February 17, 2013

HE Will Fight For You- A Birth Story

Trust in the Lord,
And he will fight for you.
Exodus 14:14

Today we celebrated sweet Knox Driscoll's first birthday.

I have never been that normal mom that cries when I drop off my boys at a 5 hour Mother's Day Out or worries excessively when they are with a babysitter. In fact, when my oldest started Pre-K, I couldn't get him gone soon enough. But for some reason, with Knox's first birthday nearing, I am starting to be one of those sappy mom's I used to roll my eyes at in the pick up line. Maybe it's because I know he is my last? Maybe it's because through him, the Lord has taught me how truly sweet motherhood can be.

Before his conception, I had no idea we would even have another baby.  I have said before that I DESPISE being pregnant. There is nothing about it that I enjoy, well, except for eating more treats and wearing elastic waist pants all the time. Other than that, pregnancy does a whirlwind on my emotions. We have had some extreme marital problems during pregnancy. One day, I will be ready to expose those layers. From the outside, my doctor says I have normal boring pregnancies, but I hate how carrying another life brings me down. I hate getting fat. I hate not being able to be as active as I normally I am. I have varicose veins, from the waist down.  There is no comfort except sleeping. Knowing my body goes though all of that, I thought surely, since I am trusting the Lord fully this time, He will not make me go through all of these ailments. Surely, if I give it over to him, he will heal me of all these crazy things and allow me to have a normal pregnancy. Now I know it could've been worse. I could have that blood disease where I have to get a shot every day. Or I could've been on bed rest. Or I could've lost a baby. I praise the Lord every single day that I have never had to know that heartache of losing a baby. But for someone who loves exercise as much as I do and who lives such a full and active life, pregnancy is this borderline hell for me. So this last time, I prayed and prayed and tossed it all on the Lord, just like I am supposed to. And guess what, it was worse than the fist two. Yes. Worse.

So fast forward to closer to my due date. With the first 2 boys, I had vaginal births. I went in for scheduled inductions 3-5 days before my due date. My plan was to get every drug available and push a baby out feeling no pain.  I apparently have an odd spacing in my spine, because with older boy's labors, they had to redo my epidural 3 times, completely in and completely out. NOT FUN! A test dose would send my heart rate up to 200 and I would start to black out.  All that, all the extra meds made me nauseous so they gave me Finnergin, and I was zonked out and slept through all my labor. In fact, with my first, I fell asleep when I was at 5cm and the nurse woke me up to push and I asked for "10 more minutes" like she was my alarm clock. I was totally out of it.

With Knox being my last baby, I knew early on in my pregnancy that I wanted a different labor experience once the time came. I really had started to grow some trust in the Lord. I was really embracing what it meant to be a woman, a daughter of the King. The thought of a natural labor was starting to intrigue me. With the previous labor experiences and my not fun epidurals, I knew I desired something different. I knew the Lord had a different plan this time around. About 8 weeks in,  I remember tossing the idea out to my husband. "What if we do a natural labor this time?" I asked him.
He immediately shot me down. "No, absolutely not. There is no need for  you to feel pain if you don't have to." Every couple of weeks I would bring up the subject with Michael again. And every time, he would not discuss it. I was feeling pretty discouraged. How could he not see what the Lord had intended for me? Did he not realize the Lord made women's bodies to push out a baby?

A friend suggested the book Supernatural Childbirth. Now, I'm not going to lie, I thought the majority of it was hokey and most of the theology was completely off from how I believe. But it did give me some insight to how women have been having babies since the beginning of time. God created us and our bodies and the magical process of childbirth. It gave me a desire to put my trust in the Lord.
So I started praying, daily. Not necessarily for my birth or for my baby, but for my husband. I prayed that the Lord would soften his heart and open his eyes to the possibility of allowing God to carry me through the labor with no meds. I never saw natural childbirth as a badge of honor to earn, but more of a cross to carry. I wanted to experience everything He had created women to experience. We were only about 2 weeks away from my due date. I was scared that Michael would not jump on board and without his encouragement and support I knew there was no way I could do it.  I had told my OB that I was thinking about going natural and she said she would help me if that was my decision. But Michael still had not come around. Lucky for me, he loves watching documentaries on Netflix. So we turned on The Business of Being Born, a documentary on home birth by Ricki Lake.  I kid you not, ten minutes into the movie, and he was convinced! He had no idea the effects of all the drugs on the unborn babies. He had no idea the cycle that is created upon induction, pitocin, epidurals, etc and how all that can ultimately lead to Csection.  He saw all these women calm and relaxed with no tubes and big needles. He saw calm content babies being born. He said, "THAT is the way God intended us to have babies. We are going to have our baby like that. Is it too late to get a midwife?"

