Thursday, December 4, 2008

Not My Fault

This morning:

"Mommy, I got marker on the bed."

Me: seeing huge, bold, black strokes covering a ten inch square on the bedspread
"Sami!  You did this on purpose!"

"Yes."

"You know that is wrong."

"Yes."

"Then why did you do it?"

"I didn't have any paper, so it's not my fault."

Now, I confess that I am a bad mother and the first thing I could do was burst out laughing at that last statement.  Because, as much as I think she is so much like her father, in this instance, she is her MOTHER.  Those words came out of my mouth SO MANY times growing up!  I could just SEE my parents gloating as she said it, telling me that my time has come.  I am dealing with MYSELF.

"It's not my fault."

It made perfect sense, to me, that it wasn't my fault when I wrecked the car.  There was ICE and I SLID.  How could that be my fault?

It made sense, every time I dropped a plate, (which happened, oh, every night.  Adolescence was NOT a graceful time for me) that this was not something I INTENDED to do, was OBVIOUSLY an ACCIDENT, and therefore NOT MY FAULT.

And my Dad, and Mom, and brothers, would laugh, and still enjoy mocking me with my laissez-faire approach to personal responsibility.

So when Sami said it wasn't her fault, it knocked me over.  And it so related to some things that I have been thinking and praying about, that I just could not miss the application . . .

I've been thinking a lot about sin, and it's consequences, and a few of the things I had written just this morning regarding sin were so applicable:
I chose to sin when:
-I thought maybe this (temptation) was my only choice (I want to color and all there is is this bed).
-boredom (there's nothing to do, I'll just color on the bed)
-I remember longing to change, but feeling trapped even though I really wasn't. I thought I couldn't leave but I totally could have. My prison wasn't real (There is this marker in my hand.  I happen to by lying on the bed.  I have no choice but to color on it).

And here's the thing:  I am an artist.  There is NOTHING I LOVE more than to see my child coloring, or painting, and to color and paint with her . . . if she had asked I would have given her great piles of paper!  Rooms of paper!  If I have anything to do with it, my daughter will NEVER run out of PAPER!  Ever.  

And I think of the God of JOY who must surely have these vast OCEANS of JOY that He's willing to give us, and the God of PEACE that is bigger than MOUNTAINS, and LOVE, and WISDOM, and HOPE . . . all of these things that God doesn't just think are nice, but He embodies them!  He has limitless resources of these things, and gives them freely, LAVISHLY, joyfully to His children when we ask.  Surely, He even hopes we will make good use of them, that we will just try and see if we can't use up all the rooms of paper or joy or wisdom that He has to give us.

But it requires that tiny step of faith, that act of will to RESIST the right NOW; resist coloring on the bed, being satisfied with less, resist believing the lie that this is all there is, the only choice, as good as it gets . . . and come to Him.
God never coerces us . . . When we choose deliberately to obey Him, then He will tax the remotest star and the last grain of sand to assist us with all His almighty power.     -Oswald Chambers

8 comments:

Bridget said...

So was it washable marker? :)

Jessica said...

Yes, fortunately it mostly came out but not completely!

Becky said...

love this post and your last one too...i really have been thinking so much about inspiring more creativity in my girls, and you have inspired me and given great ideas. seems like i let christmas time sneak up on me every year and i am so unprepared for what would be really meaningful adn then because of lack of time i have to resort to the commercialization...plus, this year i feel like i could just "scrooge out" on everybody...not that i dont care about christmas but i feel kinda drained right now...life is good but right now matt and i are in the "how long, God?" phase. hope to talk to you soon! luv ya, girl and keep posting your christmas inspiration for those of us who need it! =)

Becoming Me said...

I related to every word and am raising a mini-me so it was doubly profound! I love how you wove this into our personal struggles with sin. Wonderful. I so love your blog

Elizabeth said...

What perfectly timed words of wisdom! Today was one of those days where I resorted to my own version of "coloring on the bed" and your application of this situation to our sin and God's limitless resources is such an encouragement. Thanks!

charrette said...

I had an almost identical interaction with my daughter when she was Sami's age. She had drawn on the wall, and I had somewhat impatiently let her know that we draw on paper, not the wall. We scrubbed it off the wall together, and then I handed her a stack of paper. So the next time I found marker (or was it crayon?) on the wall, I was not amused. And she insisted she had drawn on paper. Then she went and retrieved the paper, and showed me...Oh, my gosh, I felt awful -- She had PUT THE PAPER UP ON THE WALL to draw there, and some of the strokes went off the edge. Wow.

I apologized profusely, praised her resourcefulness and ingenuity, and recommended she use the table next time.

I'm guessing you must be an oldest child. Because "It's not my fault" was my immediate reaction to any accusation today...and still is, when confronted by my hubby at times. :) I was so often blamed for something my younger siblings did, that my top priority became to prove and proclaim my own innocence. Even when I was clumsy, careless, or lost control.

This whole post resonated with me.
You are so great.

charrette said...

Oh, and I also love the way you say that God is so free with his resources and hoping we'll use and enjoy them. My own dad was the same way. Always allowed me to use his pencils, brushes, paints, and paper...and his whole studio for that matter. I find myself far more reluctant to share my own costly materials, and have to keep reminding myself how generous Dad was with his. Taking it one step further and reminding myself how generous God is with "all that he hath" is a good reminder for me too.

Betty said...

I love (and sometimes hate) when I see those "repeats" of me in my kids. And your right, they usually picture some kind of confirmation or epiphany to life circumstances. I love how well you put that into words. Great Post! And by the way, I know you weren't serious, but LAUGHTER MAKES YOU A GREAT MOM!!!