Monday, July 11, 2011

Lessons from the Bathroom

For those parents out there, you know that sanctification rarely penetrates as deep until you start rearing children. I'm certainly no exception. I used to think I was a pretty good person... until I got married... and then had kids. And now, well, I see the sinful mess that I truly am. I can be pretty prideful, selfish, and impatient.

Despite my daughter's two and half years, she is extremely curious, sneaky, contemplative, and just a little too smart for her own good. She's started lying to get around situations, something we are trying to amend. But that's another issue.

A couple days ago, she was brushing her teeth (one of her favorite pastimes) and was in the bathroom unsupervised (I know. I know.). In the course of her exploration, she popped open the shampoo bottle and proceeded to dump out half of its contents. When I exclaimed that she was not making a good choice and what-in-world-was-she-thinking (an ignorant question for a 2-year-old, by the way), she replied with, "I'm cleaning the sink." She knows her momma well and how much I love to clean. But still, she got in trouble and was told she would have to be supervised with any other bathroom visits.

She got over it, but I didn't it. Despite the fact that it was only a couple bucks, I couldn't let it go. After all, not even one week prior, she'd done the same thing, emptying 3/4 a bottle of shampoo into her bath. Wastefulness drives me insane (instilled in me by my frugal mom) ,and we certainly can't afford to buy a bottle of shampoo every week. Am I not punishing her hard enough? Am I being to merciful to her? After all, she should know better? She's done it before.

And then this voice nudged my thinking the other way, "What about you?" "Do you ever repeat sins--things you should not do because you too know better?" "What about Me?" "Am I too merciful to you?" "I continue to forgive you, even when you are flippant about it?"

I wasn't letting this issue go, and neither was the Holy Spirit. Foolishly, I argued with Him a little further, justifying my indignation. I won't embarrass you (ahem,... me) with the dialog, but needless to say, God did open my eyes to the situation.

Do I still get angry? Sure. Are there still consequences? Absolutely. But I'm learning. Grace has always been a difficult concept for to receive and extend. But more peace comes when I acknowledge what's been extended to me.

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