I Won


I Won

Last night I told Brian that I had seen a list of things parents never thought they would have to say… until they had a boy. The list was funny, but most were pretty mild. I mean, “Why is there pee on the floor?” is amongst our weekly refrains which usually ends in all three boys pointing immediately at another brother…

I was pretty sure that I could top most of the other parents’ responses since my life is pretty hilarious (at least to me, anyway). Our list of notable phrases includes “No, Darth Vader did NOT make you do it!” and “Why in the world would you and your cousin decide to try to poop on your baby brother?” An honorable mention was “Don’t worry, your guinea pig is not an animagus!”

Other safety-oriented things we’ve had to make clear included “You cannot dive out the school window to get to the playground!”(that was during a parent-teacher conference) and “Hand sanitizer never goes in your eyes!!!”

I’ve even had to say to a theologically-challenged son, “You cannot pray to Goliath!”.

Yup. I was feeling pretty proud of my list; my kids seemed like funny little people…

Until today. One day is all it took for me to regret the fact that my kids seem to do hilariously unexpected things. You see, today, I won the contest.

I had to say:

“Never, ever, ever, throw Olaf at a Monet!”

If I didn’t before, I think I hate Olaf now.

And yes. I said, “Monet”. As in Claude. Pretty sure he’s rolling over in his grave right about now.

I’ve been feeling really cooped up lately, but I’m not up to much yet since I’m still healing from the accident so we decided to go to a museum where we could walk around. I love art and after months of pain and doing very little, the idea seemed perfect.

“Perfect” should have raised a red flag in my mind since “perfect” and “three boys” seldom go together.

Things were going really well (if you don’t count saying “don’t touch” a gazillion times while looking at sculptures) until I paused for a minute to read the tag about the Monet painting on display. Apparently, one minute was too long for the three-year-old whose hand I had been holding in a vice grip. He used his other hand to pull off his Olaf beanie and chucked it directly at the painting.

I realized, with absolute and utter horror, what was happening when I saw that carrot nose whizzing by.

It smacked the painting right on a water lily.

Thank God there was protective glass over that painting – otherwise, the news headline would have been “Olaf Destroys a Monet!” I still can’t believe everyone failed to notice Jack’s attempt to give the world yet another reason beyond “Let it Go” to hate the Frozen characters.

And I said it: “Never, ever, ever, throw Olaf at a Monet.”

I dragged him away immediately (probably what he wanted, though) and confiscated his hat (something he didn’t want at all). Such was the end of our museum trip.

In regards to the craziest things boys will make you say, I think I’ve won… but in what should have been a moment of parenting one-upping triumph, I’ve definitely decided I don’t want to win anymore. Go figure.

It might have taken an airborne Olaf hat to make it plain, but no matter what, parenting isn’t a competition. Life isn’t a competition. We put too much stock in who is doing better or worse when comparatives don’t really matter.

To be perfectly honest, I’ve been struggling these past few months with how sick I have been. I’m still bruised from the accident that wasn’t even our fault… and it doesn’t matter that it wasn’t our fault because fault doesn’t change the situation in which we find ourselves in life. While I am completely for taking responsibility, at a point, whose responsibility it is doesn’t matter.

We have to learn to gracefully accept and respond to whatever we are given because it is given to us for a reason — this is our responsibility in any and every circumstance.

I think God cares far more about our hearts in any situation than how we outwardly respond. It isn’t fitting that we should be looking around and comparing ourselves to how everyone else is doing or what they have, for better or worse, instead of fixing our eyes on Him and Him alone.

Fair is a tough thing in our culture.

I get far too upset when isn’t fair, but in reality, things are more than fair for me. Fair is getting what I deserve and Jesus already took that punishment for me with His death on a cross.

If anybody has the right to complain about life not being fair, it is Christ. And yet, He never did. He offered us grace.

