Those Dreaded Chores

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Trying to get the kids to do their chores is like trying to loose weight while on a heavy dose of Prednisone.  It just ain't gonna happen.

I mean, they can make it *look* like a room is clean, but really the out-of-place items are just relocated from the middle of the floor to less obvious places, such as:  inside shoes, behind the wood stove, under the couch. You get the picture.

I have a tremendously difficult time with Sage, trying to get him to clean.  He will pick up a piece of trash off the floor, and instead of throwing in the trash can next to him, he will throw it on the couch and call it good because it's off the floor.  Now, I have told him to "pick up" the room, and that is exactly  what he did--Mr. Literal!  Getting him to put the object in the proper spot is just near impossible.

And then there is his bedroom.  I am sure that the "stuff" in his room averages about 12 inches deep.  Knee-high in places due to the "clearing a path" that we ask him to do so we can tuck him in. Again, he did exactly what we ask and pushes the stuff to either side of the desired path, as if parting the waters.

So a couple days ago, I decided it's time to try to figure out how to get him to effectively clean his room.  

I put a "Give Away" box, "Put Away" box, and "Throw Away" bag in his room.  I sat on his bed and told him we were going to spend one hour a day, going through this mess until it is cleaned up.  

Ehem.

"If you don't love it, then give it away.  If you love it, then put it away." I explained.

Made sense to me, anyway.

So he picked up a toy and said, "This is 4 years old so I am going to give it away because it's older than 3 years.  If it is over 3 years old, it goes in the give away box and if it's 3 years old and up (newer), it goes in the put away pile."

So much for *my* idea.

The problem was that he really did love some of his things that he'd had over 3 years. So I tried to reason with him about this, but he just couldn't grasp what was meant by "if you love it..."

It was too open; not concrete enough.

With his rule there is no need to figure out how to measure, sort, or nail down "love". No need to figure out if he liked something enough to go into the keep it box, versus the give away box.

It is, or it isn't 3 years old. End of story.

And he is right. There is no way nail love down.

Love nailed down.

It just can't happen, except on a Cross.

The Cross that nailed down Love just proved love can't be nailed down; nor can it be measured.

So next time, instead of being frustrated with Those Dreaded Chores, I think I'll reflect on this immeasurable Love: Jesus.  

A much better way to clean-being drenched in love while you do it.

"And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the Lord's holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge--that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God." Ephesians 3: 17b-19

The Love of God (by Mercy Me)

The love of God is greater far
Than tongue or pen can ever tell
It goes beyond the highest star
And reaches to the lowest hell
The guilty pair, bowed down with care
God gave His Son to win
His erring child He reconciled
And pardoned from his sin
Could we with ink the ocean fill
And were the skies of parchment made
Were every stalk on earth a quill
And every man a scribe by trade
To write the love of God above
Would drain the ocean dry
Nor could the scroll contain the whole
Though stretched from sky to skyHallelujah (3x)O love of God, how rich and pure!
How measureless and strong!
It shall forevermore endure
The saints' and angels' song

When We Become Visible: Easter Reflections

*** Warning!  This post does not discuss autism or children.***

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But I do hope you will continue to read on anyway!

As many of you know, I have an aggressive case of Rheumatoid Disease, one of the many chronic, debilitating, "invisible illnesses".  It is amazing that a person can experience pain so deep, yet still that pain is unseen by others. I know many of you can relate to this concept if not from a physical reason, from an emotional-pain point of view.

I have recently had a lot of trouble with my shoulder. I must have injured it during a flare that involved my shoulders, but who knows? RD has a mind of it's own. Anyway, I was looking for the sling I have from injuries past, and as I thought about wearing it, I thought about how that visible sign of injury helps so much with the kids, to remember to be gentle.  Then I remembered a post by the RA Guy, entitield, "Becoming Visable".  The RA Guy was having a big flare, and found himself putting on various braces and therefore, his illness was becoming visible to others.

As I sat in church, thinking about this, looking at the people sitting in chairs listening to a sermon on David (a man who had many hurts himself), I couldn't help but think about the David & Goliath story.  I have heard many parallels to David and Goliath being like us and our Giant Sins.  And I thought about the hurts of the people sitting in church.

Their hurts are invisible, but I know they are there. We all have them.

I think about what it would be like if we all made our hurts visible.

If we saw on each other, all the healing that God has performed as plain as a black sling over a white ruffled blouse.

We'd see people with similar stories; we wouldn't feel alone.  We would see people we could relate to and encourage.

We wouldn't be afraid to reach out to those in the midst of what we have already been through, in years prior. There would be no secrets, we'd all know it all.

It's kind of a vulnerable thought.

This past couple years, this has happened several times: A friend discloses her story to me. Out of desperation, she reveals tremendous hurts and she has no way to know how she will come out on the other side. She doesn't see how healing is even possible.

She has no idea that I have similar stories and I know that God can heal even thatSo, she fears my rejection; my judgement.

I can thank God that I was able to share my story with her.  The invisible stories of years past, now visible.

Now she knows she's not alone. She knows healing is possible because she knows that it happened to her friend; real live flesh-and-blood has made it through to the other side. There is hope she can see. Visible Hope!

What a difference story sharing makes.

But only if we decide to become visible.

Only if we humbly become vulnerable. It comes with risk: mess, judgment, anger, rejection.

But it also comes with great rewards of deep friendship, passion and closeness to God, healing, and salvation.

Being visible, comes with knowing that all we've been through is for a purpose,  for comforting others in their time of need (2 Cor 1:4).

God made himself vulnerable too.  He made us knowing full well we would blow it and reject Him.  Yet he made us anyway.  We did reject Him and hurt him to the point that he wished He had never made us: The LORD regretted that he had made human beings on the earth, and his heart was deeply troubled. Genesis 6:6) That is a deep, deep wound to the heart of God. Yet he continued to pour into us...to pour out of him: blood.

He became visible for us when He sent Jesus to the Earth He created. He became vulnerable to our sin, sending His precious Son to the cross; His blood drips down.

God's sling--His visible hurt--is Jesus on the Cross.

Jesus reminds us that we all have a common hurt, the one that sent Him to the cross: sin. Jesus came to be it's remedy; the Healer.

We can relate to Him, because he took on human form and He overcame. He shares His story with us, and we no longer feel alone. We know He has been through similar struggles in his life here on Earth, and He has overcome it all (Hebrews 4:15).

What can wash away my sin?
Nothing but the blood of Jesus.

What can make me whole again?
Nothing but the blood of Jesus.

O precious is the flow
That makes me white as snow;
No other fount I know;
Nothing but the blood of Jesus.

Lyrics by Robert Lowry

 

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