Friday, April 25, 2008

Yes, a cup of crap.

"You two need to turn around please before you either knock something over or you fall. These will be ready in a minute, now sit down." I was struggling to get the second batch of pancakes to flip. I neglected to smear my Crisco on the griddle and apparently these weren't looking as "well flipped" as the others. As my 3 year old girl was turning around she said, "Well, they look like crap." Silence. You think, "Nah, she didn't just say that." My husband looked at her as patiently and straight-faced as possible and of course asked the question, "What did you say?" Why do we ask that? They almost always admit to repeating the same garbage that we thought we heard them say in the first place. Hearing it twice makes it that much more difficult to discipline them. You are either trying really hard not to laugh or you are trying really hard not to break something. In any event, he asked. As expected she repeated, "I said, 'they look like crap.'" So, he asked her to please be excused and meet him in her room.

Now, you may be shocked and a bit disgusted that my children would use the word, "crap." To be honest, it beats some of the alternatives! I guess I should go ahead and tell you that sometimes they say, "butt" and even, "shake your booty." It's absolutely abominable at times!!! Now, the fact that I'm mentioning the word lets you know where I was coming from. That isn't a nice word and is especially distasteful coming out of my sweet little girl's mouth. Mike didn't hear the word, he heard her heart.

When they came back out, she did not apologize for using the word. She apologized for being disrespectful to me. That part didn't dawn on me. My husband saw me standing in the kitchen preparing something for them to eat, and she was complaining against it. It was not what came out of her mouth that was the problem, it was the attitude of her heart. Jesus is very clear in Matthew 12:34 that it is out of the overflow of the heart that the mouth speaks. We must check our hearts and the hearts of our children.

As I sat back and thought about this I thought about how many times God is doing something for me and I don't thank Him. I don't look at the God of the universe who is loving me, providing for me, sending His only son to die for me, and say, "Hey, God, it's looking good in there! Keep up the outstanding work. You are incredible the way you provide for me. It amazes me that you would have anything to do with me. I just love you for being you. Thanks a million!" No, sometimes I say something like, "Well, it looks like crap." I'm just being honest. I look at the situation or circumstance and grumble of the job that He has done. "Seriously, God? Can't you do any better than this? I mean, come on, you've got the entire universe on a schedule. You made the earth and all that is in it in 6 days, why don't you give that another shot?" Oh, my heart breaks even as I admit to feeling that way! The good news is that if you have also said that, we can repent! We can admit that we disrespected God and we can ask forgiveness, just like in my kitchen last week. We tell our kids that when we sin against God we have to confess, ask for forgiveness and then walk in freedom.

So, that's my cup of crap. I'm so thankful that God is a patient and gentle Father. He is "a compassionate and gracious God, slow to anger, abounding in love and faithfulness." Psalm 86:15. That is just such good news to me as I struggle to live a life that is pleasing to Him. Often I find that I am just like those men of whom Isaiah spoke and that Jesus addressed as well, "These people honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me. They worship me in vain; their teachings are but rules taught by men." Mark 7:6-7 That's me. I'll smile and appear glad at what He's "cooking" up for me, but my heart, oh my heart says, "Well, that looks like crap." Knowing this and being aware of this causes me to rejoice that I have a Savior. I sure do need one. I pray that you will check your heart as well, and then rejoice with me that we do not have a Savior who leaves us as He found us.

"May God himself, the God of peace, sanctify you through and through. May your whole spirit, soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. The one who calls you is faithful and he will do it."
1 Thessalonians 5:23-24

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