Thursday, June 28, 2012

Crying Over Spilled Lemonade

  So, we know we shouldn't cry over spilled milk, but what about expensive and delicious lemonade? People who live in the South understand how we cherish our Chick-fil-a; they didn't invent the chicken, just the chicken sandwich. And it is the simplest, yummiest fast food chicken sandwich EVER. But, aside from that, they're also know for their "fresh squeezed" lemonade. I use quotes because, although there are fresh bits of lemon in the cup and each lemonade trip yields a different sour/sweet ratio, like homemade lemonade would, it's fast food, so it can't truly be trusted. Anyway, their lemonade, like their peanut oil fried chicken is awesome. I've often gone there just to get the delicious drink. If you live in the south and have never been... really, are you insane?! And if you live in a state that the franchise has yet to migrate to... I'm sorry and keep hope alive.

  Since I was out today, enjoying (or rather not enjoying at all) the Atlanta heatwave, I decided to indulge myself in the scrumptuous though empty caloric beverage. I took a few satisfying sips in the car, but told myself to wait until I was home to fully enjoy it. Once home, my oldest son was instructed to take his shoes off, as I took off the shoes of my younger child. What happens next is still blurry. I vaguely remember hearing him say he had to potty. Then I remember hearing my drink crash to the floor and feeling the cold sticky liquid splash on my legs. It was as if the room stood still for a few seconds as my brain processed the enormity of the situation. My sons looked at me, waiting for what they knew was coming. Somebody was getting in trouble and they both knew it.

  I took a deep breath in, to try to calm myself, but when I exhaled "Oh MY GoSH! LOOK WHAT YOU DID! YOU HAVE TO BE MORE CAREFUL! I CAN'T BELIEVE YOU JUST SPILLED MY DRINK!" is what came out instead of the serenity we'd all been hoping for. Partly due to exhaustion (it was mid afternoon and he hadn't had his rest time yet) and the heat of the day and partly due to his full bladder that had been put on hold, my 3 year old started to cry. Instead of being the empathetic mother I'm sure I thought I would be before I had children, I became angry. I thought "how dare he cry, when he hasn't lost anything?! It's MY drink on the ground! MY money wasted!"

  After changing wet clothes and wiping up a huge mess, I got to thinking about the situation. I had been so wrong. I felt so bad for the way I'd treated my child over something so insignificant. After all, he is a child. They make mistakes, they spill things, they mess up. He hadn't spilled my drink on purpose; it had been an accident. Then I thought about God and what He must think of the way I handled the situation. Now, I felt really awful. Not only was I not the kind of parent that He wanted to be in that instant, I wasn't the kind of parent that he modeled all the time for me.

  When I mess up (and it's obvious that that's quite often), He doesn't yell at me or reprimand me. Sure there are natural consequences to some of my actions, but He doesn't just let his wrath reign. He is patient and kind and loving and peaceful. He understands mistakes and only asks that we acknowledge them, ask for forgiveness and repent. He would never freak out over spilled lemonade. Truth be told, I've spilled my share of God's amazing drinks and yet here I sit, typing, still as blessed as ever.

  I suddenly feel the need to pray.

  "Father, forgive me. Help me to display the love and forgiveness that you represent and bestow on me everyday. Help me to remember who You are and what You would have me to do in every one of life's sticky situations. Please help my son to forgive me for my anger. Thank you for blessing me beyond what I ask for and for not giving me what I deserve. Thank you in advance for molding me into the woman and mother You want me to be. In Jesus' name, Amen."

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