If you're a mom, you're an athlete.

I don't care if you are a workout-aholic or consider taking the garbage out exercise -  if you're a mom with young ones, you're an athlete. This afternoon's scene: I am holding my 16 month old in one arm, chopping a cucumber with another hand (yes, just hoping it doesn't wobble off the butcher block as I do this - you've been there) and my peripheral vision sees a purple ball coming my way, so I pivot slightly right to avoid the ball that was *this close* to slapping the toddler's head. A breathe later my ears are assaulted by high pitched, blood curdling, dear God is someone being murdered? sounds about Legos and baby dolls being unable to coexist in the same blanket fort. Where's the tolerance around here, oldest and middle children? As I try to think about a response for that one, said children come tearing through the kitchen as I am just putting the toddler down. I have 1/16 of a second to make a game-time decision: I choose to scoop back up (serious squat motion) the toddler to avoid his death by 8 year old and as I step forward  - I catch a match box car underfoot that just entered onto the field. Shifting baby to one side, as I am falling, I grab the refrigerator handle to gain balance and my body causes it to swing out wide and slam it into middle child's face.

Tears. Hugs. Apologies. Band-Aids. Water. Feels like half-time to me. In the Motherhood Match.

Mom 1, The World 0.

That was 3 minutes total. Out of sometimes 12 hour stretches. We are talking Olympics. Mega-olympics. Nutbar-Olympics. The kinds of Greek games where you might win, but you'll be missing an eye and have a serious limp for the rest of your days.

Speaking of limps....it's what every athlete-mom has. We mother, we yell, we cry, we apologize, we listen, we hug, we sweep, we transport, we hold....and we sacrifice in The Motherhood Match. We put it all out there - and come away with injuries. Or, more accurately, we entered the game with injuries and are caring for little ones with limps. With anxiety, deadlines, relational strain, performance issues. And it's hard to carry a little one with a limp. It's hard to do so fully rested, well, balanced to begin with....and add the things that make us lopsided...now we really need a sub.

But here's the beauty - and may we find peace and rest in this - God rebuilds those who limp.

God sees the athlete-mom.

God adores the ones caring for others, even if they are both in need of band-aids and hugs.

This is what God says....and I truly hope you find a time-out, quiet moment to read this well:

Jeremiah 31:2-6 This is the way God put it:

“They found grace out in the desert,     these people who survived the sword. Israel, out looking for a place to rest,     met God out looking for them!” God told them, “I’ve never quit loving you and never will.     Expect love, love, and more love! And so now I’ll start over with you and build you up again,     dear virgin Israel. You’ll resume your singing,     grabbing tambourines and joining the dance. You’ll go back to your old work of planting vineyards     on the Samaritan hillsides, And sit back and enjoy the fruit—     oh, how you’ll enjoy those harvests!

by grace....we dance with a limp.....