“What do you mean you can’t get in?” My heart lurched and my mind started spinning. “I don’t have my keys or my phone.”

“Mommy it is locked,” L drooped her head.

“Ugghh!” I stamped my feet temper-tantrum style. My heart thundered in my chest and my eyes flashed with anger. “How did the door get locked?” I couldn’t keep the edge out of my voice.

“I’m stupid,” she crossed her arms.

I exhaled letting the first flash of anger subside. “You are not stupid. Do not talk about my daughter like that.” I inhaled deeply. “Why did you lock the door?”

“I don’t know mommy. I thought it was locked,” she frowned and crossed her arms again.

“Alright,” I looked down at my bare feet. “We have to walk to our neighbor’s house.”

“But mom,” E interrupted. “I don’t have my shoes on yet.”

“Me either,” L held up her shoes.

“Get your shoes on. J,” I looked for my youngest, “do you have your shoes?”

J nodded his head. “And dis,” he grinned and held up a Lego creation.

Maggie and Lucy, our puppies, joined the melee. They wagged their tails, nipped, and added to the general melee. L couldn’t get her shoes on with the hyper state of things.

“We have got to get out of here so you can get your shoes on,” I said nodding toward the gate.

As we walked out our gate E squealed, “Ew! Bird poop!”

“Where?” I said and scanned the gate.

E pointed at the gate and then at her hand. She whimpered, “I have to wash it off mom.”

E wanted to wash it off in the bathroom outside, but I wanted us out of the backyard so I could get L’s shoes on without puppies in the way. So we attempted to use the hose out front. However that hose was connected to our irrigation system which was turned off for the winter. So I sent E to the backyard to the bathroom out there. As she went I tried to help L get her shoes on, but E forgot to shut the gate. Panicked the puppies would escape, I ran and shut the gate while J and L were in the front yard. At some point a screaming and crying fit ensued.

“I’m so glad I put my bra on,” I thought. “My kids are still in P.J.’s and now screaming. I wonder what the neighbors will think.”

“We have to calm down.” I nod firmly. “We have to walk to our neighbor’s house to call daddy, so he can come and unlock the door.”

“It’s too far.”

“I don’t want to walk.”

“We don’t have a choice,” I interrupted. “Do you think I want to go bare foot to the neighbor’s house? We are all walking.”

A short time later my husband came home and unlocked the door. As I stepped in the back door I realized I had dog poop on my heel. NASTY! As I finished cleaning off my foot my son walks in the back door.

“Mommy! I had a accident,” he hollered.

I shook my head. “Seriously?!” I thought. “Ok J, go upstairs and I’ll help you clean up.”

I stepped out side to tell E and L I was cleaning up J. Then I went upstairs to help clean up the accident.

The next thing I know I hear screaming and crying from the back door and the bath tub upstairs. I check on J and then head downstairs.

Oh my, I accidentally locked my girls outside.

Have you ever noticed the things that bother you so much about another person are the things you also struggle with? Perhaps that is why Jesus says , “Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye?” (Luke 6:41)

Maybe we need to remember we are stumbling sinful people in need of grace and so are all the other folks in this world. We all have planks and dust in our eyes. We are desperately in need of grace and so are other folks. So let’s remember James 1:19, “My dear brothers, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry..”