A corner is where two walls meet

"Don't eat soap."

"No washing rocks in the bathroom sink because it wastes soap and makes a mess."

"Smearing your dirty hands on the wall is not a net gain in cleanliness."

"Paint does not make good lipstick."

"Papa's CD is not a mirror."

"You may not wash anything in the toilet."

"Hiding something doesn't make it go away."

"No, you cannot taste the kitten's milk."

"Sitting on someone does not make them any less angry."

"Toads can't swim. That's why they die when you put them in the pool. Now pick them out, please."

"You are wet because water goes down. It's called gravity. Everything goes down."

These are just a few of the lessons I've had to teach my children this week. Prior to having children, I assumed that, like any good machine, they would come pre-programmed with at least some basic information. Like what to eat and what not to eat; what is clean and what is dirty; perhaps a basic vocabulary of English. It sounds silly when I type it out, even to me. But that's really what I thought! Come to find out, children have to be taught everything. And the parents reading this know that I really mean that - completely, totally mean that.

I wonder sometimes if God throws His hands up in exasperation at my stupidity. After all, I've been through this very same thing before. As I say to my children, "Why can't you remember??" God would certainly be excused if He were sitting up in heaven right now, saying to us all, "If I've told you once, I've told you a thousand times!" Trust me, He says; find peace in me. Don't buck this burden alone! I am here to help! Come to me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest (Matthew 11:28). Part of the difficulty of this recurrent trial, this heart condition, is that I feel like I am still missing part of the lesson. I don't think I've absorbed it in it's entirety. That frustrates me. My humanity frustrates me. I see...perceive...what I should be, yet my reflection in the mirror every morning is something quite different. I am still a work in progress. And let me tell you, this masterpiece God is painting is in a very awkward stage at the moment! It is at that stage where the observer tilts their head, scratches their scalp, completely baffled as to what the final product will look like.

I feel very like my toddler, Amelia. Yesterday, I sent her to sit in a corner when she disobeyed, our family version of "time out". She stood, in a corner, staring directly at it. I said, in a measured tone, "A corner is where two walls meet. Find a corner, and sit down." (If I've told her once, I've told her a thousand times!) Here I am, staring at my own corner with no sense of recognition. This familiar trial I am facing seems like an alien experience. Something entirely new. Hopefully God has yet to tire of describing it for me! Because I still haven't got it.

Therefore lift your drooping hands and strengthen your weak knees, and make straight paths for your feet, so that what is lame may not be put out of joint but rather be healed. Strive for peace with everyone, and for the holiness without which no one will see the Lord. See to it...that no one is unholy like Esau, who sold his birthright for a single meal. For you know that afterward, when he desired to inherit the blessing, he was rejected, for he found no chance to repent, though he sought it with tears. (Hebrews 12:12-17)

For a good laugh on the topic of hilarious things we moms utter, listen to this song.