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Slippery Thighs and Sunday Lies

Slippery Thighs and Sunday Lies

Slathering vegetable oil onto my two-year-old’s leg while he screamed in perfect unison with my three-month-old wasn’t exactly how I’d envisioned the start of my Sunday morning.

This is the day the Lord has made, I recited in my head. I will rejoice once my kids stop screaming.

My Sunday morning fantasy goes as follows: I wake up gradually, body well-rested and heart ready to worship. My children are smiling and obedient, my outfit looks great, and no nursery workers call me out of the worship service to come get a screaming baby.

Believe it or not, vegetable oil and frantic children never appear in these fantasies of mine.

The morning started innocently enough. My son was awake and excited to check on his baby sister. He craned his neck to lean over the crib railing, where his sister gazed back at him, all smiles. I was enjoying the cute moment when a shrill scream pierced the air.  My son’s leg had become stuck between two crib slats.

And not just a little stuck, either. I’m talking a this-leg-isn’t-going-anywhere-any-time-soon-and-we-may-have-to-bust-out-a-saw-and-cut-him-out-of-here kind of stuck.

Toddler panic ensued, and baby girl, already wanting to be just like her big brother, followed suit. A few gallons of tears and a considerable amount of spilled vegetable oil later, we finally slid a slippery leg out of the crib.

Toddler panic gave way to relief, which was to be short-lived, for a massive tantrum soon followed. Next came a messy breakfast, then a wrestling match trying to force flailing limbs into cute Sunday clothes and shoes. “We did it!” I declared, feeling victorious—then realized I was still in my PJs. And we needed to walk out the door like…now. I yanked my hair into a ponytail, threw on the the first dress my hands landed on in the closet, and my husband and I hauled the kids and their many accessories out the door. By the time we had strapped everyone in the car, I felt exhausted—and we hadn’t even left the driveway.

When we rolled into the church parking lot, my attitude was far from where it had started: I was irritated, frustrated, and feeling sorry for myself. Day of rest, I thought. If only.

It’s amazing how easily this day meant for worship turned into a self-centered, frustration-filled, just-get-through-it kind of day. My sense of entitlement to a morning of ease and relaxation for myself kept me from extending grace to my children, joyfully serving my husband, and prayerfully considering how I might speak encouraging and edifying words to my brothers and sisters in Christ.

And that’s the great lie: that this life is all about me and my comfort.

As hard as it is to admit, my desire to worship God is often eclipsed by my desire to have my own needs met. But if every moment of every day has the potential to bring him glory, then that must include the undesirable, unpleasant, and unplanned moments—like when a thigh gets stuck in a crib on a Sunday morning.

By: Mary Holloman is married to her handsome husband of five years and has two children: a two-year old son who never stops moving, and a brand-new baby girl. Mary works and writes for Greensboro Pregnancy Care Center and also serves in her local church’s college ministry. You can follow her daily shenanigans on her blog, All My Springs, which can be found at or follow her on Twitter at @mtholloman.

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