There are lots of moments with our children that we as parents will always remember; our children being born, their first steps, giggles, words, first days of school and so many more special moments that are ingrained in our hearts and our memories. These moments are special and they bring significance and meaning to our relationships with our kids. Recently I’ve had the opportunity to add three unforgettable moments to my relationship with my daughter.
It was a typical day at home and I’d put my daughter down for her nap. We have a monitor in her room so I’m able to check in from time to time, and on this particular day, it was clear she wasn’t going to sleep. “That’s okay,” I thought, “she still needs some quiet time, she’s playing, and she’ll be fine.” But, after about an hour I was walking by her room and noticed an unmistakable stench wafting through the closed door. “Oh no,” I thought, “what am I smelling?” Much to my horror, I opened the door to a sight I had hoped to never see. My sweet little baby had indeed used her diaper, and then removed her diaper and painted, or rather smeared its contents all over the place. She was covered, as were the crib, sheets, blankets, stuffed animals, and more. Staring at this scene in shocked bewilderment I began to cry. I had no idea where to begin! It was a mess and it was everywhere!
I’m a nurse and I’ve been covered in far worse, but there’s something different when it’s in your own home and you’re all alone with no help and a child who is desperately reaching for you. I was disgusted. All three times. Because yes, it’s now happened three times. One of which involved a pack n’ play that had to be hauled outside and sprayed down with a hose while the neighbors peeked out their windows.
I am happy to report that I pulled myself together, put on my mom gloves and got to work. Each time I worked hard, cleaned well and did what needed to be done. Peace and cleanliness were restored to my daughter and to our home. But the third time, as I again found myself wrist deep in the mess, grumbling about my circumstances I finally stopped to ask, “Okay Lord, what are you trying to tell me? What does this mean? How can I redeem this mess for your glory?”
God sweetly drew my mind to a passage of scripture in Psalms, “He lifted me out of the slimy pit, out of the mud and mire; he set my feet on a rock and gave me a firm place to stand.” Psalm 40:2. After recounting the words I prayed, “Yes Lord, that’s exactly what you did for me. You pulled me out of the mud and mire, the filth and stench of my own sin and set my feet on the solid ground of salvation through Jesus. You didn’t care that I was dirty, disgusting and undeserving. You gave up your holiness and your cleanliness, your much deserved worth and power to wear my mess and make me pure. I praise you Lord for being such a good and compassionate Father. Thank you for not walking away and leaving me in my smelly prison of sin, thank you for allowing in your perfect plan for the sanctification and cleansing of my soul. Thank you for allowing me to come when I was dirty. Thank you for embracing me fully despite my heart’s condition. Thank you for using my daughter to teach me. Thank you for redeeming the mundane, ordinary and often messy parts of my days as mommy. And thank you for giving me a child whose mess can point me to Jesus.”
For this momma, it took the stench of a dirty diaper to remind me of what I’ve been saved from; may I never forget the redeeming power of the gospel.
“He reached down from on high and took hold of me; he drew me out of deep waters. He rescued me from my powerful enemy.”
“For he has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the Son he loves, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.” Colossians 1:13-14.