Oh Praise the Lord!!!! This was the desire of my heart. This was what I had been praying for. I knew with his support I could fully turn everything over to the Lord. No, we didn't get a midwife. We have an amazing OB, so amazing, in fact that we named Knox after her but we prayed that night over the baby and we prayed together about my upcoming delivery. We prayed that the Lord would work through our OB and we would trust her judgement.

It was my due date. February 16, 2012.  I went to a doctor's appointment. She did a sono, shot a glance over at the nurse,  then suggested we induce labor the next day. This was not part of my plan. I was supposed to go into labor naturally. I called my husband and he told me he thought we needed to trust the doctor, Dr. B. I reluctantly agreed with him. So I went home and ate cupcakes and bacon. I went to the acupuncturist for the 3rd time. I prayed and meditated constantly begging the Lord to send me into labor naturally. I got a pre-natal massage. I sat on the bouncy ball. I ate Greek food and played Wii. God, please please let this baby come naturally. 

We were supposed to be at the hospital for induction at 7am. At 5:30 they called me and said they were full and that I couldn't come in yet. Really???? This is supposed to be my labor day and you are cutting me off? We waited around the house. I ate an entire bag of Ghiradelli raspberry squares while sitting on my exercise ball and reading my Bible, searching for any Words I could find on trust. Finally, the hospital called around 11am and said I could come in at 1pm. It was here. I was going to have to be induced. I was totally against it. I begged and pleaded with the Lord, PLEASE let me go into labor now! Somehow I stumbled on Exodus 14:14 "Trust in the Lord and He will fight for you." I got what I like to call a 'Holy Spirit rib nudge'. There it was. That verse seemed to jump out and have little flashing lights around it. Maybe it was more of a 'Holy Spirit gut punch'. That was to be my mantra, if you will, for this process. I told Michael. He agreed and said, "Oh yeah. It's like *my Jesus with his tattoo and sword.'
*Side note- if you've ever seen the terrible Will Ferrell movie Talladega Nights, remember the dinner scene when they are praying over the meal and they all have a different version of Jesus? One talks about how he likes to think of Jesus laying there watching baby Einstein videos and the other likes to think of Jesus in swaddling golden diapers. Well, Michael and I each have our own 'Jesus'. His is the Jesus of Revelations, with a tattoo on his thigh and a big sword.
15 From his mouth comes a sharp sword with which to strike down the nations, and he will rule them with a rod of iron. He will tread the winepress of the fury of the wrath of God the Almighty.16 On his robe and on his thigh he has a name written, King of kings and Lord of lords.
Rev 19:15-17

That day, I put my full most trust in that Jesus! I agreed and believed that I would surrender to Him and allow to Him to work in the nurses and doctors to give me the desires of my heart. We got to the hospital and I let them hook me up to the IVs to start pitocin, the medicine which induces labor contractions. I bounced on my ball, sat in the chair, laid in the bed. Four hours in and not much progression. I came to the hospital at 3cm and was sitting at about 4cm.  No pain. I could see a little action on the monitor, but nothing exciting. Not what I was hoping to hear. Around 7pm the nurses switched shifts and my doctor came to see me. She said "I think if you want to make this happen, I need to break your water." NO NO No! This was not what I wanted. I had already allowed them to hook me up to pitocin. I was not about to let them intervene any more. Part of it was fear. I knew that if I let her break my water, I was in it. There was no turning back. I was going to have this baby. I looked at Michael thinking for sure that he would feel the same way as me. We prayed and he said "Babe, we agreed to let God work through the doctors and nurses. Do you trust God? Do you trust me? Do you trust Dr B? I think we need to let her break your water and get this thing moving." I agreed. 
See my amusement?

