3 Facts for the Day

17 07 2013

1. At the end of last week, I was giving a cursory sweeping of the kitchen. As I attacked my major area of battle, Under Chloe’s chair, I knew I had met my match. I swept my broom across the two pieces of dropped cereal, but they wouldn’t budge. I made a second pass, this one much more abrasive, but still, they held their ground. It seemed that the milk had activated a sugary glue that literally pasted these discarded pieces of breakfast to their current position. While I wasn’t surrendering the war, I knew this battle was lost. I silently retreated while they held their position. It got me to thinking about sin. Sin in your life can be like a stubborn stain. It’s a mess in your kitchen. You may not see it right away. It may be hiding under a chair. Sometimes sin is real obvious, what most people will call a “big sin.” You see it in your life like a sink full of dishes. You tackle it head on, and you’re good. Sure, you still have to keep up on it, to prevent it from sneaking back up on you, but mostly you got that sink gleaming. Other sins are hidden, deep down. Sin can be like onion layers, you have to peel away at it. Sometimes sin is like a baby’s diaper. From the outside, everything looks good. Nothing is soaked through or smelly. But then you open that diaper, and wham, it’s a doodoo emergency! As I dig deeper with God, I realized my sin was like that sticky cereal.
2. This post has been a long time coming, but I’ve just kept putting it off. No one likes to admit their faults. I’ve found myself praying for my stepdaughter a lot lately. Before that came, though, I was praying a lot for myself. I’m not sure when it all started, but at some point I began to pray in earnest for God to make me a better Wife and Mom. I prayed for Him to reveal to me where I fell short. I know! That’s some dangerous stuff. No one really enjoys God showing them the ugly, hidden stuff inside us. He answered faithfully. Slowly I began to become aware of areas I could work on, to put it mildly. One such area He revealed was my relationship with my stepdaughter. First off, I’ll start by saying, I’ve never mistreated her or harmed her in any way! I just started to re-examine how I dealt with her. I began to question if my reaction to something she did was appropriate. I would think, “Would I respond that way if that were Chloe?” Was my patience not as enduring with her? Did my style of parenting need work? I was raised with a lot of guilt being used to manipulate my behavior. I don’t fault my Mother for this trait. I realize it was something her own Mother did to her. It was simply how she was taught. I must say the use of guilt is an affective way to get a child to do what you want, especially as they get older. I was determined to not use this tactic with my own children. Then I had to work doubly hard to not use it with my stepchild. As The Lord revealed my own behaviors and reactions to me, I noticed I softened my approach with her. Being a step-parent is hard. You have only a portion of a child’s time, and your parenting style may differ from the biological parent. It takes patience and finesse. I knew that I not only owed it to my step-daughter to treat her as well as my own child; I also was obligated to her Mother and my spouse to treat their child with utmost care. I stood in awe as God reshaped my way of thinking and melted my heart for this sweet little girl.
3. Today I stood determined to regain the ground I had lost under the table. I sprayed the stubborn, sticky cereal with 409. I gave it a little time to soften. Then I got down on my hands and knees. I had to move some chairs out of the way. I had to use a little elbow grease to work them loose. It took some time, but eventually they loosed and came up. As I looked at the shiny wood floor, I felt a sense of accomplishment. Sometimes when a stain (sin) is found, you may have to back off and regroup. Pray yourself up for strength and guidance. You may have to go back at a later date, but don’t you forget about it, even if it is mostly hidden under the table. The longer you leave it, the worse it will get. You’ll probably have to move some chairs. Sometimes stuff/people try to get in the way of removing sin from your life. (I’m sure we’ve all known a chair or two in our lifetime). You may have to get on your knees. In fact, I highly recommend just going ahead and getting on down there. It’s easier that way. You may have to put some work in it. Nobody ever said removing stains was an easy job. I want you to realize that when it’s gone and you see your shiny surface, you will feel so good! Now don’t think I’m done at my house. Oh no sir. I’m still cleaning my floor. It’s a daily job. Nobody said it would be easy, but I like a clean house.
That is all 🙂

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