I’m coming to you today in a little of a complain fest but also a bit of an epiphany. I came into my bedroom the other day after a shower and caught one of my older children using my deodorant. Now mind you, I put my deodorant in my room because I am so tired of it being used. I felt like that would be the best place to protect it, and the kids would not know. Needless to say it didn’t work, but that wasn’t what threw me over the edge. The thing that threw me over the edge was finding Ellie with my toothbrush in her mouth. Unfortunately, this isn’t the first time I have experienced one of my children misusing my toothbrush. No joke! One time I caught Reggie playing in the toilet with it. He was 2 at the time. Anyway, I know she's my daughter, and I give her kisses, but to me that is one of the most disgusting things on the planet. I went on a rampage through the house proclaiming at the top of my lungs that I have nothing sacred. There is nothing that is just mine.
Anyone who has kids, especially more than one kid, has felt the same way at times. Right now is one of those times for me. I feel like I can’t own anything with out it being used by someone else, and it always seems to get abused when someone else in the home uses it. I can’t tell you how many times I have found things broken, stained, or misplaced. Like I said a little bit of a complain fest, but I really want you to understand my frustration. Why can’t these kids just respect my stuff and what I provide for them. I have given them all of these things, and yet it seems like those things aren't good enough. They want my stuff as well. ARGGHHHH!!!!!!
Ok, settle down Francis. I’ve been pondering on this lately trying to figure out how I can have something that is just mine, and no one else can touch or use it. Mind you, even my tooth brush isn’t sacred. This is when the epiphany came to be. I was complaining to God about these kids he has put me in charge of and whining about how things need to change in our household so I can have something sacred. “STOP TOUCHING MY STUFF!!!” still comes up in my thoughts when I think of it all, but like I said, the epiphany.
I felt like God told me, “You do the same things with my stuff!” Now, it’s not a great idea to argue with God because there really isn’t any winning. I asked, “Please explain how I have used your toothbrush before.” I can imagine God’s chuckle when that was my response; however, I did have to think about how I do the same thing with his stuff.
God led me to the fact that all that I have has been given to me and entrusted to me, and many times it isn’t enough, I want more. I have so much, and I know I don’t deserve any of it. Yes, I have worked hard, and with the help of Dave Ramsey, am able to pay cash for things and stay on budget, but truly I have been given such a great life. I, of all people, should know and understand this because I have been in the slums of other countries where people have absolutely nothing. I have seen the kids come into foster care with nothing but the shirt on their back. I played soccer with a bunch of Haitian kids and the soccer was a large can because we didn’t have a ball, and yet, I have the audacity to complain to God about my toothbrush being in the mouth of my toddler. What we have, we have been given. We, as a people, forget that God has provided for us in ways we will never fully understand. Our lives could have been so different in so many ways, but they weren’t. Even all of the things that have gone wrong in our lives we still get to wake up to freedom every morning. Then, of course, God had to take it one step further on me…
I felt like he said, “What does it mean for you to give your whole self to me?” Is my stuff part of that? Is my life part of that? What is it that we give to God? If I am truly a follower of Christ and he has given this stuff for me to enjoy, why am I so uptight about my children being part of that? Now the toothbrush and deodorant thing is still gross, and we will still address that because they need to learn, but the concept is true. Nothing should be sacred, not any of my “stuff” anyway. What should be sacred are the people I have in my life and my relationship with God. These aren’t necessarily things we can touch or can earn. These are things we give to each other.
Now I wasn’t extremely excited about this “Teachable Moment” but I do feel like I learned something extremely valuable. My stuff is just stuff. I don’t want to hold my stuff more sacred then those around me. I want to still keep nice what God has entrusted to me, but there has to be balance in knowing what is important. So the next time you see your toothbrush being used in an unacceptable way, just think of how we have misused something God has given us, and know what truly is Sacred.