I folded laundry today. I know, big deal right? But here’s the thing. Whenever I folded laundry, I called my mom. It was just our thing. She would always answer and was quick to ask what I was up to, and I’d always say, oh you know… folding laundry.AGAIN! And while I folded we would chat away, and when I had it done, then she’d let me go and say “Don’t work too hard!”
Wednesday marked one week since my mom went to be with Jesus. I couldn’t write then. When I tried, it just didn’t work. Today though, well, I folded laundry. And while I was doing it, Tom bought in a box from Amazon. And I opened it, to find an angel. And not just an angel, but a Willow Tree Angel. Mom had been given several of these over the last couple of years by one of her best friends. Believe it or not, I didn’t cry. Not.this.time. Instead, the corners of my cheeks turned up in a grin. Just like God!
The angel came from an on-line friend. Well, technically we’ve met once in real life, but mostly we know one another from being on the same ministry team for Proverbs 31 Ministries. And God used her heart of love to bless me in a mighty way. I’m so glad she is obedient to his nudgings!
You see, as I grieve, I’m so surprised by the things that I get hung up on. I can’t tell you how many times this week I wondered if I could be as good of a mom to my kids as my mom had been to me. And I knew that I was going to dread folding laundry alone. As I folded Nike gym shorts, and Sioux Center Warriors t-shirts, I prayed. Because if I didn’t pray, I knew the tears would consume me. But, as I prayed, God showed up, delivering a special gift from an on-line friend. The perfect gift at the perfect time, in answer to a desperate prayer. Just like God. One of the things I’ve dreaded most since mom passed, and he sends me an angel – literally. Just like the ones mom loved. It was like He was saying, it’s o.k. Jen, I’m right here, pray as you fold, talk to me like you did your mom. She’s with me, and it’s ok.
But even more than that, it caused me to pause and reflect. Of all the timing, he picked folding laundry. And the bigger message to me, and perhaps to you is this: Don’t get hung up on if you are good enough. I have this tendency to romanticize memories. And with that comes the likelihood to think that I’m not doing the right “things” to make memories with my kids.
But God whispers – “it’s folding laundry and talking on the phone that you miss Jen. It’s then that I show up to comfort you.”
Memories are made in your everyday moments. Cherish the boring and mundane moment. It is the comfort that you find that makes these moments priceless.
As we enter the weekend, I want to encourage you – make memories. Fold laundry, or call your mom, or sing a song, or scratch your daughters back, and on and on. Worry less about doing the right thing and more about doing something. Because someday, you too will pass on to be with Jesus.
And your daughter, she will cry in the alone times. But, what she cries over may just surprise you. You see, she will cry over who you are to her, not all the big things you did together. She will remember the comfort of your voice, not the perfection of your home.
As we journey further into lent, I’m finally going to jump on the #loveidol movement that I have been watching from a distance. My experiences of the past few weeks will impact my focus, but I’m so glad to know that I am #preapproved. That I am enough. If you haven’t checked out Jennifer Lee’s Love Idol, now is the time. More will come on how I’m letting go of my #loveidol of the perfect family, and embracing who God created me to be as a mom, wife and daughter. For now though, I need to put laundry away and get to making memories! And you… well, call your mama!