Since I've become a mommy, I have always said that nothing has shown me the power of God and the grace of Jesus like my children. From the first time I saw their little bodies on the ultrasound and heard those precious hearts pounding ... what a mighty God I serve! To the day-to-day interaction/teaching and constant trial and error in parenting ... oh Jesus, show me mercy.
I've never had a real grasp on the love that God has for me, until I had children. And even now, I know I can't truly comprehend it.
I've never realized my dire need for God's direction and guidance, until I had children.
I love that the journey of faith is one that never stops. With each new phase of life, my eyes are popped wide opened to the fact that - wow ... more than anything in this life, I NEED CHRIST.
And, oh, how I pray I show my children both the desperate need for Christ and the glorious freedom in Him.
And teaching moments. I'm always praying for those, too. And wouldn't you know, He's given me plenty over the past week. And I've just got to share.
You see, I may seem even tempered to the outside world, but y'all, when I'm driving ... I am a force. I'm mean. I'm irritable. I'm kind of a monster.
My history with road rage began when we moved to our house and I had a 15 minute commute to work each morning. The people who drive on the road I had to take to get to work are nothing but rubber neckers and dilly dalliers. Oh, it made me crazy.
And then I became a Mommy and I am toting around precious cargo and have become even more of a crazed woman. I simply can NOT take a careless driver. It makes me crazy.
The other day we were driving down the road and a car comes out of nowhere and shoots ACROSS the road, directly in front of me. (I'm going straight, and he shoots across me like he's crossing a T.) We came inches within crashing into him. I scream, slam on my breaks, swerve, and shout out that he's a a moron and that he needs to learn to drive.
Silence in the backseat.
I know his wheels are spinning, but I'm just hoping he doesn't call me out. I was too riled up.
I hear a quite voice squeak out behind me, "Mommy, why did you call that guy a moron?"
Here we go.
(What I want to say is, "Because we almost DIED, Levi. We were almost DEAD MEAT.)
"Well, Levi, he pulled out in front of me and you and Ezra could have been seriously injured. And we could have hurt him really really badly, too."
"But ... should you have called him a name?"
Children have a tendency to recall things that you teach them at the most inopportune time.
Biting my lip.
Uncomfortably adjusting in my seat.
Clearing my throat.
So many thoughts circling my head.
The devil on my shoulder was telling me that yes, indeed, he did deserve to be called a moron because he IS one and anyone who drives like that HAS to be a moron. But then I looked into my rearview mirror and I see these perfectly wide little blue eyes, with every pure and honest intent in the world, and I'm hit with guilt like a ton of bricks.
Jesus speaks through my children's eyes. All of the time.
I went on to tell Levi that Mommy sinned. Mommy made a mistake. And that even though Christ is Lord of my life and I try with all my might to live for Him ... I still mess up. And He always forgives me.
Then we went on to talk about why it was so bad that I said what I did. God created that man that I called a name. He is one of God's beautiful creations. Would God be happy with me calling something that He made a mean name?
The more I talked, the more guilt weighed on my heart. I started tearing up thinking about this stranger that God made ... in His image. Had Levi not been with me, I would not have given it another thought, and probably would have called 5 or 6 other people a moron while I was at it! But he made me stop and realize that hey, this was not right. This is sin. These people, strangers on the road, are fearfully and wonderfully made.
Levi listened quietly and then he said, "Mommy, you made a BIG mistake, didn't you?"
I choked back the giggles, and told him I had ... that my sinful heart took over, and that I was going to ask for forgiveness in a little while when I had my prayer time.
We got home and as I was unbuckling him, Levi says, "Um, Mommy? Um ... I just needed to remind you that you called a guy a moron so that you can talk to God about it."
I told him that I was going to, and we went inside to have supper.
Husby was gone working a local football game, and Levi always wants to say the prayer at supper time, but tonight he asked if I would. As soon as I said "Amen", Levi said, "Well ... you forgot to ask God to forgive you for what you said earlier, Mommy."
I realized right then that it was important for Levi to audibly hear me confess my sin. He was so worried that I was going to forget, and it just had him so upset! I stopped right then and I had a prayer time with Levi, thanking God for His mercy, and asking Him to forgive me, and to help me control my sinful heart ... especially while I'm driving.
When we finished, Levi had such a peace about him ... and everything was all better. He never brought it up again.
So many times we teach Levi about God's forgiveness and about His love, and it's easy to use examples in his little life to teach those lessons so that they make sense for him. But I think that MY sin, and MY mistake made a much bigger impact on him concerning Christ's forgiveness. It was someone else other than him, so he saw it differently. It was real for him. He saw mommy - the one who makes the rules - break the rule ... and come to a place of humility as I apologized to him for not being a good example, and asking God for His mercy. And it weighed on his little heart.
How I pray that the evidence of God's mercy and forgiveness in my life will usher my children safely to the cross of Christ.
Not only for my children ... but especially for me.