Too old for naps

Jackson recently decided that naps are no longer necessary.

Who has time to nap when there is so much playing to do?

After going to battle over naptime for several days in a row, which only served to wear me out, it was time to change strategies. We instituted “quiet time.”

Sometime during Lauren’s afternoon nap, Jackson has quiet time for about 30 to 45 minutes in his room. The only rule is that he must be quiet. Otherwise, he can play to his heart’s content.

During his first quiet time, Jackson played hard. Though I could hear him, it wasn’t loud enough to wake up his sister, so I let it be. I had a monster headache, so I actually took a nap.

When my alarm went off to notify me that Jackson’s quiet time was up, the house was strangely still. I went to Jackson’s door and listened. Then I cracked the door. As I pushed the door open wide, Jackson’s room was empty, minus scattered toys. Was he playing hide and seek, ready to pounce and scare me? I looked in the closet and around the room again, and Jackson wasn’t there. I had a momentary panic trying to ascertain whether I slept so hard I didn’t hear him sneak out of his room or go outside. “Jackson, where are you?” I asked out loud. There was no answer. I turned to leave the room and begin frantically searching for him, when a little fist on the floor caught my eye.

I slowly bent down, and there was Jackson fast asleep under his train table, perfectly hidden.

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Jackson asleep under his train table

I’ve found him like this several times now. Because taking a nap is on his terms, he often decides he is tired and just crawls into his bed and closes his eyes.

Jackson wasn’t as grown up as he thought. And, that was okay!

We may need to learn the same lesson. Often we take on too many projects, get too little sleep, try to please everyone. We compare ourselves to others. We think we can handle things on our own, or that we’ve moved past a situation. So, we independently make the decision to push forward. And we find out we may not be as “grown up” as we thought.

We get frustrated when it doesn’t go our way or it is too big for us to shoulder alone, and then fight with God for what we want. Could it be that sometimes God gives us the freedom we ask for but cannot handle in order to clearly show us our need for Him?

God cares more about our submission to His authority and loving provision than success according to the world’s standards, or our own for that matter. He desires for us to bend to His will because we trust Him wholeheartedly with our lives.

Let’s stop fighting it. We need a nap!

We need Jesus.

Diapers don’t belong in the wash

Needing to have Jackson’s clothes dried in time for school the next day, I headed to the washer to throw the clothes in the dryer before I went to bed.

I opened the door and began the transfer when I noticed that a pair of jeans didn’t look normal. I started sifting through the other pieces of clothing, and everything was covered with a substance that reminded me of fish eggs.

I had Matt come out and look at it, and he suggested to just run the wash again and hope it would all come off the second time. That’s what I did and went to bed.

In the morning, the laundry looked even worse. My only recourse was to unload and thoroughly rinse off each item in the tub.

As I washed off the first sock, inside and out, I began to realize the enormity of the task before me. I reached into the basket to pick up a shirt when I saw it.

A soggy, partially disintegrated pull-up lay in the midst of the mess.

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The pull-up that infiltrated the kids laundry lies on the right side of the basket.

This basket of laundry reminds me of the power of sin in our lives. It doesn’t matter how big or small, significant or minor the sin and wrongdoing is. The damage is complete. One diaper is all it takes to infiltrate an entire load of laundry.

Sometimes we think we can just sanitize what we see as dirty. It’s like trying to wash a pull-up to get it clean. When we know God wants us to throw that sinful habit or omission out of our lives, we just try to clean it or pretty it up so it doesn’t seem too bad. The reality is washed dirt is just mud.

We also try hard to compartmentalize our sin, thinking sin in one area of our lives doesn’t affect the rest of us. What happens at home doesn’t affect what happens at work. An issue in a marriage has no bearing on relationships with the children. These are lies! Sin affects everything. It infects everything. Our lives need total intervention because continuing to wash the load of laundry along with the pull-up just makes a mess. Our messed up hearts desperately need cleansed by our Savior.

It took me hours to rinse each piece of clothing and get off all the gunk. I had to clean the washing machine, the basket and the tub. Jesus bore our sins for three hours, from noon to 3 p.m., on the cross, paying the penalty we deserved. When he cried out “It is finished”, the temple veil was torn from top to bottom, giving us direct access to God and His forgiveness through Jesus Christ.

God is ready to take our messy lives and make them new. Adding an extra rinse cycle isn’t going to make the diaper any cleaner.

It’s time to give our dirty laundry to Jesus.