Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Kids and Crumbs

I live with a bunch of selfish, self serving, self focused people. I'm talking about the little things. The things that threaten to send me into a rage on the right day at the right time of the month. I'm sure I've explained the whole "Shake your placemat off in the garbage and then bring it to the laundry room" thing a hundred times to the people in my home. Yet, yesterday morning after everyone had gotten on their various busses I found myself picking up after all manner of stages of neglect. There were placemats still on the table filled with crumbs. I found more next to the garbage can. I picked up bits of muffin from the carpet from those who actually made it to the laundry room but hadn't been shaken into the garbage. And then finally when I got to the "towels" laundry basket with those that had been forgotten by their users I found still more, balled up and filled with crumbs. Grrrrrrgh!!! I was miffed. I was more than miffed. I could really quickly launch now into the annoyance of finding size 15 dirty, stinky, smelling golf socks laying next to the computer, or 2 week old popcorn and cans of half drunk decaying pepsi under a bed, or even debate why it is that the men of my home can't respect the women who live here enough to just put the seat down already...but I won't. Because that might bore you and, well, I suppose it really wouldn't do much good for me either.
The thing is this; I realized this morning as I picked up after the instances of placemat disobedience that I can be just like that in my own life. Let me explain. I lined my kids up after school and I asked them to claim their placemat. Those who had gotten their placemats to the laundry room quickly pointed out that "at least WE got ours to the right spot and didn't leave them on the table." And the kid who left it next to the garbage responded "Well I meant to, but I forgot when I put my plate in the dishwasher." (A transparent scheme to get me to notice his obedience in the case of his plate, cup and utensils). I do that too. I compare my sin with others. I don't mind confessing, but I always want God to see that it wasn't intentional and I want Him to notice all the positive things I've done. In the end, it's the kid who's placemat was left on the table full of food who has no excuse. Taylor could think of nothing and so he just had to look at me and say, " Yep. Sorry about that." Somehow then, it's him I'm least angry with.
Kama's catechism lesson last week was about how even our best works can't earn us favor with God, but they are a necessary part of the life of the believer. I tried my best to explain to her what the difference between thankful living and earned salvation is. But I think Taylor is the one who taught me the lesson. I'm going to screw up in this life. And I'm going to do it alot. I'm going to keep on making the same mistakes over and over no matter how hard I want to do the right thing. But when I've realized that I've let God down again I want to be the one who just says, "Sorry about that Lord. I'm gonna try harder to remember tommorow."
I don't know that my kids get how difficult it makes the mornings when I have to be at work. I don't have time for racing through the placemat trail. After all, I've gone through alot for them already by just making them a hot breakfast. Why can't they respect that and be thankful? But do I consider? Do I really consider how it must grieve my God when the stages of neglect in my life leave Him picking up the pieces... after all He's gone through on my behalf.
Thanks for teaching me lessons Lord through the crumbs and the kids in my life. I'm sorry. I'm sorry for being a selfish, self serving, self focused person. I have nothing to offer in my defense.
Except Christ. And I'm so thankful God, that He is enough!


janelle said...

Cheri, great post - thank you for sharing. I too, learned something from my son this week; I blogged about it this morning.

Jennifer said...

Oh girl, this post is perfect for me. I constantly "preach" grace to me kids, but do I live it? I expect grace, but do I extend it? Sometimes, I don't know.

Thanks for your willing heart to share.