I would like to introduce you to one of my favorite personal devotions to Our Blessed Mother.  This isn’t a devotion you’ll find written about by the fathers of the church, or great church doctors.  It’s not a devotion that has been perfectly carved out of marble, or painted into cathedral murals, or set in mosaic or glowing stained glass. You won’t find this devotion written about in your Catholic bookstore, or on holy cards.


In fact, you won’t find this peculiar devotion anywhere outside our family walls.


It was an especially frustrating afternoon. I was sitting in my rocking chair downing my 287th cup of coffee that day, asking our Blessed Mother for the strength to not hurt anyone before Dada came home.  With as much as the kids had gotten into that day, surely things couldn’t get any worse.  Then it happened.  


I smelled peppermint.


The two-year-old had just been here!  Four seconds ago, she was quietly playing with blocks at my feet… Where could she have possibly gone in that time?!


The bathroom.  To get the toothpaste.  Then the dining room.  To somehow silently push the piano bench across the room. To climb on the table.  To reach my favorite image of Our Lady.  To completely cover her in minty fresh finger paint.


Our Lady of the Toothpaste.


Something stirred in my soul, though, and I didn’t feel even a hint of the usual anger.  I could feel Christ’s grace pouring into me, through the heart of Mary.  I didn’t yell.  Didn’t even raise my voice.  Just said “Uh-oh!  Let’s clean this up. And… You’re not supposed to play on the table.”


“Okay, sorry Mama. I vuv you!” And we cleaned it up and moved on to something else.


It was one of the most peaceful, grace-filled mothering moments I’ve lived.


So whenever my kids are getting into something crazy, tearing the house up, unfolding the laundry, painting the walls, sticking pepperoni slices to the windows etc.  And I’m about to lose my mind and just burn the place to the ground, I try to whisper “Our Lady of the Toothpaste, pray for me now!”


It’s part devotion, mostly inside joke between me and my Mama.  But I know she understands exactly what I mean.