Building-mates and a lesson on grace

I am pretty sure my upstairs neighbors make a habit of picking up their couch and dropping it.

Also, my next door neighbors got a dog (one of the yippee ones), and love to have parties. all. the. time.

Those are the facts, plain and simple. Sometimes, it is annoying to have neighbors, especially when it seems like they think they are the only ones who live in the building. You know the people I am talking about? Who talk loud in the hallway, hang up singing wreaths at Christmas, run up and down the stairs, throw their cigarette butts down through the cracks from their porch onto the one below, those people?

They all live in my building.

I wish I could say jk jk jk – I love them all and we get along great.

But I can’t. I’m working on how to love them well, all while being driven to the point of insanity.

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In other news, I got to hang out with a couple cool kids last night and today. Their parents are overseas on a 10-day trip, and so Mollie, Kole and I had a little adventure for the past 1.5 days. To be honest, it was only supposed to be 1 night, and then I was going to put them on a bus to school and go to work and they would come home to another babysitter. Easy as pie.

And then the snow came. Not much, but enough of a snowstorm that it caused Carmel to cancel school for the day. (As a sidenote, they totalllllly could have had school with a 2 hour delay. Not sure what the Lord was up to, but maybe it was for this lesson I learned)

Woop! Change of plans – pajama day!!! We improvised and made the best of staying in the house – we hung out in our pj’s, made chocolate chip pancakes for breakfast and then made a giant teepee and wore beautiful home-made indian headdresses as our attire for the remainder of the day (I was Princess Sunshine). It was great. And also a great lesson in grace.

There is a reason the Bible talks about “training in righteousness”. We aren’t born that way. We don’t come out with hearts of service, love and grace. By nature we are selfish, self-centered and demanding. So we all must be “trained” to serve, to put others first, to act in love, to check our attitudes and actions.

Thus, in the midst of all the fun and frivolity today, I was not the least bit surprised by the moments of selfishness, anger, unkind words, and manipulation experienced by the kiddos. And I can see why it would be SO easy as a parent to discipline out of anger. WHY DON’T THEY JUST GET IT????? Well, because it is equivalent to a foreign language for kids this young (now, these aren’t bad kids at all – this applies to every person on the planet). You have to tell them something over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over, and then one more time. Speak kindly. Love one another. Serve one another. Put their desires above your own. Do not sin in your anger. Check your heart attitude. Do not believe lies from the evil one. Ready, repeat.

Doesn’t the same thing apply to us as adults? I mean, the lessons may change as we grow, but we still tend towards stubbornness, selfishness and demanding our way. Don’t we? And yet we are still the recipients of God’s great, overwhelming grace. Grace. Complete and utterly undeserved favor. Right there in the midst of being told over and over how we should live and love others. I was struck today by that picture of grace in the midst of discipline, and was reminded of how in my disciplining of the kids today, I can give them a small picture of grace. I can show them love, while showing them an even better way to live and love one another. Just like the Lord does for us.

That’s all for tonight. Check back soon for an update on “Headaches and Hope”.

One thought on “Building-mates and a lesson on grace

  1. thanks for the heart check, i needed to hear that.

    i DAILY think “why don’t they get it?!?!?!”. but i need to just expect that i will have to teach the same lessons over and over and over like you mentioned.

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