There are lessons I think I have learned.
And then I forget them.
Which is why I need those Jordan River Stones.
To remind me of what God has done,
What He’s already accomplished.
And I also need reminding of what He has taught me over the years.
Today is the start of a new series I’d like to call–
The weeks had been wet and dreary.
Every morning as our oldest two rolled their backpacks to the car for school, our third, youngest, nature-loving child waded through the puddles, water sloshing up over his faded rain boots.
It was about a month into the school year when the van started to smell.
That’s an understatement really.
The odor was nauseating, the kind that lingers in your nose even after you’ve exited the area.
I cleaned out everything. Removed every possibly suspicious item.
Wiped down everything wipeable.
Vacuumed everything vacuume-able.
But still the putrid smell lived on.
Then one day as we were driving home from morning drop off, his three-year-old voice piped up from the backseat:
“I love my worms.”
I didn’t really give it much thought until he said it again:
“I love ALL of my worms.”
I turned down the music just a tad to ask:
“What worms are you talking about?”
He leaned forward to point to the fabric-seat-back-pocket of the driver’s seat I was sitting in.
I turned off the music completely and repeated my previous question with a little more intensity.
He pointed again and said:
“All my worms that I keep in there.”
We were in our driveway by that time, so I quickly opened the van door and before unbuckling him, squeamishly pulled the fabric away from the seat so I could look into the space that had always appeared empty to me.
There were about 30 worms in varying states of decomposition oozing their way through a muck of slime.
Gooey, gummy, grey-green strands clung to both the back and the front of the pocket and one fresh wiggly worm lay slithering on top of the sludge pile.
Every morning since school started, on the way out to the car, he’d been collecting a worm and depositing it into his collection.
I was tempted to get mad.
Or to lose my breakfast.
But it was like God spoke a quiet reminder to my heart that morning–
There’s a difference between rotting worms and disobedience.
And it matters a lot that I remember the difference.
Because there are times when I have given a clear instruction and our children disobey and there needs to be a consequence.
But there are other times when the gallon of milk gets spilled because they turned 5 on Saturday and they’re pretty sure they can pour the jug now.
Or they fed the dog Cheetos because they actually were sharing and didn’t realize it’d result in bright-orange-dog-upheaval-stains on the carpet.
Or they didn’t understand that if they were in the living room when they took the lid off the jar of 200 garden ladybugs, we’d be vacuuming them up for weeks.
The bigger the mess, the more extra the work, the faster my impatience starts to bubble over.
But with God’s help and wisdom, I want to make sure I acknowledge when someone really, truly thought the permanent marker was dry erase.
“Let every person be quick to hear, slow to speak and slow to anger.”
~ James 1:19
So here’s my–
What I Want to Remember #1: There is a Difference Between Collecting Worms (even rotting ones) and Disobedience
*But God is still changing my heart and I still sometimes forget and today I’m also over at my friend Darlene’s (Time-Warp Wife) where I’m sharing about a time that happened recently…