The kids had the day off school today and the morning wasn't smooth. While I battled controlling my temper, I realized that it was the little things they do or don't do that make me alternate between wanting to jab a pen in my eye and nominating them for Child of the Year. I ran the mental list of all the little things they haven't been doing when God stopped me dead in my tracks and asked me, "What little things are you doing to show them you love them?" Ouch! I confessed my sin and asked God to redirect our day.
I sat down later this afternoon to spend time with God. Two days ago we finished reading the book of Jeremiah and I gotta say, I'm not a huge fan. The 52 chapters in the book of Jeremiah have felt long and arduous for me. Of course Grant, our nine year old son who is also reading the Bible cover to cover with us, thought Jeremiah was the bomb. He loved all the fury and wrath and God coming down to kick butt and take names. I mentioned to him that I was not finding any easy life-application points from my time in this book. He looked at me with surprise and said, "Well that's simple Mom. Don't do evil or God will (then he gets theatrical and turns on his evil voice and flails his arms really big) DESTROY you."
The book after Jeremiah is Lamentations, a five-chapter funeral dirge mourning the destruction of the nation of Israel. It was with a just-get-it-done attitude that I dug out my Bible today to plow through the required two chapters. And what do you know? In the midst of the funeral song and in spite of my bad attitude, a beautiful ray of sunshine that I didn't expect or deserve. Listen to Jeremiah's prayer to God from Lamentations 3:22-23, "Because of the LORD's great love we are not consumed for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness."
All day God had been teaching me and the kids about the little things. Leave your Cheetos wrapper in the back yard and incur the wrath of Mamma Can't-Stand-Mess. Clear your plate and put it in the dishwasher without being asked and handfuls of M&M's and hugs of adoration abound. Moan and groan about how miserable your kids are making you and have the spotlight turned to your own ugliness. Choose to see how amazing your kids actually are and BAM! A beautiful verse in the center of sadness and grief.
God, your compassions are new every morning and sometimes need to be renewed every hour of every morning and throughout the day. Thank you for the little things You do in my life every day to remind me of your unfailing compassion. I agree with Jeremiah - "Great is Your faithfulness!"