They were having a ball as moments before I had been watching them slide into the tub from the ledge on the end of the tub with their legs straight in front on them as they slid into the water. Being like a big kid myself, I thought, I don't see why I can't let them do that, it's really fun and besides.... it's free! What a great idea! Let the sliding begin!
I got up from flipping through my catalogue to see what new books we might want to read aloud together (I now had four kids: 2 girls, 2 boys), and slipped downstairs to put some water on the stove for the spaghetti noodles. I could get down and back in one minute to check on them again. I walked into the kitchen, and it was RAINING IN THE KITCHEN! Water was pouring out through all three of the track lights right in the center of the cooking area and onto the hardwood floors!
My thoughts suddenly jumped to the splashing that was going on upstairs! I can't remember if I grabbed the pots first to put under the big 3 concentrated areas of "rain" or if I thought I had to cut off the source first. I ran upstairs and yelled, "It's raining in the kitchen! No more sliding in the tub!!!" but when I dashed into the bathroom, I almost slipped because there was a small lake on the floor--wall to wall!
"Turn the water off! Stop sliding!" I screamed. I ran to the linen closet and grabbed all the towels my hands could hold but as soon as I put them on the floor they seemed to be saturated and then I had sopping dripping towels and the lake was still there. It seemed useless!
The lake totally surrounded the toilet and I realized that was where the water was entering or more like pouring into the kitchen. The boys then noticed the lake and were laughing and having a ball as they got out of the tub and wanted to slosh around in the lake. I felt like a cartoon character all the while thinking is this my life? I ran to the linen closet and grabbed what I could and threw all the towels on the floor directing the boys to sop it up! Sop it up! It's raining in the kitchen!!!
I did a major juggling act to get pot or dump water out in the sink and keep new empty pots under the rain, as I thought of a note we had on the refrigerator that said, "we do not create unnecessary work for others." Ouch. I should have added, "we do not create unnecessary work for OURSELVES!"
In time, I got things under control, and things were quiet again. I can't remember much more about that night except that my husband was not home at the time and I knew incidents like these never happened on his watch! I couldn't be mad at anyone but myself because I was the one who let them do it. They were too young to know that a lake on the floor means a monsoon in the kitchen. I snapped the picture below when they came out of the bathroom. Do you think they look worried? Stressed out?
They are now 20 and 18 and are fine young men. As far as I know they haven't needed therapy yet! All the craziness seems so long ago, and I have a HUGE lump in my throat of gratefulness that God allowed me, a totally cracked, imperfect, foolish, and weak woman to be their mom. But we serve a great God who delights in us. That's amazing. I love how merciful He is to us. How He gently leads those who have young.
"He tends his flock like a shepherd: He gathers the lambs in his arms and carries them close to his heart; he gently leads those that have young." -Isaiah 40:11
Don't we serve a mighty God who is sovereign over all of our mistakes?
Don't you want to trust this God who works faithfully in our lives in spite of ourselves?
Have you ever had a time when God gently assured you He was still in control in chaos?
My boys, left to right: Alex (18), Terry (my hubby), and John (20)
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