Although the official day of Summer is still a few weeks away, today I feel like it has just began. Today is the first day the #SummerSizzleBlogHop begins here on MarriedbyHisGrace.
The Summer Sizzle Blog Hop is of 9 Christian Bloggers sharing their best work. Each blogger has shared their top posts with each other. Let me be the first to tell you….. they are definitely their top posts for a reason!
You got some amazing reads coming to you this summer. Be sure to Link up with all the Bloggers involved.
by: Dawn Klinge
I could hear my seven year old happily singing from the bathroom as I loaded the dishwasher. It was almost time to leave for school. His big sister had pointed out that he’d been in there for a long time, and he was probably getting into stuff. It was the same suspicion I had. His bathroom shenanigans were usually no more harmful than the occasional overzealous applications of his Daddy’s cologne – and sometimes, he used way too much toilet paper, causing the toilet to over flow. I’m an expert with the toilet plunger. I have a lot of practice.
Eventually, he returned, and sat at the kitchen table to finish his breakfast. I walked back to my bedroom to put my shoes on. I heard the sound of water running from the bathroom. Not good. I was too late. Water was spilling out of the toilet and onto the floor when I opened the bathroom door. The first thing I needed to do was stop the water. So I devised a little intervention (one I was quite proud of) using chopsticks to hold the chain up in the water tank, thus stopping the flow of water. While I was throwing towels on the floor, sopping up the mess, I heard my son’s sad, quiet voice, “Gracie says I broke the toilet.”
No, no, no… you didn’t break the toilet.” I said, trying to comfort him.
Though I was also thinking that he “broke” the toilet.
“You do need to be more careful though. Try not to use so much toilet paper. Now go get your coat on, you’re going to be late for school.”
Think before you speak….
The walk to school was a quiet one. My thoughts were on the big mess I now had to clean up upon returning home. I didn’t say anything though, as my son obviously felt badly about it. I’m not always so self-controlled with my word – but I was this time. Something help me back from opening my mouth. I kept thinking about a phrase I had read a few days earlier, in Kim John Payne’s book called,
Simplicity Parenting: Using the Extraordinary Power of Less to Raise Calmer, Happier, and More Secure Kids.
“Before you speak, think, Is it true? Is it kind? Is it necessary?” – Kim John Payne
The toilet situation got worse. One clogged toilet turned into two, and then the bathtub backed up! No amount of toilet plunging did a bit of good. After a few hours of trying to fix the problem myself, sweaty, disgusted, and exhausted, I finally called the property manager for help.
Long story short, the drain issue stemmed from a full septic tank – something I hadn’t yet had any experience with. My son had nothing to do with the problem.
Being new renters we didn’t realize that every once in awhile, the tank has to be emptied! It was a bad day, one I wont soon forget. But I knew it would have been far worse had I lost my temper with my sweet boy. The mess in the house could be cleaned up, but the damage I would have done to his spirit, with careless words, spoken in anger, could have been far more destructive.
But By Grace…
I thought I was showing grace to my son that morning when I kept quiet. But grace, in this story, was a small voice in my spirit. The one that held me back from saying what I thought. By the grace of God, those words I had read a few days before came to mind at just the right time.
I’m not a perfect parent (far from it), but God gives me (and all of us) grace in parenting, when I listen to the quiet voice, like I did on that day with the toilet fiasco, I’m protected. That’s grace.
We need to extend grace to our kids, daily- and the ability to do that comes from the originator of grace, Christ Jesus. My kids extend grace to me, too, for which I’m humbled and grateful. Families need a whole lot of grace to function properly.
I pray that the Holy Sprit will speak to our hearts, showing us how generously grace has been given to us, so that we can, in turn, extend the same grace to each other.
“And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that having all sufficiency in all things at all times, you may abound in every good work.” 2 Corinthians 9:8 (ESV)
Dawn Klinge is a freelance writer and Christian Blogger who love encouraging women to keep their focus on Jesus. She’s the author of Look to Jesus: How to let go of worry and trust God. She’s a wife and mom of two teens. A Seattle girl, she loves books and coffee. You can find her at Above the Waves.