I’ve already won. I’ve been given what I could never hope to earn. This grace pulls us into a relationship with Him and changes us, otherwise, it is a cheap imitation of this real and life-giving grace. Our identity, firmly rooted in His, is how we can have the confidence to walk difficult paths because life isn’t always easy.

I know who I am: a sinner. Trying to become a better version of myself under my own power isn’t really faith. It is an exercise in humanism where the point is to make ourselves happy and we only end up chasing our own tails like we have been doing for centuries. We’ll never outrun or educate ourselves out of this darkness in our hearts. It won’t happen – it can’t happen. We’re sinners. I’m a sinner. My three-year-old is a sinner.

Which is why I was thrilled that Jack just decided to accept Christ as his Lord and Savior (on Friday the 13th, as befits his personality) and ironically, right before the Olaf versus Monet debacle.

Growth isn’t always immediate, evidently…

Apparently “Trouble” thought waiting a minute for me to look at painting was unfair. Olaf probably thought being flung through the air at artwork was unfair. And Claude, well… I’m just glad he didn’t live to see this day as assuredly he would have thought a cartoon character accosting his masterpiece was unfair (again, so thankful for the glass and Olaf is only yarn!).

Obviously, forgiveness doesn’t change our nature or our struggle with fairness, but it does begin the process of being made into a new creation.

It’s amazing what a flying Olaf can teach us about grace.

I’m just not so sure Jack deserves that hat back yet, though… if ever.

And… If you happen to be a security guard at a museum, and you found some really interesting security camera footage… please know that I am profoundly sorry and Olaf is never, ever, coming along again (or any other loose items for that matter) and my three-year-old will likely be in a straight jacket if I ever allow him to return which probably won’t be before he is twenty. And if it is any further consolation, I’m going to have Frozen-themed nightmares, Impressionist-style, tonight.


And since I don’t care about winning anymore, what phrases did you think you would never have to say to your kids?


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27 thoughts on “I Won

    • Haha! Well, you know, Monet could be a bit of a snob 😉 Thanks so much for your encouragement! I’m so glad you came by and got to hear about the latest craziness! “Trouble” definitely fits in the family 😉


  1. Okay, I chuckled, and then laughed, and then snorted outright… loved your perspective through your ordeal with your son and the humour to be had there 🙂 And I’m sure God often feels the same way about us, and so I loved that you mention Grace… He continually immerses us in His grace as we learn to allow Him to transform and mold us and walk in His will and appreciate the fullness of His sacrifice!
    So glad we’ve bumped into each other, Sara… I’m excited to keep reading your posts!!! ❤ and blessings!


    • God definitely has a sense of humor! I love how He is continually teaching me through such mundane (if you can call this mundane- I really don’t want this to happen ever again!) things. I’m so glad you stopped by! I loved reading your blog and totally related 🙂 I subscribed and am so looking forward to keep reading your posts too! I hope that you have a blessed day!

      Liked by 1 person

      • Great comments about grace and giving up a “right” to fairness. Maybe Monet was painting a Realist painting and HIS 3 year threw something at the painting before it dried!

        Well, in the glass half-full categories, I think you have a budding pitcher on your hands! Let me know if you need a Little League coach!


    • That is absolutely hilarious! I laughed out loud! I think real life is funnier than anything we can make up 🙂 Were you able to keep a straight face saying that? I don’t think I would have been able to! I’m so glad you stopped by Sadia!


  2. You have a wonderful way of telling your story and weaving God’s grace right into the midst of it, Sara. Popping in from the RaRa linkup and glad I did. Enjoy your boys. I have 3 (and 1 girl) nearly raised.


    • I really appreciate your affirmation, Julie! Thank you 🙂 So fun to meet another mom with 3 boys and a girl; I absolutely love having all of them although it is going by far too quickly. The three boys have definitely taught me a lot about grace 😉 So glad to connect with you!


