Tuesday, August 7, 2012

The Gospel and Blueberry Pancakes

Joshy "helping" make blueberry pancakes
My sweet 3 year old Joshua has had a really rough week...Haha...Who am I kidding? He's had a really rough year! See, his darling little sister turned a year old this year and is now more of a "mover and a shaker" instead of just that cute little thing who sits in the bouncer, or swings in the swing, or is attached to mom. She can run, jump, and climb...and even attack when she decides that she wants whatever object Joshua seems to be holding! Joshua has even learned that her voice can get extremely ear piercingly loud when she doesn't get her way...Or when he's a little to physically aggressive. Poor Joshy...That little guy has more discipline action than cuddle action sometimes! Don't get me wrong...He's such a good big brother, and he truly adores his little sister...Unfortunately though, he also truly adores picking on her...A LOT! Which of course brings on the discipline!

Now, Lil Miss Bryanna isn't so innocent...Oh no, She's a little stinker actually! She can be quite the bully, and she's not to shy to throw her weight around (yep, she's a chubster all right!) or her very loud screeching voice! Joshy will sometimes give in to her bully-ish temper tantrums just to keep her quiet...Yes, her pterodactyl like screaming is really that intimidating at times! But then once she's quiet...He'll retaliate and totally tick her off. This can make discipline rather fun at times...I'm trying to stop Bryanna's sinful temper tantrums...Joshua gives in to her sin...He then sins against her for sinning against him...And...So on...

Joshua finds himself in trouble often these days...But, more so this week...We have all been sick over here with a nasty summer cold...Joshua and Bryanna got it real bad...And, Bryanna's was even worse than Joshy's. Well, you know when kiddos are sick parents tend to spoil them a smidge...Or, maybe it's just me...Whatever, I was sick too...Don't judge me! Anyway...Lil Miss had such a terrible sore throat, very stuffy nose,  and a horrible cough that I really didn't want her to cry to hard. This is because when she'd cry it would really hurt her throat...which would make her cry harder, which would make her start to cough, which would hurt even more, more crying, more coughing, she'd start gagging on all the lovely flem and mucus, she'd start throwing up, snot was flying from her nose...You get the picture, right? Well, Joshy was constantly giving up his toys because he didn't want her to "barf". He'd say, "Oh no Bynna's gonna barf...Don't cry, don't cry Bynna." And then give her what ever she wanted. I tried so hard to help her and help him through all this "fun" stuff this week...Ugh...I just kept praying...A LOT...All...Day...Long...

I needed help...Then it smacked me like a brick to the face...I needed God's grace...Even during these difficult times, He loves me and I am His...His Holy Spirit is always with me...Guiding me.

Even when I'm running around like a stressed out chicken with it's head cut-off and going crazy with no patience...God's grace is sufficient...

I was trying so hard to do it all without Him...Totally unnecessary...I was exhausted! I immediately thanked Him for His love for me...And praised Him for the reminder of His faithfulness! 

Even when I ignore His presence and forget to ask Him for His much needed help...He lovingly sticks it out with me...even if it lands me flat on my tired face!

This morning we woke up late after a very long night...Joshua and Bryanna were both up very late with horrible coughs. I was cranky...They were cranky...The whole house quickly became cranky. I tried to get breakfast going which seemed impossible...To much crankiness! Breakfast was quickly turning into lunch. Then to top it all off...Bryanna starts to screech at the top of her sore little lungs...Joshy runs in to her and puts his arms around her..."Shhh Bynna, don't cry, please don't cry...you gonna barf." He then kisses her forehead, gives her another hug, gives her his beloved Bob the Builder book and Thomas the Train and smiles at her...He gave her his treasures "to make her smile" he said. He gave her grace...Did she deserve his treasures? No, quite the opposite really. Even though she was sick and hurting...Her heart was very angry and selfish...Joshua loved her anyway...He knew that she needed something...He wanted to help her. So, He gave up his own treasures for her happiness! He was so happy and pleased that he "made Bynna happy now!", and he proudly smiled at her! Joshua had so much joy in seeing that Bryanna found her joy in his act of love for her!

What a reminder of Jesus' own "act of love" for us, when He chose to die for on that cross! How merciful to take our punishment and very much deserved penalty upon Himself. He gave up His own life for us! How gracious of our Holy God to give us what we don't deserve by imputing His Son's righteousness on us...Seeing us as holy, beautiful, and fully completed in His Son Jesus Christ! Wow...What an amazing God I serve! And, to think that He finds joy in us when we find our joy in Him...Amazing!

Well...because Joshy isn't God, but just a totally depraved 3 year old...He snatched away the Thomas toy as soon as she stopped crying...*Sigh*...Oh well...But, instead of a long lecture on why he shouldn't do that and more discipline I instead took him into the kitchen after consoling Bryanna. He seemed a little confused as to why he wasn't in trouble. I hugged him asked him if he wanted to help me make blueberry pancakes...Of course he said yes! While we cooked...Well technically, I cooked and he made a mess...We also talked about Jesus. We talked about how thankful we are that He died for our sins...How thankful we are that He has forgiven us...How thankful we are that He loves us...Even when we sin. Joshy seemed pretty shocked that God still loves him even when he "does something bad". "God forgave you Joshy...When Jesus died on the cross, your sins died with Him...You are no longer "bad" in His eyes...When Jesus rose from the grave, You became alive with Him...You are alive in Christ! When God sees you, He sees a good Joshy, a sweet little dude. He is always with you...He will always love you...Even when you sin."
I gave him grace...God's grace...The Gospel...

Later in the afternoon, Bryanna got all feisty on Joshua...AGAIN...Freaked out over some toy of his that she desperately wanted...He sacrificially gave it to her and smiled...He then stole it back about a minute later though...She started to cry...He told his heart to "be nice", gave it back to her, and then happily exclaimed for all to hear, "Jesus is alive...He loves me!"

Yep...He's still a work in progress...Haha...Aren't we all?
Though the toughest work of all will be to fully trust in the work that has already been done for us...

By this the love of God was manifested in us, that God has sent His only begotten Son into the world so that we might live through Him. In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins....~1 John 4:9-10

But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.
~Romans 5:8

We love, because He first loved us.
~1John 4:19