God is not afraid of messes...
I am stepping outside of the preschool box for just a moment... I write about everything, all the time, but usually reserve this blog simply for that which pertains directly to preschool and my little preschool cutie pies.
Sometimes, I write about curriculum, or a personality trait, or the future I see for each of them, but today...it's about God and me and you.
As a parent and preschool teacher/daycare provider/homeschool momma for several little sweet babes, much of my day (about 11-12 hours of it) is spent in the company and service of children. God uses so many moments out of each day to speak to my heart, to tell me about how He sees me (and you), and to share His love for me, as I share it with them. I am so grateful. I could not imagine a life void of the kind love and admiration shown to me by and through these little ones. I do not want to imagine a life void of the love and lessons God shares with me through them either.
This little one on the left is one of my preschool partners. She is sweet and sassy and full of 2 year old"ness!" She, like all her other 2 year old counterparts, make messes moment by moment, all day long, all the time. They dump their food, their drinks, their toys, each other; and I spend much of my day chasing along my 2 year old crew cleaning and cleaning and cleaning up their messes. I consider myself a fairly patient momma/teacher. I think my own children can attest to that as well. I have been trained again and again in what to expect of young children in the childcare setting and have experienced it countless times over many years. To pour out, dump over, refill, re-dump and move on to the next interesting thing in their path is a trait of young children well...well...let me say again, WELL, into later years.
On this particular morning, my little sweetie had poured most of her rice crispies all over herself, the table, the floor and, as you can see, the chair. She triumphantly called out, "I make da' mess, Ms. Donna!", observantly proud of her condition during breakfast. I sighed to myself, grabbed the paper towels and jokingly replied, "I'm not afraid of your messes, Missy!" Right then...into my soul God placed these words, "I'm not afraid of yours either." Wow.....wow...wow...wow....wow...wow...
I couldn't be more amazed by a God that isn't afraid of my messes. I make them too, with my words, with my actions, knowingly, unknowingly...as we all do. Sometimes, we just can't help but step into a great big pile of mess of something not knowing how we are going to clean it all up. But can I share this with you?? God is not afraid of your mess either...no matter how deep...no matter if you meant to do it or didn't. He has a way to clean it all up and set your feet on solid ground. You see, just like the picture above, I know this little girly isn't TRYING to spill everything everywhere, she just does because she doesn't yet have the skills to NOT do so. Even when my little ones DO intentionally make messes it is because that is what is developmentally appropriate for them to do so they can LEARN. Yelling at them, being angry, trying to make them clean it up all by themselves doesn't work. They NEED my help, my encouragement, my confidence that, "It's o.k....I am here and I will help you."
If I chose the path of yelling, shaming, punishing them for what is EXPECTED of them developmentally, I wouldn't be TEACHING them anything other than fear. My job is to teach. How? By example... If I show them time and time again HOW to clean up the messes, how to pick up the toys, how to take a HUGE chaotic mess and make in orderly, they, in time, will mimic me and thereby learn to do so as well. Sure, it may take encouragement...LOTS of it :)), but they will learn.
1 John 4:16 is a wonderful example of this, "Such love has no fear, because perfect love expels all fear. If we are afraid, it is for fear of punishment, and this shows that we have not fully experienced his perfect love."
God gives the same encouragement to me...to you...to us. He knows we are going to make messes and He, in His infinite loving kindness is there with the paper towels ready to let us make a mess and help us clean it up so we can continue to grow and learn and become everything He has for us to become in this life.
Why? Because of love...He knows us. He knows who we are and where we are at this moment. His thoughts are FOR us and not against us...He is working out a way for ALL THINGS to work out for our good according to His plan and purpose for our lives. Just like I know each of these little children in my care. I know their strengths and weaknesses. I know where they are developmentally and ask them to try WITH my help. Only when I am certain they have mastered a skill do I ask them to do so on their own, not for my benefit, because let's face it, having a small child "help" takes five times as long to complete a task, but it is necessary for building their confidence.
And...isn't God so much more than me?? Yes, of course He is. Romans 8:28 states that, "And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to His purpose for them." NLT That chapter of Romans goes on to say, "And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God’s love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow—not even the powers of hell can separate us from God’s love." Romans 8:38NLT
And, so am I, convinced that His love for me and you INCLUDES all the messiness of this life...
I wish you well...-L
9/4/2013 06:53:33 am
I constantly evaluate my words, my actions, ever realizing how imperfect I am. Yet God in his perfect love has infinite patience and compassion. He lets me come back into his heart time and time again. Sometimes I do better. many times not. He not only forgives me but is grateful I shared them. May we all love not only our children but each other the same way! Great blog LaDonna!!!
9/4/2013 10:23:07 am
Thank you, Carrie! I appreciate your comments and willingness to share too!!
9/4/2013 02:03:48 pm
LaDonna you are one of the wisest and most inspirational women I know. I always love your blogs but this one really touched my heart. I want to share this with everyone I know because this is a message everyone needs to hear over wnd over again. I pray that God richly blesses all your days because you are such a precious and special lady. Love you girl.
9/4/2013 02:10:08 pm
Thank you so much...please, feel free to share. I appreciate so much that God used me to speak to you. Wow...what a privilege...thank you for sharing that with me. Love right back to you :))
9/5/2013 05:19:42 am
Thank you for this wonderful reminder! I know I will be reminded of this, "God is not afraid of messes" when milk is spilled, toys are everywhere & our monkeys are dirty from head to toe!
9/5/2013 05:29:24 am
Thank you, Misty...Love right back!!!
8/7/2014 10:00:36 pm
LaDonna, beautiful words, expression of your spiritual wisdom. I admire your calling of teaching and loving of children.
2/18/2015 10:51:06 pm
Shirley, thank you! It means so much to me that you took the time to "stop by" :) I apologize that my comments section isn't working properly.
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Life is made of moments...
"There isn't anything more full of hope, joy and peace than a child's smile... It captures the mundane and makes it extraordinary." - LaDonna Woolsey
I am a Mother Goose Time Blogger. I decided to become one after trying their products because I they are comprehensive and serve my mixed age group well. I do receive products to review from Mother Goose Time and do so with my own honest and thorough opinions. For more information, please contact me at Ladonna@woolseyacademy.com