So this afternoon right before nap time Leah and I had a conversation that stuck in my head a little bit. I was reading The Cat in the Hat to Elias for the 3rd time that day (btw I have the whole thing memorized. Ask me to recite it the next time I see you. For real.) and I was holding Elana up on my lap too. Leah was playing with her new T-ball glove and ball, and all of a sudden she acted like she was going to throw the ball right in Elanas face.
Naturally, I quickly told her "Never throw a ball at Elana! She can't catch it and it will hurt her a lot!" Well, Leah immediately burst into tears. I thought I scared her, or that she felt bad about almost hurting her sister. Not quite.
"But I want to hurt her!" she says.
"What??" I was sure I misunderstood her. She must have meant that she did NOT want to hurt her, right?
"I want to hurt her! I'm sad because I want to hurt her, and you said no!!!!!"
Great, my daughter is a psychopath. That was my first thought. But as she stood there, holding the ball and crying, I realized that she's not a psychopath. Just a sinner. A sinner who is struggling with the reality that she can't do the things that she wants to do. A sinner who's desires are rooted in a heart that is turned away from God. A sinner who is frustrated because she does the things she doesn't want to do, and doesn't do the things she does want to do. (No, she did not quote Romans, but I feel its still applicable.) We all struggle with this, even 3 year olds.
Anywho, we talked about how sin makes us want to do mean things, and that the only way we can think kind thoughts is if God changes our hearts. Once again I told her about how Jesus died so that our hearts can be beautiful. I told her that mommys sometimes think mean things too, and that mommy's and Daddy's need Jesus. We both prayed and asked God to help us think kind things about others. Then Leah said "Lanie you're so cute!!!!!" and gave her a hug and went back to playing. I finished reading the Cat and the Hat, and that was that. (see what I did there with the rhyme?)
This conversation struck me for two reasons.
1. It reminded me of the basic truth of the gospel: we are great sinners and we have a great savior.
2. I have the wonderful privilege of being the primary "missionary" to my children, so to speak. Sometimes I get bogged down in how tedious the days are. How every day the house is dirty again, the kids are whiny again, and the laundry is never done. Sometimes I think "seriously, this is my life???" when Elana spits up on me and Elias wipes his snot on my shirt. But then I am struck with how blessed I am to be able to stay at home with my young kids and have conversations like this with them. Because really, you can have gospel conversations all day long if you want to.
Now I'm not naive. Leah praying a prayer right now is pretty much just her repeating what I have told her many many times. I have no idea whether or not her heart is in any way changed. I have no idea when and if the Holy Spirit will do that work in her, and I believe that it is God who is going to have to change her heart, and not me. But, I also know that God has entrusted the bulk of the teaching to us (her parents), and that he will use us to bring her to a saving knowledge of her savior. That can be a pretty terrifying thought as well, though, because I know this will come as quite a shock, but not all of our conversations during the day go like that one. I am far more impatient and selfish than I ever realized, and my idols rear their ugly heads quite frequently. But God is sovereign, and as one of my wise friends told me, I am not powerful enough to screw up God's plan for my children. A very comforting thought, knowing that God is able to redeem my horrible parenting moments.
Anyways, I digress. Those were my thoughts of the day. Now I'm going to watch Law and Order on Netflix.