A Haines Home Companion: On the Mad, the Mud, and a book giveaway

The black edge of the sky seeped quickly into the blue, and the apartment kids in the yard threw their bikes down and inched onto the covered sidewalk just as the hail began to pound. It thundered in the distance, but we all felt the electricity of God-power as ice covered the ground.

The kids laughed, wide-eyed, yelling, hanging on each other, sticking their hands out into the pouring rain. Then the gray lightened, and the thunder stopped. We looked for the rainbows.

A few wild kids ran straight out into the rain and jumped in the puddles, and I wanted so badly to turn back in to my long to-do list. It hovered over me with such threats that when my own children began asking if they could play in the rain, I said NO Way! I had too much to do to mess with mud in my laundry and bathtub.

Then started the Fayetteville Whine Festival of 2011, and I grit my teeth, “no no no no.” So many kids by now were literally rolling in the mud, gut laughing. And Isaac’s eyes welled up, and Ian was already soaking wet from trying to catch the hail. My nerves had caught some ionic influence, and I finally gave in, and said, “Fine! Go ahead!”

I martyred myself, mad as a hornet.

They had the best time. Just the best. And they said “Thank you, Mama” over and over again. But it didn’t matter. I was so mad at them for begging and mad at myself for letting them be beggars and mad at myself for not being the hippie Mama I used to be and encouraging them to drop their cares and dance.

Oooo, and I made them pay. I frowned the whole rest of the day. I had to scrub the tub. I had to wash their clothes twice! And by the time Seth got home, I was so exhausted that I couldn’t speak.

Maybe I should have dipped my own head in the mud like Jude. Maybe I should have drank some of it like Ian. It certainly would have made for a lovelier day for us all.

The yard is so green now. Their clothes are folded. I’m such a silly Mama.

I sit here reading Kristen Welch’s new book, Don’t Make Me Come Up There, and I feel so relieved about my own goofiness, my mess, my crazy love for my blog and my boys. I haven’t picked this book up even once without laughing until I cry!

It’s full of scripture, and it’s full of story, and I’m talking hilarious story – like superglued-little-kid-lips funny.

If you’re a mom, and you’re a mess like me and Kristen, then please pick up Don’t Make Me Come Up There. All proceeds go to Mercy House Kenya!

You can find Kristen’s amazing blog at We Are That Family, or follow her on Twitter @wearethatfamily.

And you have a chance to win a free copy today through next Friday midnight central, simply by commenting on this post. If you purchase a copy, leave another comment, and you’ll be entered twice for a chance to give one as a gift.

About me


Shannnon @nwaMotherlode
Reply April 22, 2011

I feel ya. Just, yeah. I need to read this book, too, I'm thinking, so I can laugh. With this cold, I was a grouchy bear last night and this morning.

Steph @ MomKaboodle
Reply April 22, 2011

oh boy, does this sound familiar! I get angry with myself for not being more fun-loving sometimes, and only thinking about the MESS that I have to clean up. (Poor me, Me, ME!). Happens more often than I care to admit. But the memories that those kiddos will have if we give in and indulge their free little spirits and their bouncy little feet!

Thanks for letting me know that I'm not the only one who does this, and for reminding me that it's OKAY to let them just be - mess and all. =)

Elizabeth W
Reply April 22, 2011

I would LOVE to win this book!

Reply April 22, 2011

You're not alone. I'm a momma mess, too. Thanks for hosting this giveaway! Would love to win a copy.

Jessica Y
Reply April 22, 2011

I am crying reading this post, Amber. I am such a silly mama, too. The "no" rolls off the tongue FAR too easily. I cry, too, when I read Ann Voskamp's "The Year of YES" but too soon I forget. I could use a book that makes me laugh til I cry!

Reply April 22, 2011

oh sometimes i have physical pain i want to say no so badly. but it's usually for selfish reasons. and saying yes leads to great stories. usually. i bet the mud play is something they'll remember.

Stacey Brednich
Reply April 22, 2011

Sounds like a precious book. Love you, friend.

