i hear it on the cat in the hat while i’m feeding the boys goldfish crackers. “if you want to find water in the desert, you have to look in the right places.”

i pause, suddenly aware of how thirsty i am, and the cartoon character continues, “but if you want to satisfy your thirst in the desert, you have to find an oasis.”

motherhood seems like a desert, all stretched out and sandy and getting in between your toes and eyes. and i’ve been searching for water lately. in between slices of burnt toast and referring fights and wiping dirty bums and mountains of laundry for all of the muddy pants and i’ve given up on my floors.

God has become a one-word prayer i mutter between clenched teeth as i try to be compassionate a thousand ways, every day, for four little boys.

God has become a song i sing as i clean poop off the floor and pee off the rug to remind me, these lives are eternal. these children with their runny noses and constant questions and running underfoot will one day be men, and how i treat them now, will form their view of Jesus later.

so i sing and pray through clenched teeth and i find it.

water, in the desert, when Joey points to his chest and says, “Jesus opens up our hearts and pulls out a tree.” and i look at him, at the way he’s summarized the gospel in a way i’ve never been able to, and i nearly cry.

but strangely enough the oasis is in the middle of a pile of tantruming children. it’s in me digging down deep, so deep, i find the tree Joey was talking about, and together, Jesus and i pull it out and we climb onto it, nailing ourselves to it and we die for these kids. again and again, and we die to ourselves and slowly, the cries stop as the boys realize we’re never going to leave them. not even at their worst.

because in the end that’s all we need. love. and once we’ve figured out where to find that, we can survive anything.


today i am pleased to offer one of you a free copy of Amber and Seth Haines’ beautiful gift to mamas, Mother Letters–a tender e-book full of exquisite tributes by writers like Ann Voskamp … whenever you’re feeling dry, this book will fill you up with art and words that remind us why we do this, this loving on the least of these. “Just in case you don’t know, or never heard, or haven’t yet believed it, I want you to know: We are all broken. I am. You are. We all are. Only God is perfect.” — Mother Letters

*want this incredible gift? just leave a comment telling me something you learned from your mother, that you hope to pass on to your kids.*

**so delighted to welcome Nancy Franson of Out of My Alleged Mind to the Imperfect Team as our Prayer Warrior. she will be working behind the scenes, praying for the most broken of you who link up, for those with aching stories… she is going to lift you to heaven.**

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*”sunflowers in rain” painting by e.wierenga