Clean, Mean, Cinderella, Machine

Over the past 6 months, our neighbor girl, “B” has come over to the house.  Upon entering, she boldly states, “I am bored, so I decided to come over.”  The first time she stated this- it made me laugh out loud.  However, she continued with this “bored” speech every single time she came over.  I’m not kidding.  It’s like someone saying, “I guess you’re good enough to waste my time with. *shrug* This statement was made so often that even Grace (my 3 year old) started saying “bored” in different random sentences.  When B would come over and say this (after the first shocking hilarity of it)  I answered in my head, “little punk.” Then I would remember my parents telling me that they would fix my boredom with chores.  So, I would imagine giving her a list to fix her “problem”.  Both were very bad ideas, thankfully not spoken 🙂  Now I give her the same answer with a genuine smile, “I’m so glad you decided to come over.  Get in this house and play with us.”  The next hour would be spent in play and then B would stay for dinner.  Every night.  We had this influence in her life “love without strings” for 6 months.  B moved a few weeks ago and we’ve missed her.

I could pretty much see her toughness for what it was, but way too often in life, I take it personally.  From  2 years old to 105 years old, when someone is sassafrass, hey, I don’t need you, you are an idiot, you can’t do your job well, you are a horrible______…yada yada- For someone to act that way- There is SOMETHING going on!  We all run into/work with/spend time with people like this.  Maybe you are a person like this.  We’ve all walked through seasons of “dumping” on people.  Oh what to do. What to say and what not to say…(when we would really like to close the door).

Grace asked me the other day why the step-mother in Cinderella was SO MEAN I was quick to say, “Well, she probably has had issues.”  Grace says, “tissues?”  “No honey, issues.  She probably had a rough life and is being mean to others to get her way.”  Then Grace pulled the big, “why?”  (Thomas looked over at me and smiled).  Well. Sigh. Shrug. Ah-hem.  “Well, from what I know, when people choose to be mean or behave badly, it’s because they are sad or hurt.”  I finished by saying, “We must not treat others in a mean way. And, we must pray for people who treat us badly.  Only God can help them change and give them healing.  It’s our job to love and pray.”

You HAVE to say that kind of stuff to your kids because #1 it’s true.  #2 how else will they know?  #3isn’t it fun to break things down into a 3 year old level? Thomas and I crack up at each other.

Not 24 hours later, I was huffing and puffing about a “mean” situation.  God reminded me that I “counseled” Grace to pray for people that we don’t understand or feel slighted by.  “I don’t want to pray.  God, they should freaking know better than to act that way.”  Then the scriptures of my life come to mind.  “No one is righteousness, NOT ONE!”  “Apart from God you can’t do anything.” “Remain in Love.”  “Love doesn’t keep a record of wrongs.”  “I loved you all, so I send my Son to die and make peace for you and for all.”

Ok! OK!  (I prayed)

This morning, I took Grace to school and she clung to me with everything she had.  We walked over to the puzzle table to a young lady aged 3 who was “havin a rough mornin” aka “being mean”.   We spent some time working with this little girl and Grace was trying.  She was really trying not to lose it when “that girl” stole every other Barney puzzle piece and threw them down on the ground.  Thankfully, the teacher intervened and distracted “havin-a-hard-time- child” from the puzzle table.  I thought to myself- Is it possible that even at age 3 Grace is having to make decisions on how to love mean people?  CRAZEE!

I am not a love machine.  (that sentence is making me giggle as I type)  What I’m sayin is:  I can’t manufacture grace and love, especially for mean people.  Thank God I can’t fake it anymore.  When I don’t have it, I have to keep my mouth shut and ask God for it.  When I lose it, it’s usually because I walked away from or neglected to spend time with the source of LOVE, thinking I could do this on my own/I’m busy/I’m tired/blah.  (This is taking me a life-time to work out.)  Thankful for a patient God who is the only source of true, lasting, forever kind of Love.  God loves us through our hurt, pain, victory, defeat, dirtiness, cleanliness, and of course our”step-mother” moments.

2 Responses to “Clean, Mean, Cinderella, Machine”
  1. katiepevans says:

    LOVE your post. Exactly what I needed to hear today. You have a way of writing that paints a perfect picture. Thanks for your inspired words!

    • rachaelrobeson says:

      Katie, thank you for your kind words. (I hope your day got better and that the bullies you faced did not steal your joy)

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