Written by Guest Author, Sheena Creek, stay at home mom with crazy love for all God has given her.
When I tell stories, I like to pretend I’m Sophia Petrillo from The Golden Girls; she was the best golden girl and I’ll go to the mattresses over that fact, but I digress. “Picture it. Frisco. 2017.” See what I did there? Jensen was 17 months old and the chubbiest little tot I had ever seen; his rolls were truly a thing to behold. One morning, Colleen, who was four at the time, and I hurried to his room when I heard cries that were not his typical “morning cries.” Little man had gotten one of his chunky legs stuck between the slats of the crib. I tried pushing his leg through while pulling on the slats. I oiled up his leg like a Thanksgiving turkey. Nothing was working, he was screaming and getting more stressed by the second, and Colleen was giving me advice like she’s been known to do. I told Colleen to wait with Jensen while I got a hand saw from the garage. When I came back in the room, ready to momma bear his leg out, Colleen immediately started bawling, stood in front of the crib, and screamed “No mommy!! Please don’t saw Jensen’s leg off!!”. At this point I’m feeling great, because my son is in pain and I haven’t been able to help and now I find out my daughter thinks my parenting skills are so on point that she thinks I’m going to saw her brother’s leg off. So, as I sawed the slat, one child is crying in the crib and one is screaming and ready to call the police on me.
This post is supposed to be about finding the joy in the chaos of parenting preschoolers…right? It is!
I have a few ideas in mind as I share that story. First, that story still makes me laugh hysterically when I picture Colleen’s face as I walked in with the saw. Second, I didn’t freak out once during the whole fiasco.
We all question our parenting skills. Are we messing them up? Are we raising good humans? What are they going to say about us when they’re in therapy…is that one just me? But in a stressful moment, God showed me that, “Yes, this parenting thing is nuts, but you’ve got this because I’ve got you.”
The chaos many times is the joy. What would we laugh about if not for these knee-high weirdos God has trusted us with? We can’t just have fun chaos, though, like running through sprinklers, playing in the rain, jumping over lava pillows, sword fighting pirates, having front row seats to the Daytona 500 in our living rooms, etc. The qualities in our kids that make them do all the funny, amazing things are the same qualities that are going to make them stack four stools in the pantry to find the marshmallows, take a lamp apart to see how it works, fill up all the sinks, and eat food out of the dog bowl. If it’s all or nothing, I want it all.
That curiosity, fearlessness, ingenuity, and joy will make some pretty incredible adults someday—adults who love others fearlessly, who are bold witnesses for the Lord, who take chances, and who bring smiles to people’s faces.
I truly think there is so much joy to be found in the chaos, but sometimes knowing that they’re just little, that this might be a trait that will be amazing when they’re grown, or that this might be a funny story later isn’t enough when they’ve taken a permanent marker to your brand new carpet or clogged all the pipes upstairs and you get the bill from the plumber and the kids won’t chip in because “they’re only three and six”…excuses. That is when we are just thankful that no matter what is happening here we can find our joy in Him in all things.
Psalm 16:11 says, “You will show me the way of life, granting me the joy of your presence and the pleasures of living with you forever.”
The joy of His presence. That takes such a load off! We should be finding joy in our beautiful, wild children of course, but we’re human and they’re human. We have bad days. He doesn’t. He is always with us. He’s with us during the chaos and the quiet moments. He’s with us when we’ve cleaned up milk for the thousandth time that day, when our newly potty-trained tot has peed on the floor of a busy post office, when strangers in the store stare at our screaming child and all we can do is give an embarrassed smile, and when we have to saw our baby’s crib to the horror of our other child.
He’s there and He’s constant. That is joy we can cling to eternally and with confidence.
“Do not fear, for I am with you; do not be afraid, for I am your God. I will strengthen you; I will help you; I will hold on to you with My righteous right hand.” Isaiah 41:10
Greg and Sheena Creek are high school sweethearts and just celebrated their 10-year wedding anniversary this past December. They both attended The University of Texas at Dallas before getting married. Greg is a cyber security engineer, and Sheena is a stay at home mom. They have two wonderful and crazy children, Colleen and Jensen, and one dog, Mr. J. They have been attending Stonebriar Community Church since 2008 and are connected with the body of Christ through their Sunday Fellowship group, The Journey. Greg and Sheena actively serve in both Early Childhood and High School Ministries, where they are happy to walk through life with people who need to see, feel, and fall in love with Jesus.