  3. Lovely, hilarious, and touching.

    I just love how you took this story of a trip to the museum and turn it into a piece on God’s grace. God’s grace… I call on it every day. Every. Single. Day. At times I get frustrated with myself… as the worship song says, “His grace is enough”… yet for me, I need to lean heavily into it every day because if I don’t I really struggle with all sorts of stuff. Now I’ve come to realize that I would rather have it that way then to feel like I don’t need His grace as much.

    I love Monet – glad Olaf couldn’t get through the glass (I think I would have been mortified too).

    Thanks for sharing.


  4. You are so right. God cares more about our hearts than anything else. And faith isn’t really faith if we’re not trusting – even in those oh so hard moments. This was wonderful. Hang in there, those boys will be men someday and you’ll wish they were 3 again, throwing Olaf at Monet. (Or maybe just 3.)

    Your article intrigued me from Wonderful Wednesday. Following now!


    • Thank you so much, Ruthie! I wish I could keep these precious boys at these ages- it is going way too fast. I know we are all going to look back at the Olaf/Monet incident and laugh for a long time; poor kiddo will probably never live this one down! These kids are my reminders that I need to keep trusting God with everything- including them and that is what I struggle with the most.

      I can’t wait to check out your blog! I’m so glad that we connected through Wonderful Wednesday!


  5. Your list is hilarious! Poop on your cousin? LOL And poor Darth Vadar he gets blamed for everything! Ha! But yes, Olaf meeting Monet…I think that you win!

    I am so sorry that you live with Fibro & Chronic Illness. I have an Auto-Immune disease too, I feel for you. I have seen God move in our lives and I know he is here. I try to be as upbeat as I can, but just because He gives me a path to walk does not mean that I have to like it at all times. And the mourning yourself, well for me that is the hardest part. Not only do you have to come to terms that you will never be who you thought you would be when you grew up, but the limitations and pain are something to deal with too. I understand that it is my path, and I am working at being joyful about it. Good luck on your journey!


    • I’m so sorry that you struggle with an autoimmune disease, Nikki- that is so hard. I started having all the symptoms of one after the car accident we were in back in October and it is absolutely no fun. We’re hoping I’ll start to improve some soon, but it has been an exercise in learning to have joy in spite of everything. You are so right that there is definitely a mourning period; chronic illness is such a huge loss and it radically changed the path of my life although after many years I’m starting to see that I’m exactly where God wanted me. I’m strangely growing very thankful for my fibro and God’s grace in it all! I will be praying for you;I’m so glad to connect with you!


  6. I am so glad there are others with their boys like I had been with mine. Lovely to smile and to nod in understanding but I pray that you feel much better soon.


    • I’m so glad to connect with you, Sandra! Yes, it is always good to connect with other moms of inventive boys and ironically, as I type, the three year old is stuffing animal crackers between the couch cushions and giggling… Thanks so much for your encouragement!


    • Haha! Yes, poor Olaf gets blamed for everything! I love the things kids say; I feel like I am always cracking up at the conversations I overhear! I can’t wait for you for this milestone 🙂


    • I’m so glad, Gina! I don’t know what it is about 3 boys; hilarity naturally ensues! What cracks me up probably the most is watching our foster daughter with them and while she is all girl, she loves to play like the boys. Just the other day she was carrying around a baby doll in one hand and a nerf gun in the other making shooting sounds to go with it. I’m sure you have wonderful stories about those precious grandsons! So glad to connect with you!


  7. Lol! Great for-real story telling Friend! I am glad I finally got over here today via our little Tweet-connect. Those kids will surely keep us in the blogging business…always a great story coming through them. Ha! 🙂 Love it!!!


    • I’m so glad we connect through Twitter too! I’ve been enjoying your posts 🙂 And yes, I feel like I have no shortage of material thanks to these kiddos! I seriously have to leave the room all the time because I’m laughing to hard at something they have done and totally undermining myself… Thanks so much, Yolanda!


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