Posted by on Jan 27, 2011 in Reflections | 14 comments

Lamberts 1
If a mother pours herself a bitter cup of coffee, she'll have to drive to the store to buy a gallon of white vinegar to clean her coffee pot. But when she gets home and prints out the instructions on how to clean her coffee pot and starts the process of scrubbing away the grime compromising the pleasure of consuming her daily caffeine, she'll notice how cluttered the shelf holding the coffee making supplies has become and remove every item from it.  After that shelf is wiped down and reorganized, that same caffeine-addicted mother will get disgusted by the condition of her other kitchen shelves in comparison to that newly tidied one and impulsively empty every single shelf in the kitchen until every single square inch of counter space is covered with spices, cereal boxes, bags of flour, dried beans and vitamin bottles.

 She will then become so distraught by the overwhelming mess she's made, so close to dinner time, that when her daughter shows her her mostly finished school project - a poster board on the US Constitution- and asks what to do about a misspelled word in the title, a word written in permanent marker, that mother will explode like a pricked balloon. "How many times have I told you," she will yell, "always write in pencil first! Why didn't you bring this to me sooner so I could spell check it? Blah, nasty blah, blah blah!"  And then the daughter will get teary, and the mother's heart will ache.  "I'm sorry, baby," she'll say, after taking a moment to regain her composure. "Your mom took on more than she should have and then took it out on you," prompting her sweet, forgiving daughter to reply, "It's OK. I know that cleaning kitchens makes mothers crabby."

And then, inevitably, after being humbled by her lack of self-control, that flustered mother will have to pray for the faith to not wallow in her shame and frustration but rather, in spite of that kitchen disaster, the maddening mess, start over right then and there.   "Let's clear some space on the kitchen table so we can sit down together,  with a plate of chocolate chip cookies, and come up with a plan to fix your poster, " the imperfect mother will say to her resilient child. And chances are, if you give a mother a cookie…

she'll want a (non-bitter) cup of coffee to go with it.