So, my eyeball is bleeding.
Really the morning had gone fairly well: several baskets of laundry sorted, oldest daughter in photo appropriate clothing with hair done, no major fights, new bunny acclimating well and I even got a shower. By all accounts it should have been a win, but the moment I said those fateful words “Kids, time to get in the car” there was a sharp uptick in the tension-o-meter. The second son did not feel he had gotten his allotted video game time and was now sitting in the chair sulking in a passive-aggressive heap. It wasn’t until informing him a few minutes later that he “now has consequences” that he decided it was worthwhile to move.
The youngest son seemed to be enthusiastically obeying, but was sidetracked by the floppy ears of the coonhound which suddenly needed to be scratched. I managed to get him out the door, but when I followed several minutes later, I found that he hadn’t made it pass the ice arena (previously known as our driveway) and despite my correction, did not feel like he needed to stop his ice smashing endeavors to get into the van.
The three year old opted for his example over her older sister’s (the only child actually obeying) and decided to play on the ice where she promptly discovered a bright blue twisty straw that has probably been lying dormant under the snow since December. Okay fine! I will physically pick these children up and move them to the car.
Depth perception has never been my strong suit. I got the little one to the van but when I leaned over to get her seat belt on I neglected to remember the bright blue twisty straw in her left hand. It was like those chess games where they announce each move…
“Child’s straw to mom’s eyeball. Check.”
And now mom is doubled over on the ice, bawling and afraid to open her left eye, all the while feeling guilty for the expletive that just rushed out of my mouth and manically waving for my small son to get in the van, rather than what he was doing which was trying to make sure I was okay. At this point the sulky son decides to weigh in by screaming at his brother to get in his seat and now my repressed anger at his previous attitude comes out in a blaze of fury and pain induced rage terminating in a foul “Shut up! Leave him alone.”
And now everyone is in pain and crying.
It was like a perfect five minute cross section to study sin nature. I could pull about three blogs from it without even digging. I was able to open my eye eventually. I delivered everyone to school before the bell rang and I would be forced to get everyone out of the van and walk each child in (something I’ve actually had nightmares about this week). I can see well enough to write this all down so I think I’m all good but I cried the whole drive this morning. I cried for their sin and I cried for mine. Parenthood teaches you a lot about God in a very direct way. The object lesson of the last two weeks has been the cost of disobedience. I cannot believe how much strife enters into our home because my children, in their folly, choose their own desires and opinions over the instruction of the one person on this planet who is completely devoted to their good. And everytime I want to rage at that, God simply whispers “Do you understand now? Do you see how I always have in mind your good even when it looks uncomfortable?”
It’s pretty understandable that I lost my gourd this morning. But it doesn’t mean it was profitable. There was a reason He tells me “be slow to anger, slow to speak…”. My disobedience this morning caused a lot of extra pain- a lot of extra strife. My anxious energy was even more at the root of what happened than my children’s disobedience. There’s a reason He says “do not be anxious for anything.” That command is there to protect me.
After I dropped of the kids I cried some more, but it wasn’t for my sin or theirs. It was for gratitude.
I didn’t obey perfectly today. There are very few days I do. And God is so so so merciful that He just redirects me and says, “Do you see? Okay. Let’s try again.” He’ll heal my eye. He’ll heal their hearts. He’ll give me wisdom to make things right and strength to do it differently next time. He just gives and gives and gives. He’s not put off by my weaknesses or failures. He’s even bigger than my insolence. He is a patient Father. Impossibly wise and infinitely kind.
And His flawless depth perception means He never stabs Himself in the eye with my twisty straw while manically trying to get me to school on time.