I’ll be the first to admit I cry often. Happy tears, sad tears, moving tears, confused tears, anxious tears. I’ve cried them all. Unfortunately, my daughter inherited this gene from me.
My daughter cries a lot. It’s gotten to the point where I have to continually say, “Is this worth crying over? If so, then cry. If not, then no tears. Let’s cry over things that matter.”
This weekend the football almost hit her. Tears flowed. She didn’t want to take a bite of the food on her plate. Cue the crying. Her brother was chasing her. Tears. Her brother wasn’t chasing her. More tears. And yet I continually have to say, “Cry over things that matter.”
I’ve cried twice today. While in the car this morning, I was listening to Audrey Assad’s version of “It is Well with My Soul.” It’s a beautiful song, but today, these words jumped out and gripped my heart and soul:
My sin, oh, the bliss of this glorious thought;
My sin, not in part but the whole,
Is nailed to the cross, and I bear it no more,
Praise the Lord, praise the Lord, o my soul.
The magnitude and depth of Christ’s love was overwhelming to my soul. I’ll admit, this was originally going to be a beautiful, poignant post about this truth.
But then, life happened.
When my daughter got home from school today she handed me a hair clip. She said, “One of my teachers gave this to me.” I nodded and pried a little. “Well, actually, she put it in my hair right before I had my school pictures made.” Whoa. Stop. Your hair was fixed and cute and she did what?
She explained to me that right before she got her pictures made, the teacher put the clip in her hair to get her hair out of her eyes. At first, my thoughts weren't kind. Then, I questioned my parenting (just being honest). Then, when I was left to myself for a moment, tears welled up in my eyes.
It wasn’t just the hair clip. It was the letter home about Character Day that changed everything I had already worked on for her. It was the countless moments I’d spent with my son trying to get him to use the potty, only to then have him use it all over the floor when he stood up.
As I stood there, my words came back to haunt me: “Cry over things that matter.”
My sin totally taken on by my innocent Savior? That’s worth tears. A hair clip in a picture that really doesn’t matter at all? Not worth tears. The realization of freedom in Christ? Cry a river. Having to dress my child as a cow instead of Little Red Riding Hood? Tears not needed.
Tears of surrender and joy this morning gave way to meaningless tears this afternoon. How quickly my mind can shift from one thing to another. What an important reminder for me to keep my eyes focused on Jesus. After all, I have little eyes watching my every move, expecting my actions to reflect my words ... even in the midst of undesired hair clips, frustrating costume changes, and the daunting task of potty training a two year old boy.
Parenting is a humbling thing, especially when you realize you are still learning the lessons you are trying to teach your children.