"Girls! If you borrow something, please put it away when you're done!"
My little shadow, Ashley, stooped down and scooped up the mirror, "Sorry, Mom. Uh-oh."
As she turned the mirror over, three jagged cracks in the face of the mirror refracted the light sharply. I blew a lungful of air out of my pursed lips and rolled my head from side to side. I could feel the tension building up in me. Ashley handed me the fractured mirror and I tossed it in the trash as I headed into my bathroom. She didn't follow me past my bedroom door.
I squirted a pea-sized amount of toothpaste on my toothbrush and began working through my frustration on my teeth and gums.
The little voice behind me belonged to Norah. As she stood there on the threshold of my bathroom, her face was flushed with embarrassment and anxiety. I could almost see her little broken heart hammering against her ribcage. The words of apology came spilling out ...
"I didn't see it laying there ... I stepped over it, or I thought I stepped over it ... then I heard a crunch ... I thought it was, uhmm ... I didn't mean to ... it wasn't on purpose ... I ... sorry, Mommy."
I continued brushing my teeth and put one finger up, asking her to wait. As I turned back to the sink, I was grateful that my mouth was occupied as it meant that I had a few moments to think before I spoke. If left on my own, I would have allowed my own words to spill out. Hurtful words of accusation and judgement.
"Take care of my things! Respect what isn't yours! Be responsible! Don't step on my stuff!"
With my mouth full of toothpaste, God gave me 3.8 seconds to remember back to a time when, as a child, I blew it. A silly practical joke involving our old bathroom, lights that you could turn off with a chain and a door I thought I could unlock with a straightened out paperclip. A silly practical joke that made my dad mad. A silly practical joke that still hangs over my head as I time when "sorry, Dad" didn't cut it.
I turned back to my Norah who was still standing at the doorway; hopeful, guilty, remorseful.
... sigh ...
"I forgive you, Sweetie. Please be careful with the stuff that belongs to other people."
As she backed out of my embrace, her color had returned to normal and her heart-rate had slowed. She smiled shyly with relief.
"Here, Mommy, you can have my mirror."
There was another little voice behind Norah and into the bathroom walked Ashley with her little hands outstretched.
What was more important? An old mirror? Or an intimate relationship with my daughters? I now have a little, tactile reminder of the obvious choice.
"I Heart You"
God gave His children, the Israelites, similar reminders of His goodness, faithfulness and love. For example, when the Israelites were finally crossing the Jordan River after forty years of wandering in the desert, God gave them an interesting job. He instructed them to assemble a pile of rocks which they were to gather from the dry riverbed when He parted Jordan River for them to cross through. These rocks were to be stacked on the Promised Land-side of the river as a lasting reminder of God's strength and power. In the Old Testament book of Joshua, we read,
20 And Joshua set up at Gilgal the twelve stones they had taken out of the Jordan. 21 He said to the Israelites, “In the future when your descendants ask their parents, ‘What do these stones mean?’ 22 tell them, ‘Israel crossed the Jordan on dry ground.’ 23 For the LORD your God dried up the Jordan before you until you had crossed over. The LORD your God did to the Jordan what he had done to the Red Sea when he dried it up before us until we had crossed over. 24 He did this so that all the peoples of the earth might know that the hand of the LORD is powerful and so that you might always fear the LORD your God.” (Joshua 4:20-24)
To some, those rocks would just be rocks.
But to God's children, those rocks said, "I Heart you."
How is God reminding you of His love today?
Keep your eyes open ... His reminders are all around you!
31 Days of Mom in the Midst
Day 1: Mom in the Midst
Day 2: My Button is Lame
Day 3: Splendidly Lavish
Day 4: Keeping My Head Above Water
Day 6: Me, Myself & I
Day 7: Food For Though ~ Bacon