Not to rat my baby girl out, but lately, Libby has been a stinker. Trever and I have just about reached the pulling-your-hair out stage with her. She simply does not do something if she does not want to. Period.
We have tried encouraging her, praising the smallest efforts, and, of course, disciplining her when she is rotten. Sometimes it is as simple as a good old fashioned heart-to-heart. As of late, we have had to drop the hammer. I think she is in danger of her father bagging up the majority of her clothes and toys if she does not pick them up off her bedroom floor. *sigh*
Her bedroom looks like it threw up. My mother used to say, "It looks like a tornado hit it" when referring to a mess of this magnitude. I realize she's only four, but she CAN try. And lately, well, she just hasn't been trying. At all.
It makes me frustrated. It makes me mad. It makes me determined to change it. Mostly, it makes me sad. I don't like having to punish her.
And this is why today, when I looked over to discover her helping by folding some laundry on the couch, I did not say a word about the jelly she was getting all over the baby's sleeper. She had just eaten her lunch, and still had jelly or her chin and mouth, and was using her chin to help fold the laundry.
But you know what I said about it? Nothing. In fact, I looked over and praised her. I commented on what a good helper she was and how happy she made her mama. And I figured, if when I go to put this on the baby there's a big gob of jelly on it, I'll wipe it off. Or rewash it. Who cares?
It is far more important to me that my daughter is becoming a sweet little helper than that everything she does is perfect. Her obedience and desire to please me makes me happier than stacks and stacks of clean baby clothes.
And it hit me: God is like that too. I can only imagine how many times I have been a *stinker*, have frustrated Him, made Him angry, made Him sad... How He is determined to work some change into my life. Most of all, how He wants my heart.
That is why, even when I do things imperfectly, He is willing to overlook the messes and bless the effort. He is willing to clean things up. He is much more concerned about my relationship with Him, my willingness to please Him. He is after my heart.
I am so thankful He loves me like that. It makes me want to obey Him more, not less. The more I see of His Father-heart, the more I love Him. And love covers a multitude of sins.
May we be spurred on, inspired, changed- by His unfathomable love toward us.