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The Lord has promised good to me...


It was the worst possible day to go talk with him.

I had been planning on taking Joel (my three year old) out to our church’s pond where I would be eventually baptized.  I wanted to take him to the water and explain in the most basic of ways what would be going on.  I didn’t want him to think it was just something silly or goofy Mommy was doing or that I was “taking a bath” or anything like that.  I wanted him to know it had something to do with God and His love for us - and my love for Him.  

The Saturday morning before baptism Sunday, I decided to drive over.  It was the best possible time and pretty much our last chance before the weekend ran away with us.  The only problem? 

I was not in Super-Christian-Mom mode.  

Instead I had spent the morning feeling like my head would explode, like I wanted to lock myself in a closet or run away.  The boys were screaming at each other and pushing buttons and I was screaming right back.  I was unraveling after a week of my husband’s traveling; stressed, anxious.  I nearly burst into tears at one point, begging my children to just pull it together for five seconds and chill out... could I please just finish this bowl of oatmeal before I passed out?

And the very last thing I wanted to do was go talk to my three year old about Mommy’s sin.

Unshowered and with my hair pulled up and sticking out in every direction we drove over to our church.  I pulled up, parked and opened the doors, allowing the fresh, cool, morning air to wash over us.  I unhooked Joel from his seat, left Travis to play with his toy, and walked hand-in-hand down to the water’s edge.  

“WOW!  It’s big!  Are they gonna put you in?”  were his first words.

“Yes, they are.  Right over there.  It’s pretty awesome out here, huh?”  

He stood and I knelt next to him, my arm around his back and I told him how when we are baptized it reminds us of what Jesus has done for us and how much He loves us.  I told him how we have sin in our lives - the bad things that we do (like Mommy yelling) - and Jesus took that all away.  I told him how no matter how hard Mommy tries, I’m still going to mess up.  And that the waters remind me that Jesus washed my sins away.  

I snapped a couple pictures of him, wiped tears (mine) and headed to Target.

As the day went on, I would periodically ask Joel what was going to happen Sunday.  He would respond that they were going to put me in the water.  I would ask him what baptism serves to remind us of and sometimes he would say, “sins” and sometimes he would say, “cross” and I would enforce both - that yes, because of our sins, Jesus died for us on the cross, because He loves us so much.  And sometimes when I asked what sin was he would say, “When Mommy yells.”  And I wished I hadn’t been quite so transparent.  

Sunday morning came and my husband asked him what Mommy was going to do today.  Joel proudly exclaimed, “She’s going to get POPTIZED!”  We laughed. I wanted to cry.  That was good enough for me.  I asked him why and he said, “God took away our sins!” And what are sins, bud? “The bad stuff that we do.”  I could have been immersed in my own tears at that point.  

The basic back and forth questions that I’ve been having with him remind me so perfectly of the children’s catechism questions I learned as a child.  “Who made you? (God!)”, “What else did God make? (All things!)”, “Why did God make you and all things? (For His own glory!).”  And for me, this is how we teach our children the truth, the history, our story of God and Christ.  This is the “wayside” that we walk and talk along.  This is the rising and the resting.  This is when we eat, when we play, when we drive to church and to Target and back.  

Joel will now randomly say, “God made us!” or “God made the moon!”  The other day the sky was pink, pinched awake early in the morning and Joel pointed it out, said it was, “Awe-some!” and that, “God did that!”  We talk about the light we have in the day, the light we have in the night and the light we have inside of us.  And he gets it.  On some level, he gets it.

It was the worst day, (I thought), because I wasn’t prepared and my heart felt tired and distracted.  But it was the best day because I needed to remember that the water and the cross and the love was all because of grace.  And I needed to step into that, be brought down deep  and be reminded, again, again, again - that it’s not about what I do or have done - it’s always ever because of Christ.  Of God’s amazing and abundant love for us.

When you have grace with yourself, your husband, your children, your church, your own talents and gifts, your business, your ministry, your parents, in-laws, best friends, your past, your present, your future and the barista at the coffee shop.... When grace is the theme and grace is the purpose and grace is the gift... it changes stuff.  It wipes the messy chalkboard clean.  It coats you, head to toe, swallows you up.  

It’s what is yours and what you can’t possibly earn or deserve.  Grace is love and grace is salvation and grace is clean from what we can never perfect or whitewash away on our own. Starting with our own sinful, messed up, yelling-over-uneaten-oatmeal hearts.

It’s amazing how grace changes the landscape of everything...

God did that.

"My chains are gone.
I've been set free.
My God, my Savior,
has ransomed me.
And like a flood
His mercy reigns
Unending love
Amazing grace..."
~  C h r i s   T o m l i n



Comments

  1. Replies
    1. Aww, thanks, Jessica!!! <3 I try and fail, but I go on trying. :)

      Thanks for popping over to read!!!

      xoxo

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