It’s sure been a while since I wrote about how the Lord teaches me through Lily. He still does, constantly, but tonight I actually have the time to write about it!!!
Brent and I both have terrible, horrible, no good, very bad, laptops. They’re old and need to be smashed with a hammer. We got an iPad for Christmas to replace them and I made sure that we also got a wireless keyboard to go with it, but it’s still just not the same as typing on a good ol’ computer and the keyboard doesn’t hold a charge very long. All that to say, my love for writing on this here blog has become nothing but a nuisance. But this little story about boogers is a good one so I’ll sacrifice all the annoying things that are hindering me from writing and bring it to you.
Friday night we were all up late and got in the bed at the same time. Scott fell right to sleep as usual. Lily popped into our room just as Brent turned off the lights in our room. Something was bothering her and she had to get it off her chest.
Backup for a minute.
A few months ago we purchased a futon for Brent’s office (got a great deal on it from a place that gets overstock from Target! So, think inexpensive futon from Target, but even cheaper!) While we were shopping around, both of the kids were all over the place. Scott would not dare be harnessed into his stroller, so I chased the kids around the store while Brent looked for the right futon. At the same time, Brent and I shouted across the store (mostly because of the kids and not so much the distance between us) so we could share our opinions of the ones Brent had narrowed his decision to.
Brent: Should I go with the leather? It’s modern but a little girly. Or what about the grey with white piping around the edges? It’s still modern, but masculine.
Me: YEAH. JUST PICK ONE.
They were the same price. I didn’t care one way or another. I just wanted to leave before we were buying several other items that the kids were bound to destroy.
He chose the grey futon with white piping. We got into the car and Lily had a little confession to make. She had apparently picked her nose a few times and wiped the boogers on several pieces of furniture. We didn’t make a big deal out of it, just asked her to please get a tissue next time…and to please please please not wipe boogers on furniture, especially when it’s not ours. It tore her up. She was worried sick about those dried boogers stuck all over the store, sure that the owners would be able to identify them as Lily’s Boogers, call us on the phone, and get her in trouble. She felt horrible and dwelled on it far too long, so we kindly told her to get over it. It’s no big deal. Just don’t do it again.
Brent and I forgot about the dried-boogers-in-the-furniture-store incident.
So on Friday night after we were all in bed, Lily snuck into our room and asked us if it is considered lying if she did something wrong and didn’t tell us. We explained that it’s not necessarily lying, but that she needs to be comfortable with always telling us the truth, even when it’s a bad truth. She had a guilty look on her face and we knew she had something to tell us. No matter how many different ways we encouraged her to tell us whatever it was she had to tell us, she was covered up in fear and tears and couldn’t find the words.
We finally got some information out of her: she knew that what she did was wrong and that it happened at small group. But that wasn’t enough, we wanted to know the whole truth. We were patient with her and gave her plenty of time to open up (and by “we were patient” I mean that Brent was patient and I was given orders to stay quiet!).
Lily was terrified of letting us know the whole truth. She just knew she would have consequences for her actions if she told us. I thought she’s done a terrible thing. What in the world could it be? And after lots of explaining to her of how much we loved her and how we wouldn’t be mad and how she wouldn’t have any consequences for telling us the whole truth and how we want to know all about what goes on in her life, she finally told us…
Sometime in the recent past, she wiped a booger on the edge of the coffee table during small group one night (my apologies to Chris and Amanda!) She was even able to tell us what movie they were watching and where in the room the babysitters were when she did it. This had been eating her up for quite some time!
Honestly, I was so relieved to hear it was just about boogers! You could tell she felt the same relief to finally have her secret confessed to us. She was smiling and calm again.
I didn’t say one word about how she shouldn’t have done that or how it was wrong or gross. Obviously she already knew those things. But I did tell her my own story of when I was in kindergarten waiting in car line after school. I was picking my nose and it was a big one and snot just kept coming out of my nose. I wasn’t a booger-eater, I didn’t have any tissue, I was too shy to ask to go get one, and I couldn’t wipe it anywhere because there was just too much of it, so I unzipped the small front pocket of my backpack and put it all in there. Never to be seen again. Completely forgotten about. And all three of us giggled about that for a while. She thought that was just GREAT!
Once we were all done laughing and Lily had realized that her booger-wiping guilt was unnecessary now that she had confessed and she was forgiven, she said her bedtime prayers and they went something like this:
Dear God, thank you for our blessings and our food to eat. Thank you for Mommy, Daddy, Scott, Laney, Logan, and Dusti Jo…
and this is where she usually says Amen. That prayer is her every prayer. But she went on:
…Thank you for making me brave to tell Mommy and Daddy. Thank you for letting me see I’m not the only sinner. Amen.
That last sentence owns me. Thank you for letting me see I’m not the only sinner. Don’t we all need to hear that?
We all pick our boogers and wipe them on furniture. No one, except Jesus, is exempt from booger picking. But you know what helps us in our guilt and struggle with booger picking? Confession.
Though we can feel isolated in our sin, there is comfort in knowing we’re all in this together. We may struggle with different sins from each other, but the common denominator is this: we all struggle with sin. When the sin isn’t confessed, we are blind to this. The enemy wants us to think we are all alone and there is no one who can relate or help.
But here’s two things God says about this:
For we do not have a hight priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin. Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in our time of need. Hebrews 4:15-16
Confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working. James 5:16
The fear that Lily had before confessing was from the enemy. He knows James 5:16. He knows that confession brings healing and he did not want healing for her so he filled her mind with fear. But Jesus has overcome and made her brave to tell us. She confessed. Her guilt was gone and she was able to hear my story of doing the same thing. That’s why confessing sin is healing. Because you realize two things: you aren’t in this fight alone and you can approach Jesus with confidence because he’s been tempted with the same stuff…yet remained sinless.
My favorite part of this night, other than her prayer, was being able to tell Lily that God is hearing and answering my prayer for her. I pray over her every night that He would draw her to Himself so that she would recognize her sin and receive forgiveness. He’s doing just that. The fact that she was so torn up about her booger stuff is evidence of the work of the Holy Spirit in her life. He convicts us when we are wrong. It was wonderful to take something terrible in the mind of a young child and show her that it’s actually an encouraging thing!
After all this precious God stuff, she Dutch-ovened us (see below for definition). No better way to end the evening confessing sin and farting. Amen.
Dutch Oven: the act of trapping a person under bed covers after releasing gas. I can’t be sure who taught her this.
Cleary we need to work on manners.