Friday, May 01, 2009

Footprints in the Pudding

I don't think you could consider yourself a "christian home" in the 1970's unless you had a macrame wall hanging of the poem "Footprints in the Sand" (or those name plaques: Michelle- Godly Woman). But when I was in the shower yesterday Maren took matters into her own hands and did footprints in the pudding and kool-aid. I don't take long shower (anymore) and when I got in she was quietly reading herself "Goodnight Moon" on the couch. I came out to this.

Do you have any idea how hard it is to clean up Kool-Aid? It smears and stains everything. My hands and her feet are still red!

MMMM...anyone thirsty for kool-aid?

The funny thing is that I didn't get mad at all. The floor really needed to be washed anyway, along with the sink and tub. I'm not sure if I am growing more patient or just don't care anymore. During clean up, I decided I should start potty training her because really, what's one more big mess? She likes running around with no clothes on, so it's working out pretty well.

I've often wondered if I have lack of patience or anger issues. You know when the kids do stuff to freak you out or push your buttons and you snap. Maybe God is using Maren to help take the fight out of me, in a good way. The little things don't bother me as much. I'm too tired to get mad anyway. Not to say that I think it's OK for her to go in the cupboard and empty our stash of kool-aid and pudding, because clearly I don't. Those are two very precious commodities in this house. And yet, I didn't feel the need or desire to yell.

Maybe I should see if my parents still have our "Footprints in the Sand" wall hanging because I like to think that Jesus is carrying me at those moments, helping me not mess up. And through his grace giving me patience and gentleness to press on.

Days like yesterday momentarily cause me to want to run away, but I really don't. Tomorrow I have to be gone all day at a conference and I must say I don't want to go. I hate being gone and missing my messy, wild, somewhat disobedient, beautiful, wonderful, fun and loving kids.

Oh and just in case it's been 30 years since you read "footprints", here is a modern day, internet version.

One night a man had a dream. He dreamed
he was walking along the beach with the LORD.

Across the sky flashed scenes from his life.
For each scene he noticed two sets of
footprints in the sand: one belonging
to him, and the other to the LORD.

When the last scene of his life flashed before him,
he looked back at the footprints in the sand.

He noticed that many times along the path of
his life there was only one set of footprints.

He also noticed that it happened at the very
lowest and saddest times in his life.

This really bothered him and he
questioned the LORD about it:

"LORD, you said that once I decided to follow
you, you'd walk with me all the way.
But I have noticed that during the most
troublesome times in my life,
there is only one set of footprints.
I don't understand why when
I needed you most you would leave me."

The LORD replied:

"My son, my precious child,
I love you and I would never leave you.
During your times of trial and suffering,
when you see only one set of footprints,
it was then that I carried you."

Matthew 11:28-30
Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.