Thursday, April 1, 2010

(Since when do a plastic potty, an empty coffee cup, and a bottle of red wine go together? Since I started potty training.)

Day four of potty training. Today we went through fifteen pairs of underwear but as of yet, no success. Sigh. There’s nothing like running to and from the toilet every twenty minutes for three days straight to put a damper on one’s resolve. It's hard to resist the sense of futility and failure that rushes to meet me the moment I fall into bed.

I know that when you are training young children "victory" takes many forms. A mature woman recently told me that when she was home with three young children she judged her day a success based on whether she remained clothed and in her right mind.

Still, there is a part of me that wants some tangible proof of all my labor; and I would venture to say I am not unique in this desire: as human beings we all want to have “something to show” for the sum of our efforts.

But here I must remind myself that it is not a matter of what I have to show for my works; it is what He has to show for His. The work of Christ on the Cross means that I am His masterpiece, His living poemas – “written not with ink but with the Spirit of the living God” (2. Cor. 3.3).

And as such I am in the process of becoming something more marvelous it is beyond imagining… “It is by grace I am what I am,” says Paul, affirming the idea that it is not what we do that is of utmost importance – it is who we are. Christ is the penultimate finisher of what He starts. He promises that, in the end, He will present us without fault and with great joy before the glorious presence of His Father...(Jude 1.24).

God has given me work to do; plenty of it. But my real labor is in believing “in the living God, who is the Savior of all men” (1 Tim. 4.10); and not allowing myself to get bogged down by all the (in my case, literal) refuse that begs to be the central focus of all my days.

Ultimately, my goal isn’t just to get Audrey out of diapers. My goal is to assist her in acquiring the character qualities that will enable her to become the woman He designed her to be. “For physical training is of some value,” Paul says, “but godliness has value for all things, holding promise for both the present life and the life to come” (1 Tim. 4.8).

“I can’t do it!” Audrey squealed at one point this afternoon. Sweetheart, neither can I, I wanted to say. Not in my own strength; but thanks be to God I don't have to. For His blood sacrifice ... has provided me another way of getting through life: and that is by relying on Him.

The Redemption of Christ means that those things which, on the one hand, seem to oppress me can also be opportunities to be transformed. Thus rather than expending all my energies resisting the challenges of life - whatever their form - I want to embrace these challenges, believing they are ordained by him to drive me further into His arms.

“Let the beloved of the Lord rest secure in him, for he shields him all day long, and the one the Lord loves rests between his shoulders.” ~ Deuteronomy 33.12


Lindsay said...

Hang in there!! I STILL have to take Brody potty in the middle of the night!! I'm not sure I will ever get a full night's sleep again!

Mrs Bic said...

Thank You, Heather for your beautiful words!

Anonymous said...

You are one awesome mom! The good news is that potty training will come to an end (at some point). I can't name one person who sent their 18 year old off to college with a suitcase full of diapers. Oh boy! Can you tell I've reached the end of my rope for today!?!?!?