You're probably wondering about the daughter Isabella loves to clean-she comes by it honestly. I am a shameless clean freak. One morning I was working away in the kitchen while she had the mop I'd left out overnight to dry. And I look over to check on her and my then-7-month-old son, and say the five words I never thought I'd say as a parent, "Isabella, don't mop your brother!" He didn't mind, and she just wanted to make sure he was sparkly. So welcome to my world!

Monday, October 11, 2010

Playing in the dirt

The picture says it all, really. Ryan, being a normal boy, loves to play in the dirt. I don't like the mess on him, his clothes, and the deck, (or off the deck, as he likes to fling it off onto our downstairs neighbor's sun room roof), so playing in the dirt is a no-no. He has had his hand slapped, he's been "locked in" the house, he's had spankings. He returns to the dirt. I thought he was in the living room with his sister watching Sesame Street when I heard crying. I cocked my head and realized He's not in the living room. Seeing the open deck door I went outside and found him crying, furiously rubbing his eyes and only succeeding in rubbing more dirt in them. And, being the loving, caring mom I am...I grabbed the camera before taking care of him.

Crouched down taking that photo, God spoke to me. Look familiar? There are things-dirt piles-that I love to play in, even though I know they're off limits. The pull of the dirt is just too great and, ignoring the warnings, I head right back there. Ooooohh, the dirt. The coolness of it. The way it falls through my fingers. Yes, old friend, I've missed you. I play happily, then stop just a minute to rub my eye...and that's when the pain begins. What began as fun has turned into all-consuming agony. Why does it hurt so bad? Why can't I make it stop? What am I doing here again? I am left alone hating the very place I wanted to be. What seemed like a good idea has turned into a really bad one.

Then God comes along. I'm taking creative license here, but I imagine He shakes His head at me, stuck in the dirt in pain which I created because of my disobedience. He might even chuckle a bit at the mess I've gotten myself into. Why do you do this to yourself? He might ask. Didn't I tell you no? Let's get you cleaned up. And like that He lifts me up and carries me off to get clean-I ask forgiveness of my stubbornness and disobedience. He forgives, wipes away the dirt, and reminds me again that it's better to stay away from the dirt-from the sin-that will hurt.

But will I ever learn?

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