Dr. B came in around 7:30 and broke my water. Not fun at all, but I immediately started saying "Trust in the Lord and he will fight for you" in my head and I made it through that. Once the water was broken, I immediately start to feel some relief from the pressure of the veins that had been ailing me. And I got this instant high, this adrenaline rush of being so free in the Lord. I mentioned before how amazing Dr. B is. After she broke the water, she sat at my bedside. She and Michael talked and I immediately started feeling contractions. I let them talk and each contraction came a little quicker and a little stronger than before. There was this sign in the room. I honestly can't remember what it said, but every time a contraction would come on, I would look over at that sign, and go to another place and "Trust in the Lord, he will fight for you." After an hour or so, the real pain started. Transitional labor, I believe is the correct term. I started pacing. I went to the bathroom. I actually wanted to stay in there all alone, well, me and my tattooed Jesus anyway. A contraction would come and I would start to imagine this wilderness of weeds and thorns and Jesus was trenching through it swiping out everything with his sword until he got to a clear meadow. Phew, rest. 1 minute later, there would be the woods again. Jesus was carrying me on his back and slaying dragons, beasts, and cutting down trees with that sword. Together, we made it through to a clearing. This went on for about 2 hours. 1 minute on 1 minute off. 
The Lord carrying me the entire time. Yes, it hurt. Yes, there was pain. I just focused on the Lord and allowed him to suffer it for me. It got time to push. I could do this. Michael was looking at me and being so encouraging and I just remember telling him to shut up and let me do my thing! I started pushing and started to chicken out. It was way too late for an epi and I was not having a Csection, so I guess I had to do it. I gave a good push and I kid you not, I thought someone was ripping me in half.  I screamed and screamed and yelled, squeezing all life out of Michael's hand. I looked at my little audience of nurses and screamed "GET IT OUT OF ME". Finally, out came this enormous baby, and he peed all over us! 

This sounds awful, and judge if you must, but I am not one to hold my baby straight from the womb. I like them to clean them up first. So they took him over to the scales. 8lbs 9oz. Wow!!! Dr. B looked at me and said "See, that is why I wanted to induce you today." She knew he was bigger than my others, she knew I desired to have a natural birth. She knew that if she told me he was big, I might chicken out and not go with my plan.

They cleaned him and wrapped him up and brought me my precious Knox Driscoll. He was beautiful and perfect. I snuggled that little baby, immediately attached him to the breast,  and thanked the Lord for carrying me. I thanked the Lord for fighting for me. It was with Knox that I really began to revel in the sweetness that the Lord intended motherhood to be. 
A year later, now on his 1st birthday, I am still growing and learning what the Lord has for me. I continue to use that verse in all difficult and painful situations. 

The beauty of all this is that the Lord wants to carry it all for us.  His desire is that we draw into Him, that we learn to lean on him in all situations, so that he can show us just how big He is. No matter how big or how small, God can and wants to carry you though it. What does your Jesus look like and will you let Him take over?

February 14, 2013

Your Beloved: Truths or Lies?

You are of your father the devil, and your will is to do your father’s desires. He was a murderer from the beginning, and has nothing to do with the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks out of his own character, for he is a liar and the father of lies.
John 8:44
My beloved speaks and says to me: “Arise, my love, my beautiful one, and come away,
Song of Solomon 2:10
My beloved is mine, and I am his; he grazes among the lilies.
Song of Solomon 2:16

As I have said before, the whole purpose of the written portions of this blog are to glorify God. In January he commanded me to start speaking out and being bold and obeying His direction. While it's all fun and games to talk about 'poop' and my precious boys, before I'm a mom, I'm a wife. In the almost 8 years we've been married, Michael and I feel like we have been through more heartache and struggles than many couples who've been married 2 or 3 times as long. We have dishonored each other in a multitude of areas. I've felt for awhile, that the Lord wanted to use me to speak on marriage and talk about some of the things we've dealt with to serve as an example to others, but never felt like I had the place or opportunity to share. So sharing begins now. My hearts desire is to, little by little,  expose my sin. Just like the poop, we all have it. Some have more, some have less, but we all have it.

