I'm writing daily this month on being interrupted by grace. Learn more and join in here.
Hey y'all. I have a three year old (closer to 4, actually) little boy and lately he's been having a lot of what I'll call "moments." The slightest little thing does not go his way and he has a major meltdown about it: tears (the weeping kind), screaming, unwillingness to let you comfort him. Today I carried his laundry basket up the stairs, not aware that he wanted to try doing it himself as I had suggested at one point a little earlier. He got so mad when I told him he couldn't take it back downstairs to bring it back up. We're in his room, I'm sitting on the bed by his dresser ready to help him put his clothes away. In tears he carries the basket back over to the top of the stairs, as I yell from his room that he can NOT do that and needs to come back in with it.
I felt at a loss. What should the consequence be for not obeying? Why does this matter so much to him? He gets to this point where he is just out of control inside his little body, and he has to be calmed down before he can hear you speaking. I think Colin helped him (by blocking the stairs) to decide to bring the basket back into the room, but then he hurled himself on the bed crying and would not stand up to help put the clothes away. All of this was in the span of only a few, very emotional minutes.
Finally, I'd had it and didn't know what else to do. So I told him quite firmly that he could come talk with me when he was ready to put his clothes away. As I left the room he said weakly, "I'm ready to put my clothes away." I pretended not to hear him and shut the door behind me as I left.
Not too much later he came downstairs to apologize and tell me he was ready to put away his clothes. We had a cuddle talk about how sometimes we get out of control and need help to get it back together, help we can ask Jesus for because He wants to help us. I'd like to say we had a deep spiritual moment together in which he was fully engaged. Not really. But it was a blessing to cuddle my little boy, whose emotions easily exceed his maturity to handle them, and comfort him with my arms and words.
I tell ya, it's a miracle that God has gotten me to the point when I don't always freak out with him in those "moments." (Note the word always ... sometimes I do still get just as amped as he his!) I can only praise God for the growing fruit of the Spirit in my life. I need Jesus to be at work in my heart when I'm having one of my moments, just as much as my boy does when he's having one of his. We can walk together on this journey of trust and transformation.
Brian is so very dear to me. He's a sweet, fun, snuggly little guy. I'm seeing now how sensitive he is and how gently I need to handle his little heart. God does the same for me. He could always come down with the heavy hand of shame and condemnation; I deserve it because usually I do know better! But He doesn't. And somehow He's going to enable me to deal in kindness and mercy with Brian (and Elizabeth and Katherine) because of the kindness and mercy He's shown me. Some. How.
I do wish I never had to deal with another "moment." They take so much more time and energy than my I-don't-want-to-be-inconvenienced self would like. Without these real life moments, however, I don't believe we'd have as much appreciation for God's good grace toward us, would we?
God interrupted me with grace today, when I had to speak gracious words instead of harsh ones ... just the way He deals with me. And He enabled me to do it this time - a grace in itself.
How's God been interrupting you with grace this week?