Have you ever had one of those days? Yeah, me too. In fact, I think today might be one of them. J
Let me share my day with you…
It started out pretty well. Despite being a little sleepy (having a 4 ½ week old baby tends to do that), my extra strong coffee seemed to be kicking in and I had started on my to-do list. Noah (the 4 ½ week old) needed fed and so as I sat in the rocking chair, I decided I’d try to multi-task by reading a bit of my devotions at the same time.
Andrew (my 3 year old) was busily coloring with markers at the coffee table right next to me. I looked up from my book to see him under the coffee table, face and hands covered in dark blue marker, staring at me intently. He didn’t say a word, but the look on his face said, “I know I’m going to be in big trouble for this one!” It only took a moment for my eyes to shift to the floor, the light tan living room carpet next to Andrew was now also nicely decorated with dark blue marker. Ahhh!
After a little “heart to heart” conversation about consequences with Andrew, a few tears…from both him and me, I took away Andrew’s markers and sent him to time-out.
I needed a time-out too. When I was done feeding Noah, I headed to the bathroom (where else can a mom get some alone time??). I had a little conversation with the Lord. “Fill me with Your peace, patience and grace, Lord. Remind me of the many times I disobeyed you, and the grace you’ve shown to me. Thank you for being a good Father who cares enough to discipline me when I am wrong. I know it’s not fun, but necessary. Give me wisdom to know how to lovingly guide the son you’ve given me in the same way.”
Andrew’s time-out was done and another teachable moment was ceased when I decided to conquer cleaning up the carpet. I told Andrew to go to his room and play while I did this. As I was down on my knees scrubbing the carpet, the baby started crying; the knees of my jeans were wet with carpet shampoo and water, Andrew kept coming out of his room about every 30 seconds asking me if I was done yet and my husband came in (from his morning chores) looking for some breakfast. Although Alan was fine with eating cold cereal, I felt guilty for not having something more sustaining ready for him. I shared with him my morning woes, he held the baby while I scrubbed the carpet some more.
Alan reminded me that one day I will look back on this day and laugh. Oh, and I reminded him that, that’s easy for him to say when he’s not the one who has to clean it up. HA (see I’m laughing already)!! In all seriousness, as I shared the events of the morning with him (the look on Andrew’s face, the things he said, etc) we laughed together! I said another prayer, “Thank you, Lord, for a wonderful husband to share life and laughter with…and a terrific daddy for my children. AND thank you, Lord, that Andrew used the washable marker to write on the carpet!”
Later Alan had gone back outside. Noah went to sleep. Andrew and I headed out to hang some laundry on the clothesline.
Did you hear the blood curdling screams where you were?!?!
Andrew was spinning around the clothesline pole when he got a splinter in his hand! He screamed! I tried to pull it out, but only managed to get the top of it and left the other half still under the skin. We headed towards the house to get the rest of it out. Upon entering the house we heard Noah crying. He had decided that it was time for him to eat again RIGHT NOW! I told Andrew I would need to feed Noah, then we’d work on getting the splinter out (realizing that it was going to be quite an ordeal). As I fed Noah, Andrew kept coming to the back door saying, “Mommy, you need to get this piece of wood out of my hand!” J
Finally, Noah finished eating, time for Andrew’s “splinter operation”! Tears filled his beautiful, piercing blue eyes and went streaming down his cheeks, his mouth wide open with high pitched screams coming out of it, baby Noah crying along with him and my heart pounding. Andrew said, “I don’t want it to hurt!” I said, “Neither do I!” as tears filled my own eyes and I tried to explain just why I had to do this (to prevent it from getting infected, etc). He cried and pulled away! I wanted so much for him to understand that I didn’t want to hurt him, that I had to do this to keep it from hurting more later, that I was doing it to help him. Try explaining this to a 3 year old when you’re coming at him with a pair of tweezers in your hand!!
I’d never seen him carry on like that before, he’s usually pretty tough, but not today. It was really only a couple of minutes, but it felt like forever! Splinter was removed in seconds, bandage and ointment were applied, tears were wiped, hugs given.
Through this whole “splinter experience” I thought about God’s love for us. Sometimes we go through difficult things, not understanding what God is doing. Like any Good Father (parent) He hurts when we hurt. He is looking out for our best interest. Sometimes it is painful, but I know I can trust Him and what He is doing. He wants me to trust Him, just like I wanted Andrew to just trust me…even when I had tweezers in my hands. I found myself praying again, “Help me to just trust You, Lord…even when I don’t understand what you are doing, even when it’s painful. Help me to know there must be a purpose for the pain if you are allowing it to take place in my life because you are a good Father who loves His children.”
Yes, it’s been one of THOSE days…one of those days that leads me to my Savior. It’s really all about focus and perspective, isn’t it?! Thankful the Lord is walking right beside me…listening, guiding, giving peace and revealing more of Himself to me through ordinary, everyday moments.
“You will keep in perfect peace all who trust in you, all whose thoughts are fixed on you!” Isaiah 26:3 NLT