    It was a hot, 110+ degree Friday in August here in North Texas. Our beloved babysitter was headed back to college the next week and this was our last opportunity for a date night until she returned for the holidays.  New $16.99 maxi dress from TjMaxx- check. Great summer tan from being with the boys at the pool- check. Clean hair & shaved legs, check check. We got the kids in bed and headed out to dinner. I was so giddy I couldn't stop being chatty. We had only had 2-3 dates since the baby arrived 6 months before and I was just thrilled to be alone with my man. In the car I talked and talked. Waiting on a glass on wine at the restaurant bar, I chatted and babbled.  If you know my husband, it's not like him to let me do so much talking. He's a rare breed and he normally has plenty to say.  By the time our meals arrived, I had run out of things to say and was starting to tell stories about the kids. In my mind I kept thinking...... "What is wrong with him?? or What is wrong with me?

"Did I say something wrong?"

"Do I look terrible? Is he not as excited about this as I am?"

"Is this not a big deal?"

 "Is he still attracted me?"

    These thoughts kept snowballing. I finally asked him, "Are you okay? Is something wrong? Did I do anything?"
He replied, "No, I'm fine. Just enjoying being out with you." 

    Do I believe that?????? NO!!! My husband, who always talks, always has an opinion, always has a joke to crack, had nothing. He had probably said 10 words since we left the house over an hour ago. Clearly, I was doing something wrong, right???? This was not normal. He said everything is fine, but he must be doing the woman version of fine because he is not at all acting fine.
  After dinner, we headed over to a live music venue. Luckily it was loud in there and so I didn't have to try and come up with anything else interesting to talk about. We had a drink then headed home.I was silent the whole drive. As was he. By that point I was so frustrated. I had built up this awesome and romantic date night in my head full of flirtatious banter and giggles. The babysitter left and we crashed. I went to sleep feeling like I had done something wrong. "Out of all nights, the one night we have out alone and he can't even have any conversation with me?"
By the next morning I tried to chalk it up as a loss and move on. That day he seemed to annoy me every so slightly in just random things he would do.
A day or so later, he tried to come on to me and do what husbands and wives do ("laundry" is what we call it in front of the kids)  but I was not interested. "I wasn't enough then so why would I be enough now?" I thought.

A couple days later, I gave in to his come ons, we did what husbands and wives do,  but I held back significantly on the emotional part of it. "I better do my wifely duties." I thought.

Within a week, I found myself being snappy with him out of nowhere. Still pondering on that date night, still annoyed with him that he couldn't give me anything that night out of the house.  "He doesn't think you are that great. He should've saved some energy and conversation for you." I thought.

Within a month, every time I would look at him, I would feel so ANNOYED! We were starting to have stupid little petty cat fights over everything. He would snap at me and I would snap back. I was holding back emotionally and intimately. "He doesn't deserve it." I heard myself say.

Finally, about 5 weeks later, things finally came to a head. It was a Saturday night and we had been to church and just gotten the kids to bed. I really don't remember how it came up, but we ended up fighting and yelling (him). And fighting and crying (me). Pause- one of the things I adore about my husband, is that he is SOOOO good about getting me to verbalize feelings and thoughts. I can't always get the right words out until I talk to him. But he has this way of talking to someone and going "So what you are saying is ____________" and it being dead on every time.
After a couple hours of talking, he finally pulled it out of me and helped me identify that I had been angry about that date night 5 weeks before. That I was still holding on to a grudge and an expectation of that date night. That I was living a lie I had believed.

