Sunday

[**Guest Post: Today's post is written by my fabulous favorite sister. Read it. You will laugh and be encouraged.]

Sunday mornings are challenging at our house. And by challenging I mean hard. Most mornings I am
completely blessed (and spoiled) to have my husband there to help me get our kiddos up and going
and our day started so that we can both make it to work sort of on time. On Sundays, however, Daddy
has to be at the church super early (he works there), and Mommy is left to get both kiddos and myself
up, fed, dressed, in the car, out the door, and to church with happy faces plastered on – all in a very
short amount of time. Most Sundays we leave something at home: sippy cups, Bibles (often), happy
faces...you get the idea. But I consider it a pretty huge success if we make it to church on time.

We were not on time this Sunday.

And we forgot the happy faces at home. And the sippy cup. And the Bibles. Sigh.

Things were actually going relatively well, and we were set to be on time. Maybe even a little bit early.
This should have been my first clue that disaster was imminent. I had myself dressed, Cohen (our 2 year
old) dressed with his hair combed up into the obligatory faux hawk, and I just needed to change Cason
(our 7 month old), toss a few things into the diaper bag, and we were set. I left Cohen in the living room
watching Lady and the Tramp, double checked the locks on the doors (because you never know with a 2
year old boy), and took Cason to his room to get him ready.

I might have been in Cason’s room for about 5 minutes. Probably less. But when I walked back into our
living room, Lady and the Tramp were enjoying a romantic spaghetti dinner and Cohen was nowhere to
be found. The doors were still locked but I seriously couldn’t find him anywhere in the house.

I willed myself not to panic and then my eyes drifted to the back door. It was locked, but I’d forgotten
about the doggie door. It was open. Cohen can fit through the doggie door. Sigh.

I opened the back door and there he was. Running around the back yard. Mostly naked. And he was
black. Seriously.

My precious little boy had discovered the bag of charcoal next to our grill and in record time had
managed to cover himself in black soot.

I looked at the clock. Church was starting in 15 minutes. Sigh.

After a lecture, apologies, and kisses, I put him in the tub for a bath and texted my hubby that we were
running VERY late. We finally made it church, but I was ready for a nap before the sermon even started!

To be honest, we’re having a lot of running around the yard naked covered in charcoal moments these
days. Cohen is a challenge to parent right now. Toss in a teething baby, a full time job, and not much
sleep and more often than not I go bed feeling like I just lost some cataclysmic battle that I have to get
up and fight all over again the next day. Last week I was feeling pretty discouraged and the Lord was
really faithful to give some good encouragement and reminders that I needed to hear. So here’s what
I’m slowly, imperfectly learning.

1.There are no perfect parents and no perfect children. It’s sometimes really easy for me to look
at some of my friends with their kids and think that they have it all figured out. Their kids sleep,
their kids never act out in public, they always make it to church on time. This just isn’t true. Or
maybe it is, but there are other parts of parenting that are hard for them. It just doesn’t work to
2. There are more things that I like about being a mom than there are things that I don’t like. I
need to say this out loud to myself every day at least five times. But it’s true. I love that God
has blessed me with these two beautiful boys. I am supposed to be their mother. It is my
highest calling, even if it’s not my most fun calling at times. And there are a lot of things that
I really like about it. I like how funny Cohen is. I like Cason’s gummy smiles when he sees me.
I like that Cohen still likes to give me kisses and wants to snuggle. I like, no LOVE, that Cason
sleeps through the night (even if his big brother still doesn’t!) And I like that I get to be their
mom. I really do.
3. It’s ok to just “make it” until bedtime. Sometimes you just have to survive. Because I work
outside of the home, I often battle with guilt when I’m not enjoying the time that I’m with my
boys in the mornings, evenings, and on the weekends. My oh-so-brilliant sister let me off the
hook a little bit last week with a reminder that maybe I need to adjust my expectations when
it comes to the daily tasks of parenting. Nobody said that it would always be sunshine and
rainbows and giggles. More often than not it’s tantrums and vomit and tears. But that’s okay
too. Because every day, bedtime eventually comes and we get to hit the reset button. And
once we’re able to look past the difficult circumstances, we can realize something amazing……
4. We are raising PEOPLE! Incredible, intricate, complicated people. Who will hopefully grow
up to be godly men (or women), and who will make valid contributions to society and to the
Kingdom. That’s a monumental task, and thank God for His grace and new mercies each day!

So when you find yourselves in the middle of a running around the yard naked covered in charcoal kind
of moment this week, I hope that the Lord will bless you with a reminder that as challenging as this
season may be, investing in our kids is worth all the hard times. And don’t worry. We can have a clean
house and sleep when they’re in college!


  1. I so needed to hear this too! Thanks Cassie for being so transparent! Great post! Definitely helps me put things in perspective!

  2. You are a fabulous mom. I'm so proud of you and the love my Grandbabies receive from their mommie. Payback is a (5 letter word I do not use, in fact I NEVER prayed for that but ur daddy sure did), finally you can blame him! Whoohooo. Seriously though if he turns out 1/2 as good as you and ur siblings you will have done your job and God will have done His. I love you, and yes, I'm sooo proud f you too.

  3. Wonderful story! Those years are long gone for me, but oh, the memories that flooded back reading your words. May the Lord bless you and your precious family!