Reply April 22, 2011

You are a precious mama!!! My eldest son turns 30 next week and my youngest son, (adopted from China in Jan) turns 3 just a few days later....I told myself I would be different with my three little Chinese kiddos, but the "No" response is out of my mouth before I even consider a "Yes." I keep thinking I'm going to order Kristen's book (should have picked one up at Idea Camp..ugh)...but I would love to win one. I so enjoy your blog! (Aaron, my eldest worked with Seth at the law firm for a couple of years). :*)

Reply April 22, 2011

Love your post bc it made me think how many times I have resisted the fun and then when I finally gave in I also gave them a bucket load of guilt to go along with their fun. I wish I would realize before my anger takes over. I've seen several people mention that book. Looks great!

Southern Gal
Reply April 22, 2011

When did I turn into an old lady who doesn't like to have fun? I ask myself that every now and then. Then I give into something so ridiculous I can't help but laugh at myself. The little ones keep us young. Take that from a woman whose last baby was born when I was 38. I love your story. Thanks for the chance to win.

Reply April 22, 2011

My sister-in-law is a pseudo-single mom (her husband is deployed) with a 3 year-old and 11 month-old twins. She could so use a good laugh, or 20!

Reply April 22, 2011

I love Kristen's blog and would love to win this book!!

And I've totally been there with you on the rainy day. :)

Reply April 22, 2011

I'd love to win Kristen's book. I need all the help I can get. :)

Yesterday at breakfast with the kids, I prayed aloud for patience, and by the time we were leaving for Bible study an hour or so later, I had to repent to my middle one. He agreed wide-eyed that, yes, Mama is a sinner too, who desperately needs her Savior. So thankful for the many chances to share the gospel with my little sinners.

Reply April 22, 2011

I need a good laugh after today . . . and yesterday too, for that matter. Husband is home now after long, exhausting week and I am twitching and drooling on the couch. It's tempting to suck my thumb and cry for my mama. But, I'll settle for a free book.

Reply April 22, 2011

I would love to have a laugh! Thanks for the chance to win!

Cassie Boorn
Reply April 22, 2011

My favorite thing about this entire post is those three barefoot boys in that picture. I love the south.

Danelle Townsend
Reply April 23, 2011

Oh Amber! I was so much more of a "hippie" mama too when my boys were smaller. I was just thinking last week that I've turned a little too stiff, I worry too much about the clean up instead of the fun. When did I lose the fun?
I bet your boys will truly remember their crazy day in the mud forever. Seriously.
I would love to read this book you are mentioning. Thanks for the contest.
Have a beautiful Easter!

Reply April 23, 2011

Oh boy do I ever relate to this making-the-kids-pay thing. Yesterday was a case in point. I'd love to read this book.

Emily Edmonson
Reply April 23, 2011

I'm an avid reader of your blog but never comment! As a Mama of three girls and one more on the way, I can totally relate to this post. I've probably swept my kitchen more in the last two weeks than I ever have--cause little girls love the mud too! :)

Jennifer Ensor
Reply April 23, 2011

You know I need this :)

Shannon Wheeler
Reply April 23, 2011

Sounds like just what I need as I'm scrambling daily to keep up with my 3 kids who span ages from 2 - 12! (This is no small feat.)

Reply April 23, 2011

I SOOOO relate to this post. 'Nuff said. ;)

Reply April 23, 2011

I have been in that place so many times and said "No"...and finally with the recent storms that passed my response was "sure...go"...without hesitation and even happy for them...and then after 5 minutes (possibly 7-10...I want to be fair)....lightening showed up and they all came running in...and then I was mad. All that mess for that short time....whew!

Reply April 23, 2011

I so relate to that post. Think we've all gone to the "mommy martyr" place. Thankfully our God and our children are merciful to forgive.

Reply April 23, 2011

I would love to win this book! Sounds wonderful!

Reply April 24, 2011

I've been there before - want to be the hippie mommy but not always up to the clean up. I stay mad at myself b/c I can't be the hippie mommy every day like I would love to be. This books sounds great too.

Val Hodges
Reply April 25, 2011

You are so funny! I know exactly what you are talking about! Yesterday my little Ian played in the rain too! He was drenched, 3 times actually. Part of me said exactly your words, I don't have time to clean up another mess, but the other part of me said there's no thunder, no lightening...why not! He had such a great time, as it seems your boys did too.

I would love an opportunity to read this book!

Reply April 25, 2011

I love this. I'm not a mom, but I understand. Too often I want life to be easier instead of seeking fullness, and joy.

Ruth Hill
Reply April 26, 2011

This sounds like a book to read. Thanks for the opportunity! Blessings!

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