    If you go back and look at the conversation above, I highlighted his words in blue. I asked him what was wrong and he said nothing.  Idiot Becca!!!! He really was just taken back and speechless and enjoying the quiet with me, something we rarely experience at home.  Rather than believing him, I immediately started making up these lies. And the lies snowballed and got uglier and worse. The drove a wedge in my marriage. They kept us apart intimately. The lies took glory and harmony from my marriage. And who allowed it?? Me!!!! Weeping, I repented. Being the sinner that I am, repenting to my husband is not fun.  I apologized for allowing myself to be open for the enemy to plant a seed that grew into a tree of problems, branching into every area of our life.

  That's right. Just like our first mother Eve, I believed it. It sounded right. It made sense? Sure. I was awesome and hot, why would he not be into me? Lies are straight from the enemy's snarling mouth and rather than reject them, I received them.  I believed them to be true and I started living my life as if they were truths. "He doesn't deserve your kindness, he's not really into you." I would hear often. When he would initiate intimacy, "Yeah he only wants one thing. He doesn't want to 'preheat the oven' for you." was the lie that would fill my head.

   In those 5 weeks, I played host to all kinds of garbage regarding my husband, my Beloved. I was allowing the enemy into my head and giving him power over me and my marriage. What started out as a simple date night miscommunication, snowballed into something much worse.
What was the truth in the matter? Michael was so smitten and so happy to be out with me that he was pretty much speechless. That he loves and adores me like his precious princess and he was dumbfounded having me all to himself.

    With it being Valentine's day, I really feel heavy on my heart to speak to the ladies. Because of the fall in Genesis, women are especially more susceptible to lies. Ladies- your husband loves you. He chose you to be his bride, just as Christ chose the church to be his bride. He CHOSE YOU and continues to choose you. If he doesn't act as romantic as you'd like, or bring you that jewelry you've been eyeing, or say some perfect Ryan Gosling line, it doesn't mean he doesn't love you. It means he's a man. It means he thinks different than you.  There will be tons of gals posting pics of their roses and chocolates on social media sites. The enemy loves to use Facebook as a way of saying "Look how awesome so-and-so's husband is. Yours sucks since he didn't do this for you." It's like a little cartoon devil himself is standing there dancing around all those photos from everyone else pointing his finger at you and saying "nah-nah-nah-nah- nah-nah". DO NOT LET HIM  DO IT!!!
    Instead, ask Jesus, "What is the truth here?" Satan loves to try and destroy marriages. He hates to see something so beautiful. He is the father of lies. His ultimate desire is to hurt you. What is the desire of the Father? To love you. That is all. He created marriage to be beautiful and to glorify Him. I chose the photo of us above because to me, it is a perfect picture of how we are to love each other. This was a candid shot a wedding photographer took of us. We had no idea it was being taken. He is looking at me so passionately and I am admiring him. I love the emotion and Truth this photo evokes.
  If something or some words or some thoughts come into your head that do not line up with the Truth, put them to death!!!!

Heavenly Father, 
   I pray for ladies. I pray for wives. I pray for all marriages. I pray that you would open our eyes to sin, that you would help us be on alert and stand guard against all evil trying to pollute our marriages. Help us recognize lies and crush them. Help us recognize truth and delight in it, especially in regards to our Beloveds. I pray for women who are believing lies and opening the door to the enemy in their marriages. I pray God that the Holy Spirit would reveal to them that they are believing lies and deceit. I pray for humility of wives, that we would be able to repent when we are sinning and hosting the enemy in our hearts. I pray that husbands would be open and kind and receptive of that repentance. Lord, I pray for marriages all over. You created the sanctity of marriage and you created us to love each other just as you loved us. Thank you Jesus for being my first Valentine, for loving me first and thank you for all my earthly loves.

February 7, 2013

Formed in the Womb AND a paleo birthday cake

Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, and before you were born I consecrated you; I appointed you a prophet to the nations.
Jeremiah 1:5

even as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before him. In love he predestined us[a] for adoption as sons through Jesus Christ,according to the purpose of his will, to the praise of his glorious grace, with which he has blessed us in the Beloved.
Ephesians 1:4-6

That's right! Today I celebrate my 29th birthday for the 4 time now. I woke up this morning and thanked the Lord for creating me and choosing me before the beginning of time. 

