Friday, February 4, 2011

I Love You (despite the snot)

When I've lifted Kerrington from her crib after her naps this week, the first thing I've noticed is the snot.  She's sick and cutting her first tooth, leaving the dear baby caked with snot.  It seeps from her nose to her upper lip.  As she nuzzles her head into her crib sheet, she streaks her face and hair until it dries, crusted and yellowed.

Her skin, normally fair, has chapped.  Her eyes, normally vibrant, show weariness.

I love this child despite the snot.  I pick her up, hold her close, and let her rest her head on my shoulder.  I listen to the sound of her congested breathing and run my hand up and down her back.  All the while I let her nuzzle into me, conforming her small body into my own, and together we sit.

She doesn't resist me.  As I draw her close, I know that I'm inviting mess into my arms.  I do it willingly, without judgment.

Kerrington doesn't have to clean herself up before I hold her.  She doesn't need to wash her own face before I can see its beauty.  She's welcome in my arms, no matter what state she's in.

Thankfully, God feels the same way about us.

I have moments when I'm rather snotty.  Moments when my heart harbors frustration and I speak sharply to my kids, moments when I lose my patience.  It's unattractive, yet when I approach God and present myself caked with ugliness, he extends his arms to draw me close again.  Willingly.  Without judgment.

I shouldn't resist him.  He's not repelling me.  But he does want to clean me up.

Although I accept Kerrington snotty, I prefer her clean.  I wet a washcloth and dab her face, gently softening and wiping away the crustiness.  I soothe her chapped skin with mild lotion.  This cleaning process -- this process of getting things right -- is what she resists.  She flails her head and arches her back, but I gently proceed, knowing how much better she'll feel when it's done.

I don't tell her, "Kid, you got yourself into this mess, so you can get yourself out of it."  I don't let her wallow in it.  No parent does this.  God, as a good parent, does the same.  He dabs at the ugliness, the impatience, the striving in my heart.  Sometimes I flail, arching my back and resisting the change, but we both know that I'll feel better when I'm clean.

I love my kids despite their snot.

God loves his kids despite our snot.  And, thankfully, he loves us too much to leave us that way.


9 comments:

  1. Beautiful reminder, Robin, A great picture to remind me of God's love every time one of my kids has a snotty nose.

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  2. What a great analogy - thank you for giving me this to think on.

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  3. I love this post of yours.
    LOVE it.
    It means so much to have the blessing of finding a good, clean, blog that I enjoy, with the added bonus of including God in these beautiful messages.
    I can identify with this post in more ways than one, and I honestly don't think that anyone could have described this relationship between God and His children any better than you just did.
    I loved it so much that the link is currently posted in my facebook status.

    Also, thank you for taking the time to peek over into my blog and leave a comment.
    I haven't been writing because the inspiration just hasn't been there, but you have me all up and inspired again. Thank you so much for your encouragement and kind words. Thank you, thank you, thank you.

    Oh, and about the remixed Jinglebells song?

    Unfortunately, the Joker really does ballet.

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  4. This is the loveliest piece I've ever read about snot ;-)

    Karinya @ Unlikely Origins
    www.unlikelyorigins.blogspot.com

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  5. This is so true huh? And I'm reminded about this because my sone is sick right now, so I am getting a lot of the hold me hold me momma at the moment.

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  6. I love reading your blog! I just found it yesterday. I LOVE this post.

    Thank you!

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  7. As my sweet angel finally falls asleep tonight (after a random vomit, tears and a bath), I read this post.  It's funny how life works.  I knew that she is was breaking her first tooth, but I had no idea that all the symptoms that you've outlined are exactly what she is going through right now.  We are living in Paris, worlds away from all our family and friends - this was exactly what I needed tonight.  THANK YOU

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  8. Oh, I hope that your little one is better soon -- and may God grant you ample rest, as well!

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