I absolutely love my hardwood floors. They are quite possibly my favorite part of our house. They are a beautiful dark, dull maple, thick with hand scraped texture. They give our home a rustic feel, yet are strong and sturdy. And it might sound odd, but I smile whenever I scrub them. It takes me a while to clean them by hand, but it’s so comforting; like talking with an old friend.
This last week, I had just gotten done scrubbing the floors when Nora wanted a cup of juice. I had just handed her the cup and turned to put the jug back in the refrigerator when I heard it; she had dropped the cup, sending red cranberry juice all over my spotless kitchen floors. She looked up and her wide eyes met mine, she was perfectly still. Poor thing looked terrified. I was surprised how fast it all happened. But what surprised me even more was my response.
“Oh, honey. What a big spill! That’s ok, it was just an accident.” She ran over and threw her arms around my neck. “I’m sorry, Mommy. I love you.” We cleaned up the juice, I got her a new cup (with a lid this time) and we went back about our morning.
You see, what surprised me is that I haven’t always responded like this to my little girl when she makes messes on the floor. These past three months that we have been in our new home, my heart has been changed by my messy floors; more so by my messy kids creating my messy floors. As an ever recovering perfectionist, nothing tests my heart more than crumbs, spills and sticky goobers, especially over floors that I have JUST scrubbed. Time and time again, I have found myself putting the needs of my floors, or whatever else I desire to be perfect in my home, ahead of the needs of my imperfect children and their need to feel secure in my love for them. I have scolded, snipped and grumbled when they have spilled and cared more about the amount of clean up more than the condition of their precious hearts. And I have been wrong. So very wrong.
As moms, we have an unbelievable opportunity to love our children in big ways – with the love of Christ. Are we choosing to put the needs of our baby’s hearts first and cultivating environments of love and grace or are we picking apart their tiny mistakes and making a greater deal out of them than we should? I for one am choosing to make a stand and not let perfectionism rule my heart or the heart of my children. If you are struggling with perfectionism like I am and are desiring to love your kids more fully in the mercy of Christ, I invite you to pray these verses with me. I can’t wait to see how God will use these truths to free our hearts of these false ideals of perfection and love our kids in ways they so desperately need. Here’s to messy floors and merciful hearts.
Luke 6:36 “Be you therefore merciful, as your Father is also merciful.”
Ephesians 2:4 “But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love with which he loved us.”
Hebrews 4:16 “Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.”
Psalm 86:5 “For you, /lord, are good, and ready to forgive; and plenteous in mercy to all them that call on you.”