Potty-training might be the most difficult course in my school of self-denial. I'm in my fifth rotation and hoping for a better grade this time around. I've never started potty-training before the second birthday before, but Lydia and I are trying to get a jump on it. One week in, it is looking pretty optimistic.
But I've been sitting on the floor in front of Lydia singing "I'm a Little Teapot," "Itsy-Bitsy Spider," "If You're Happy and You Know It," and "Here's a Ball For Baby" again and again and again.
Lydia likes to go potty just to watch me sing. She sits on her little potty chair and grins, "Do it 'gin, Mommy! Bitsy 'pider!"
I bounce back and forth between this and more serious subjects, like long division and post-Civil War Reconstruction, and squeeze in some time to listen to Tobias sound out three-letter words. It's not a bad life, but after the tenth round of "Bitsy 'pider" or "Teapot" (well, even after the second round) I'm wishing I could be doing other things.
But as I sing, "Here is my handle," with a hand on my hip, and "Here is my spout," with my other arm outstretched, and lean into "When I get all steamed up, I just SHOUT! Tip me over and pour me out!" I think of Jesus, who poured out His blood for me.
And I realize that singing "I'm a Little Teapot" with my sweet daughter for the umpteenth time while she learns to go potty--even as other things that seem more pressing, more important, more valuable go undone--isn't even close to being poured out like a drink offering, as Paul said in Philippians 2:14-18:
Do all things without grumbling or disputing, that you may be blameless and innocent, children of God without blemish in the midst of a crooked and twisted generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world, holding fast to the word of life, so that in the day of Christ I may be proud that I did not run in vain or labor in vain. Even if I am to be poured out as a drink offering upon the sacrificial offering of your faith, I am glad and rejoice with you all. Likewise you also should be glad and rejoice with me.I want to say to Lydia, and each of my children, "Even if I am to be poured out as a drink offering upon the sacrificial offering of your faith..." and yet here I am grumbling about potty-training, deceiving myself that it is a genuine trial.
Ash Wednesday is a day set aside to grieve for sin. May we grieve over our sin so that we might glory in God's mercy.
Lord, have mercy;
Christ, have mercy;
Lord, have mercy.