Heavenly Father, thank you, that in your divine power, you created me. You made me from nothing. You reached out your hand and formed me in my mother. Your hand has guided me my entire life. You created me to glorify you. You adopted me into your Holy Kingdom. Thank you for allowing me to speak your Words and for giving me words of life. Use me as your servant and as your light. 

Isn't it amazing to know that He chose us? Before the beginning of time, he knew I would be sitting here on February 7, 2013 celebrating and praising him for my life. The life that would be nothing without Him. I have a beautiful life that He created for me. He loved me so much that he gave me breath and three gorgeous little boys and an adoring husband. And because of His unfailing grace, there is nothing in this world I can ever do that will make Him stop loving me!!

Paleo Birthday Cake

Call me old fashioned, or heck, just call me Southern. My all-time favorite cake is a good classic yellow with chocolate frosting. In staying on my paleo journey, I wanted to make myself a yummy cake. There are a ton of options out there for chocolate cakes because in paleo cooking, cocoa often is used to mask the gluten-less flavor. So I finally found a handful of cake recipes and used my prior non-paleo baking knowledge to whip one up! I adapted some of the ingredients and instructions from this recipe but changed things up quite a bit to make it my own. 

For a 2 layer cake
6 large eggs, room temp
1/2 cup coconut sugar
2 tsp vinegar
2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp kosher salt 
2 TB lemon juice
1 stick butter, room temp
2Tb vanilla
2 cups fine almond flour, sifted

1. Set oven to 325. Cut parchment or wax paper to set in 2 8" cake pans. As long as you have good condition non-stick pans, you won't need to grease. 
2. Separate eggs. Beat the whites & vinegar with a stand mixer or hand mixer until soft peaks form. (If using a stand mixer transfer these white to a clean bowl b/c you will need your mixer bowl for the next step). Set whites aside. 
3. Cream together your room temperature butter and coconut sugar until mixed well- 2-3 minutes on med-hi. It will never 'cream' like a traditional sugar, but mixing them together coats the sugar in fat to help it from changing form when mixed with the eggs & leavening agents. 
4. To egg yolks add vanilla, baking soda, salt, & lemon juice. Yes, it will fizz! Mix with a whisk. 
5.  Add the yolk mixture to the butter sugar mixture and mix on medium for 2 minutes. 
6. Add the whites back to the mixer bowl and mix on low until combines, scraping if necessary. 
7. Finally, add in sifted almond flour. Don't skip the sifting step! You wouldn't believe the 'chunks' that are left behind when you sift. This ensures a softer, finer texture and more rise to your cake.
8. Mix well for 2 more minutes, 
9. Pour into rounds, dividing evenly. 
10. Bake 18-20 mins.
11. Once done, remove from oven and immediately flip cakes out of pans, upside down, onto a cooling rack. Cool completely then wrap up and put in fridge to cool well. You need them cool to get your icing to spread. 

Paleo Chocolate Frosting

1/2 cup Enjoy Life brand chocolate chips
1/2 cup of full fat coconut milk
1/2 Tb butter
pinch of salt

1. Heat coconut milk in a saucepan over med lo heat until it starts to simmer.
2. Place chips in a mixing bowl. Once milk simmers, pour it over chocolate. Let sit without touching for 1 minute.
3. Whisk together to reveal a gorgeous chocolate sauce!! Add in butter & salt now and whisk.
* If you prefer more of a ganache type frosting, you can leave as is and pour over cooled cake layers now. If you prefer more of an actual frosting, follow directions below.
4. Once mixed, set chocolate in fridge til close to solid- approx 1 hour. 
5. Remove from fridge and whip it with a hand mixer about a minute to add some air to it and get it spreadable. 
6. To assemble, place one layer of cake face down on plate. Spread about 2-3 Tb of frosting over the top of it. Place top layer over it. Use the rest of frosting to frost your cake. Keep in fridge until serving. 

February 5, 2013

...And more poo

We have all become like one who is unclean,
    and all our righteous deeds are like a polluted garment.We all fade like a leaf,    and our iniquities, like the wind, take us away.

