I don't think it would be a surprise to anyone who knows me to say that I take my 'job' as a mom extremely seriously. I think very long term about the smallest of things that we do with our children and line up our priorities so that in 20 years we have 2 'legal' adults who love the Lord with all their hearts, love others more than themselves, and live their lives thinking for themselves and making wise decisions in accordance with God's word. I truly want those things and believe that that is what my God has called me to do. This requires full devotion to this task and while no one is perfect, and I include myself in that, I could definitely do better than I have done.
Anyway, there are a few instances lately that have really reminded me of that and reminded me of how EXTREMELY BLESSED we are at the Pearson home. One of which, happened the other night when I went outside to clean up the back porch. We're done with all that we're doing on the swing set, so I wanted to get all of the tools and such, that we'd been storing on the porch, back in their correct, respective locations. I brought Brooke and Brax out with me, put Brax in an exersaucer, and let Brooke play on the porch. We were only out there for 15 minutes or so, so I didn't think anything of bug spray and didn't even notice until the next afternoon that Brax had gotten (as we would say on the westside) All.Bit.Up. Seriously, he had 20 or 30 knat (sp?) bites all over him. I felt Horrible. Seriously. Not so much that he had gotten the bites, but that I didn't even notice them for like 20 hours. Seriously, where was my head? I'm totally aware of instances where that many bug bites on baby caused blood poisoning or other serious complications, like allergic reactions. And what did I do, but bring him inside, change his clothes and put him to bed? What is wrong with me?
Another instance where I've been reminded of God's Grace and Mercy happened this weekend, once again outside. (Maybe 'outside' is the problem??? lol Anyway...) Brookelynne has been climbing up the stairs all by herself for 2 weeks now, and easily gone up them 200 times without incidence. Of course I tell her to "pay attention" or "be careful", but I no longer run over there to stand behind her every. single. time. that she climbs them. "I know she's growing up so fast, and besides, I've usually got Braxton to be entertaining as well." Anyway, Saturday morning she was outside playing and climbing up the stairs to the fort, and when she got on the fort, she lost her footing a little, went to step back, stepped out of the fort, grabbed the wall right next to her, swung around and out of the fort, and then fell the 5 feet to the ground, landing on the wooden footer. She cried (of course), and her butt bruised the next day (not surprising) but other than that, she was fine. And not even scared. Seriously, how blessed are we? I can think of 100 variations on that story that could have made it a little or aLOT worse, and by God's grace, it happened just that way. I don't know what caused Brooke to grab on just right so that she didn't tumble back down the stairs. I can't understand how she at 21 months old held on just long enough to turn her around, but not fling her out or back under the platform. I don't know how it worked out that she fell on the ONLY part of her body that could provide enough cushion that no bone or organ would be hurt, but she did, just an inch or so south of her tailbone. Seriously, how good is our God?
Now I could easily use these two incidents to tell myself that I'm horrible or that I should have known better or paid more attention, but really, that's not solving anything and once again, they're both fine. "No harm, no foul" comes to mind. But while I'm not freaking out or beating myself up, I am deciding to take it as a reminder that while I can make all the plans in the world, and I can be diligent to teach them or train them, to love them and protect them, that without God's grace and mercy, it is worthless. They can be taken from me in an instant, or they could choose to reject all that I teach them, only God knows and neither of those things can change what I need to do. I have not been called to prevent such things, I've only been called to be obedient. Obedient to teach them, obedient to love them, obedient to pray for them and mostly obedient to live out in front of them a life that is pleasing to my Lord. So today, I'm grateful for my God's mercy in not giving me what I deserve, and his grace in allowing me the joy of being His child, my husband's wife, my children's mother, my mother's daughter, my preschoolers teacher, and my friends' friend, and above all that I can find my identity in Him.
Only He knows what tomorrow will bring and I was reminded of that once again last night when I met a sweet little girl who was in the 3 yr old class I was working in. She's 5, non verbal, doesn't eat orally, still in a diaper, crawls, but can't walk, and obviously mentally slower than her age, how much so, I don't know. I was asking her mother what she had that caused this, expecting to hear an explanation such as cerebral palsy or another 'she had it from birth' reasoning, when she told me that it was something to do with the way her body's cells processed energy. They don't know what happened but one day they stopped processing correctly, and this is what has become. "She was a normal one and a half year old" she said, as my heart stopped. "And then this happened". This? Seriously, "This" is all the doctors can say because no one knows what "This" was. Was it a fall, like Brookelynne's, that jarred her brain just the wrong way? Was it a bug bite, like the 20 Braxton got, that her body had a reaction too? There's no way to know and all I can do is pray for that sweet little girl and thank my God that my children are healthy, and pray that they stay that way.
But as we've been learning in Job, God is Good no matter what, and we should equally be willing to accept adversity from the Lord since we gratefully accept good from Him. I pray today that as I praise Him in good times, I will even more so praise Him in bad ones, for His character never changes and His love is constant and everlasting, and we are nothing, and have nothing without Him. Since the kids are now up, I'll end this they way that true Southern Baptists often do, "Amen and Amen" :)