Friday, April 22, 2011

When Even Spilled Milk is a Gift

There’s a white puddle under my preschooler’s chair, and I’m ready to cry over it.

spilled milk

photo credit: Sylvia Zhang

It’s just one of those days, you know?

Where each roll of dice puts me two steps back on the board game life.

its the game of life. it's tricky and has bumps in the road; but somehow its a game we all love playin.

photo credit: D. Shepard

Lunch is finished, but the remnants are scattered on countertop. Laundry’s clean, but piling high {i can't catch up}. Baby’s fed, but he’s fussy and beyond consolation {he’s fighting his nap}. Sure, my shirt’s spit-up free, but now there’s milk pooling on my freshly mopped floor.

Why can’t he keep the house clean for five minutes? {is that asking too much?}

Thoughts & complaints swarm through my mind like flies.

Why can’t I put on lipstick and fancy shoes for a regular 9-5? I’ll take my hubby’s job and he can stay home.

I groan and sigh and mop and lecture.

“Be careful.” My tone is less than pleasant. {to put it nicely}

I swipe the floor to clean the mess and when I stand up, my son searches my face.

“Mommy happy?” He squints his chocolate browns. His words stop me in my track.

Am I happy? His words prick my conscience. Could I be any happier?

How blessed I am to work from home when many women are not able. How blessed I am to serve these souls God’s entrusted to me. To watch them discover the world and know I’m not missing out. How blessed I am to swipe their messes with my own hands.

Yes, even his messes are a gift! My house nests little hands and feet, and I am called Mama.

Though daily circumstances may leave me feeling unhappy, I must choose to see the blessing. I must choose joy—it’s contagious.

I look into my son’s eyes and make a choice. “Yes lovey. Mommy’s so happy.” I plant a kiss on his forehead and he giggles.

“Mommy happy!” He tilts his head back.

Together we laugh at the gift of spilled milk.

Melanie Brasher is a full-time Mama of two boys. She moonlights as a fiction and freelance writer, crafting articles and stories toward justice and change. She enjoys writing about simple living, raising bicultural kids, and faith in the common. Though she’s an aspiring author, she’ll never quit her day job.


  1. What a sweet snapshot of the mind and heart of a stay-at-home-mommy, an uncertain little boy, and the choice to rejoice over spilled milk, Joy.
    Makes me look back over the years to those times with my own little boy and the many spills we experienced together. I see the man he's become and am so thankful. Wonderful post!♥
    Easter Blessings everyone.

  2. Joy what a lovely reminder of the joys of parenting. Thanks for this encouragement. I had a particularly rough time a couple nights ago when my four year old got sick. I wish I would have viewed the mess as an opportunity to serve as Mama rather than gotten frustrated.

  3. Thanks for re-framing things for me Joy! I just need reminders, sometimes more frequently!

  4. HI! I'm Sylvia Zhang and I took the picture of spilled milk that you used! I love how you integrated it into your blog!

  5. Thank you Sylvia for your lovely photograph!