I had a very productive day today. I cleaned the family room, made the dough for the first Christmas cookies of the season, got some outside work done, and started getting Christmas decorations out of the closet. As I type this, the tree is a long, skinny stick with two layers of nice, full branches at the bottom and the little mini-tree at the top. Is this any indication that my day did not end in the same manner it started?
Earlier today, my seventeen-month-old son got into my purse and ate two (that I know of) pieces of gum. His breath was minty fresh, but it gave him some tummy problems. He had diarrhea twice before dinner. When I was getting him ready for his bath, I took off the diaper too soon and the floor got wet (not diarrhea, thank goodness!). After cleaning that up, I found a spot in his bedroom that our puppy wet. I cleaned that up, left the odor-removing spray to soak in, then returned to the bathtub to find my laughing baby boy sitting in cloudy water. I won’t elaborate further. I got him and the tub cleaned up (though not disinfected), then got him dressed and ready for bed. Remembering that I needed to dry the spot on the floor, I set him down until I finished. After throwing away the paper towels and washing my hands, I found my son laughing and throwing bath toys into the (still not disinfected) bathtub.
The verse “Oh Lord, open Thou my lips, and my mouth shall show forth Thy praise” (Psalm 51:15) comes to mind. When I found my little boy, I opened my lips, but my mouth did not show forth praise. Heart rate accelerating with every word, I yelled at him, scolding all the way to his bedroom. He just looked at me, not crying or laughing or anything. As soon as my emotional lapse of sanity had passed, I felt awful. He was just a little toddler, doing what he did every other evening after his bath; germs mean nothing to him. And the puppy is a puppy; it’s something of a miracle that he is not having more accidents than he is. And I really need to remember to keep my purse out of reach.
I knew I needed to apologize. He wouldn’t necessarily understand me, but I told him that Mommy was sorry for yelling and please forgive her. I hugged him and when he put his head on my shoulder and grabbed my ponytail with one hand like he does every other night, I knew that he forgave me. Then I prayed, confessed to God, asked Him to help me be a better mommy. I knew that when I entered the room, I was in no way able to say my son’s bedtime prayer, until I had repented. Peace pushed out the tension I felt in my body, tears released the pain, and my little boy’s sweet snuggling was a balm to my heart.
This Advent season, we look for the coming of our Lord, the Anointed One of God not as a powerful and mighty king, but as a tiny baby. He subjected Himself to all the stresses of daily life, to the pain of loved ones disappointing, to the censure of the world for not doing what they wanted Him to do. Why? To forgive wretched sinners like myself. To forgive wretched sinners like you. So we might be made right with God and equipped with His Spirit for service to others.
Lord Jesus, Bethlehem Child, Suffering Servant at Calvary, forgive me for the sins which caused You to humble Yourself, to subject Yourself to a humiliating and terrible death. Thank You for the forgiveness that Your blood bought. Thank You for the promise of Life that Your resurrection offers. Guide me with Your hand, that I may be a voice of Your love, mercy, and peace to those around me. Amen.