on cleaning up

broken mirrorI knew it was dangerous when I leaned it against the wall, but I thought that if I watched it carefully, it would be fine. Isn’t that just how it goes?

This full-length mirror was found in a very old home at least 60 years ago, so no one knows how old it was. The frame is solid walnut maybe, nailed together in a sturdy, foreign way. The darkening, thick glass weighs at least 50 pounds. 

My 1 year old puts his mouth to it and gives himself kisses. He is drawn, too. I turn my back, and it shatters in an upward explosion. As I turn, I scream out motherfear and scoop him up from the pile of tiny knives. I don’t know how it doesn’t crush him. My bed is covered in glitter – the pile of unfolded clothes, glitter.

I have taken my turn with secret sin. I’ve mulled over and over the nag, the lie, the shame in perpetuation, the backward transformation starting with carelessness – thinking I have a need for, and then ignoring, the deathtrap that leans against the bedroom wall. 

So when the shattering comes, and it does, is it any wonder that it falls like razor blades, and the cleaning up has to be intentional and painful? Is it any wonder that it falls so hard that it wakes me on the inside and I see what a mess I’ve made, and how deeply it could hurt my children?

Now, a day later and then a month, I continue to stand in every perspective of light to see it all exposed so it won’t bury in – because a mother sees the glass lying there and sweeps a clean path for her children.

About me


What I Knew In My Dying Day: a Wild in the Hollow Guest Post by Tara Owens
August 19, 2015
Condemnation on the Molehill
June 08, 2015
Tools for the Highly Sensitive Mother: An Introduction
April 27, 2015
The Uncouth: The Hormonal
May 12, 2014
What Mothers Me
April 01, 2014
Learning How to Eat (and a giveaway of Mom in the Mirror)
May 20, 2013
A Haines Home Companion: Alter
February 22, 2013
A Haines Home Companion: Motherhood and Anti-Depression
February 08, 2013
A Haines Home Companion: On the Trail
January 25, 2013


Reply July 14, 2009

I never have anything to add because your stunning word arrangements say it all. So I'll just go with the usual "wow."
Sigh. I know well that motherfear and the painful intentional picking up after the mess I've made.

Jo@Mylestones’s last blog post..Nature's Penance

Reply July 14, 2009

I don't believe in accident or happenstance in the life of believers. I normally don't get on Twitter this early in the morning, but THIS morning I was and THIS morning I needed the piercing truth of your words. Powerful and profound. Thank you allowing God to use the gift He has blessed you with to speak Truth to this Sister today.

Megan@SortaCrunchy’s last blog post..slowed down for summer

Kelly @ Love Well
Reply July 14, 2009

Yet we excuse it away because it's so beautiful, willfully ignoring the death it carries.

Beautiful, Amber.

Kelly @ Love Well’s last blog post..Questions for a Monday Morning

Reply July 14, 2009

wow! bet you were scared out of your socks. funny what God uses to teach us about Himself. i know you loved that mirror
ps...thought i saw you in walmart tonight and i almost clobbered a complete stranger.

Reply July 14, 2009

I read your posts and want you to know I read and yet, I have nothing to add to what you've written. It's almost a guilty feeling to come and read, be moved and blessed by your words and not say "thank you" or leave some sign that you have moved me or blessed me. I just want to say, keep letting Him write through you. You make me think and reconsider my own everyday living.

BlueCastle’s last blog post..Price My Space

Reply July 15, 2009

oh, amber... you have such a way.

patty’s last blog post..ever have one of those days?

Boy Crazy
Reply September 7, 2009

this is why i keep coming back. you, my friend, have a gift.

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