Wednesday, March 21, 2012

What a Mess!

A friend of mine vented to me the other day about her son and his mess.

After shoveling from behind two couches, I decided to pile it all in front of the tv so that when my son got home he had no choice but to see it. I THOUGHT he would get the hint that it was all his mess and it needed to be cleaned up.

He walked right by it.

So I took the XBox out of the den. Hint #2. He still walks by it.

So when I say something to him about it, he cleans up between grumbles. THEN he asks for the XBox back. I told him no because of the mess he had made in the den.
He tells me ever so seriously, "That happened a long time can I be held responsible for that?"

My husband had to gently remind him that there are no statute of limitations in this house. The nerve!
After I had a chuckle about the scene (Go, Dad!) I had to wonder if she had been spying on my house.
I cannot tell you how many times I have moved messes and misplaced items to a location where I am sure my kids will see it. And upon seeing it, I imagine they will recognize the mess/item as their own and take care of it. I mean, isn't that what any reasonable person would do? C'mon, moms! Support me on this one!
But, oh, the shock when they step right over my strategically placed reminder, as if it weren't even there. *insert: eye roll*
And in that moment, I join my friend in her exasperation. The nerve!

Oddly enough, though, as I read her vent I began to see something besides her son's disdain for responsibility. Which caused me to also see beyond my own kids' messes.
That is, I began to realize how much those actions resemble my own at times. I mean, I'm pretty good about picking up after myself and putting my things away where they're supposed to be. But that's all in the physical realm, and that's all rather easy to do. My tendency toward messes and misplaced things has more to do with my mood and attitude. Because too often I let an irritation or inconvenience in my life spill over into the lives of those I love. I get annoyed by someone or something, and I leave that annoyance out where someone else can trip over it. Or - worse yet - I myself trip them with it!
I wondered, as well, if God might notice my messes. And if He might set them in a place where I should see them so I can put them away, like a good little girl should. (Like, when He uses my conscience to tell me something isn't right?) And how often do I step right over it, as if it weren't even there? (As in, when I rationalize something along the lines of, I've had a bad day and I have the right to stew about it!)
Jesus, have mercy on me! I am in desperate need of Your grace to cover me and change me.

Suddenly, the kids' messes don't seem like such a big deal, do they?

So today, if you find yourself irritated by the little things your little ones are doing (Or your big ones, as the case may be!) please let me encourage you to invite God to speak through it. Maybe there is more to be managed than just the mess behind the couch.


1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Thanks Karen,
Just read today. Boy we really do just try to step right over what he has placed in our path and also try to rationalize it. Thanks for the nudge today.
Have a great trip.
Pat W.