When we explained his consequence to him, he was very upset and said, "But I forgot," adding with a hint of accusation, "I'm only seven."
How often we do that. Want to grow up and have more freedom, but diss the responsibility. Adam did it in the garden. When God asked him why he ate the fruit, his first words were, "It was the woman you gave me . . . "
We've been shrugging off responsibility since the beginning.
My blame comes out when I'm late or I lose my temper with the little people. The three-year-old in me stomps a foot and casts an eye upward. "If those kids you gave me would mind a little better . . . "
God probably shakes his head and says, "I know. I have the same problem with my kids."
Without grace and forgiveness we'd be sunk. We'd live in our funks and pity parties.
Sometimes God gives us a little squeeze and dusts off our knees while our lip hangs low (my seven-year-old has the pout perfected). Other times he'll give us some room to get a revelation about our me-focus.
The cool thing is, He always loves us. (I can't say I adore my children in the midst of a tantrum—if one of them threatened to run away, I might toss an empty suitcase their way).
When I'm living through a rough day, I cling to the verse, "His mercies are new every morning." I know that once my head hits the pillow, the day's ickiness gets erased and we get to start fresh.
My youngest found another way to grace. We thought he was headed for his toothbrush as we set the cards out for a fast and furious game of Nerts. But he wandered back into the room with a big smile, his cheeks stuffed with the brussels sprout he'd fished from the sink.
I know what you're thinking. I was thinking it too—I wanted to bleach his mouth out. But I figured he survived the time he chewed on the end of the toilet plunger as a toddler, so a few germs from the sink wouldn't kill him.
And we had a fabulous evening playing cards. Grace works wonders on the big people and the little ones.