Wednesday, July 3, 2013

I Smell Paint

     Nothing this week is going according to plan.....and I like plans. Plans help you manage a big family and plans even help with the 'un-planned' dog days of summer. (In this house, even the dog has a plan...heh).  This weeks goals were simple after a busy week working on a baby shower for my oldest daughter. This weeks goals were a clean house, clean laundry, find and separate all 3 littles clothes to gear up for the next round of activities.....with a little quiet (ha!) reading time thrown in for me. Our house is a wreck yall. An absolute wreck. Normally I care  don't care because I have learned to roll with the punches (those punches come constantly!!).....but with the current status of the house I needed to care. So did they.
     So yesterday I told the girls I was going on my daily menopausal waddle  run and would be back in about 45 min. They could have 'free time' (with an awesome laid out list of what they 'could' do) until I got back. After that.....commence cleaning until it was time to leave for appointments. Those 45 min were bliss.
     When I returned there was.....this smell. An overwhelming, pungent, unmistakable smell that filled the whole house. Little Bit was waiting at the front door doing what she does when she's really, really sad. Understand now that this child has two channels. 1.Control... control more.....and 2.when she's really feeling vulnerable, the most pathetic heart wrenching sobs break loose under her normally...ahem, controlled exterior. That's what this was. When she lets go of the 'tough girl' exterior it has to be really bad. When this happens we listen and listen good. She doesn't let us see this side of her too often.
     I sat down with Mei Mei to listen (through the heaving sobbing) but wouldn't you know there was another sister there who was just more than happy to tell her version. House still smells here....alot. Apparently Mei Mei had broken my magnifying mirror in my bathroom. (Doesn't explain the smell now does it?? And what about the list of approved activities they could do while I was gone??) "Why were you in my bathroom?" I asked. More sobbing. Then I realized the smell. Paint. Lots of paint. Nail polish bottles were scattered all over MY bathroom and all 3 girls were  COVERED all up their arms in various shades of MY Essie and OPI. Lord have mercy. And to cover up their little game they had used dumped an ENTIRE bottle of nail polish remover on the floor, everywhere else,  and themselves. (NOT on the approved summer activity list.) In the process of art class, Mei Mei had 'accidentally' knocked over my magnifying mirror and broke it. This is what she was most upset about. Gut wrenching sobbing. Oy vey. (Who are these people??)
     I had a choice. So many things ran through my head at that moment. Lots of things that won't be typed here. HOWEVER, this needed to be redemptive. An angry mom will not establish relationship nor righteousness in their child's heart. An angry mom increases distance and tears apart bonds of trust and safety. These girls who had been abandoned by their birthmoms, needed this mom to love them through their foolishness.....even when all I could see was that my already filthy house just became even more dirty.....and knowing it fell on my head to get it back to organized chaos. I realized this couldn't be about me and my 'standards'. Redeeming your child's heart and teaching them (to which they really learn) can never be about you. They needed grace filled correction and it was up to me to give it.
     I gathered Mei Mei in my arms (wet, wet nail polish and all), and quickly threw away the unsalvageable mirror. We all sat, we all talked through the last 45 min (how I was deceived in thinking it was bliss!!) and through the smell and paint stains....this moment became beautiful (unlike my bathroom). They understood they had been impulsive (ha!) and disobedient .....and had made total backwards, unwise choices. But the lesson wasn't for them. It was for me. How many times have I been quick to snap at them when they simply don't have the maturity to respond correctly? It's about the PROCESS of maturity through grace that we're after......not perfection and robot -like obedience. When we take the time to 'chill' about the messes and really, really speak to their hearts.....doors open like this one. Look at what Blondie made for me after the fact.....I did not tell her to do this but I am so proud of her for choosing to. This was proof that she 'got it', that she understands not just what she did wrong....but where to go when it happens. Holy ground.
      All this came on a day my heart was grieving for a child I never knew. Praying for a family who adopted a little girl 3 years ago knowing she was going to die. God gave them 3 years with her and I was out on a run....mourning her death. You can read her story here. Her death gave me a renewed vision for our girls and what our goals here on this earth really are. Time is short people. Life is fragile. It's not a clean house. It's not about done laundry. It's about the mission God calls us to individually and how we carry that out through the daily paint spills of life. These girls need to know they are treasured daughters of the living God .....even when they screw up.
     My house is cleared of paint fumes. They will do something again today that will make me wonder what planet they came from......but my vision remains the same. Focused, unwavering vision. (Y'all remind me of this he next time they do something equally as delirious, k??) In the mean time....look what Blondie did.....

She got it....don't cha think? 
     P.S. The house is still a mess....we are playing!!!

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