Between Ebola and the whole horrible awful ISIS situation, it's hard to find any good news, isn't it? Sometimes the outlook is downright dark and depressing. Last night got so rough, I ate enough candy corn to make sores on my tongue. But rest assured, my hope has been restored. Just when I began to question everything about human nature and what murky souls we have, my two year old woke up and told us, "I clean up my wegos today", and once again, my hope in humanity was restored.
Right before dinnertime last night, I asked Little Sass what I felt like was a simple request. "Let's clean up your legos before we take our bath and have dinner, okay?" The response was surprising. And on-going. After two hours of screaming, throwing legos, and open defiance, one would hope the situation would take a turn for the better. It did not. It became an all out battle between she and I, and in the end neither of us won. She went to bed without her beloved blankey, and I went to bed hoping and praying my "methods" would work.
Several years ago we loved the show "Supernanny". Nanny Jo Jo always went to homes with strong willed children, and the 5 of us would sit and watch, munching our popcorn and laughing at how trying the situations became. I'm not laughing anymore. And in my not laughing state of mind, I am desperately remembering one of the most important things Jo Jo would say to the families who were struggling. "Consistency is key. Follow through with expectations and give consequences when necessary". So last night Little Sass lost her blankey. She also did not get a song or a story. I did hug her and tell her I loved her, and when she began kicking me, I put her down and walked away. And I wondered if either of us were going to see the light of day.
In Lamentations, there is a verse that talks about God's mercies being new every morning. I went to bed certain I would wake up with old mercy--crinkled, feeble, dried up mercy, and my usual "half-full" glass was about as empty as ever when my head finally hit the pillow. My sleep was fitful and restless. During the wee hours of the morning, Little Sass began to cry. What started out as a cry turned to wailing. And then she began calling for me. "Mama! Mama!" I could not lie there and ignore that. This child has been my daughter for less than 7 months, and yet she knows her mom has a role to fulfill.
I brought her to my bed and we cuddled. She snuggled up next to me and her body was still. At first she just laid next to me. We both tried to sleep. Every few minutes her body would move, and she had to have at least some part of herself touching me. Her head found the crook in my neck and settled there for a time. Then she moved, and her feet lay on my stomach. Finally, after an hour of trying to rest next to me, I told her she could get right where she had wanted to be. She sprawled her body on my chest and every inch of her was covering me. I tenderly rubbed her back, her legs, her arms, her chest, and her cheeks. In minutes she was asleep. All the stress from the previous hours was gone, and I relished the moment. And as promised, my new mercy had arrived as the sun rose, and I closed my eyes for a few more minutes of peaceful, God-given rest.
About 6:30 am Billy came in the room to get ready for the day. He'd been up for a couple hours and didn't know she was with me. She woke up and saw her daddy, and the first thing she told him was "I clean my wegos today". This was unprompted and a complete surprise. After she ate her breakfast Billy took her upstairs, and gently asked her to pick up her legos. She began to put them away. I listened to the clinking of the legos as they went in one by one, and almost cried. When she was done, she proudly came out of her room and asked me to "come wook Mom!"
With enthusiasm, I followed her upstairs! Not one lego remained on her floor! I exclaimed how proud I was of her for obeying. I told her thank you! I hugged her and said it all over again and again! She had obeyed! Our sad, hard, dark night had been redeemed. New mercy had fallen fresh, and I know with all that is in me, God had worked in her little heart to help her choose obedience.
Today I needed a miracle, and today I got a miracle. At first I thought the miracle was about my 2 year old cleaning up her legos. Then it hit me. The miracle wasn’t a clean floor. The miracle was that even in her hurt, my little girl called for me in her sadness and knew she could trust me enough to rest in my arms, though she had been angry the night before. The miracle is that love knows no bounds, and that when you open your heart, amazing things happen. The miracle is that even a two year old has the capacity to forgive, trust, learn and love. The miracle is mercy and hope abound. Thank You God for today and the abundance of miracles when I choose to open my eyes.