Isaiah 64:6

For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,24 and are justified by his grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, 25 whom God put forward as a propitiation by his blood, to be received by faith. This was to show God's righteousness, because in his divine forbearance he had passed over former sins. 
Romans 3:23-24

You might think I am nuts, gross, or whatever for writing about poo. But let's face it, mom's deal with it. It's better to laugh about it and put it all out there, right? I am here to be transparent and deliver the words the Lord gives me.
If you read last week's post about poo, you will recall how I ultimately compared our sin to 'poo'.
With 3 boys, poo seems to be a common visual, conversational topic, theme, etc. Someone is either doing it or talking about it 90% of my day. True story. In fact, Lincoln has his own special phrase-- "Poopy Socks" that he has made up and uses it to name all his favorite stuffed animals.
This week's poo story involves the baby. Somehow these things also always happen when Hubby is not here. It was bath night for the baby. He bathes in my tub. Knox was situated fine and playing happily in the tub. I have a chair in my bathroom where I sit and let Knox play and splash for awhile. It sits about 2 feet away from the tub. Due to the angle and placement of the chair, I can only see him from the waist up peeking out over the tub, I can't see directly in the bottom of the tub.  He was just splashing and playing so happy. No cares at all! Mikey adores his baby brother and usually comes in to help while I am bathing him. He walks right over to the tub to hand Knox a toy and immediately with disgust he says"Um, mom. Knox pooped in the tub."
My first thought was "Oh I got this. I will get the shovel and scoop out the pile" (like in last week's post). So I stand up to asses the situation. Nope, there is not a little pile to scoop out. He is literally swimming and splashing in a cesspool! It's like Slumdog Millionaire up in here!
Quick! I pulled him out of the tub and toweled him off  leaving him to play naked in the bathroom. Mikey watched him while I ran for my trusty garden trowel and a plastic grocery bag. I start scooping, hoping to fish it all out. The scooping makes it worse! Every piece I attempt to scoop turns into more pieces. I've got a naked cold baby on a tile floor and I am scooping poop out of the tub. This was not the result I was hoping for. The only thing I can think of left to do is just open the drain and wash it all away. The drain will carry it away much easier than I could fish it all out. Because it had sat there in the water, it had spread. And everytime I tried to get rid of it, it spread even more. The only thing I could do was to give in, open up the drain, and start over.
So I let it all run down the drain. I washed the tub with Scrubbing Bubbles. Then I started over. Knox got a new, clean, warm bath and he was good as new. No residue or trace of poo to be seen.
You know where I'm going with this right??
Imagine Knox's poo is our sin. He can't help it. He's a baby. It is his human nature to poo. All of us do it, not just babies. He pooed in the water. After sitting in the water, that poo spread. Sin spreads when it's not handed over to the Lord immediately. I kept trying to clean it out and scoop it up, ultimately making it worse. I can't clean up my sin or anyone else's. When I do that, it just makes it spread and makes it worse. The only person that can clean up that sin is God. So when we finally quit trying to clean up our messes and give in and pull up the drain, we allow him to absorb all that sin. He carries it away like the poo in that drain. He takes it far away, never to return, if we allow him to. Then, we can start with a brand new fresh and clean bath. Does that mean we will never poo or sin again? Absolutely not! Hopefully it just means that we will maybe not do it in the bath next time, or when we do, rather than trying to handle it on our own, we will immediately give in turn it to God. He can carry it away!

What we deserve is to sit there in our sin, Slumdog style, and let it fester. We are nothing without Jesus. But in the same way I would never dream of letting my precious baby swim around in that mess, Jesus loves us that much that he wants to carry away that sin right away, if we will give it to Him.

How amazing is it that our God in Heaven, sent his Son to clean up all our poo so that we can one day live with Him? It's humbling to know that we all have poo. You, me, every single one of us.

What kind of poo are you trying to clean up in your life? Is there something messy and out of control? Is there something that you keep trying to clean up or fix, only to be left with making it worse? What can you give to Jesus to carry away?