Feb 20 2015


Even after I did that?

Image courtesy of Julia Freeman at FreeImages.com

“Mommy, I accidentally did what a big boy’s not supposed to do.” My six-year-old was getting over the flu and strep throat, and he was on day eight of his antibiotics. We were sitting in the beauty shop, and I had color on my hair. We weren’t going anywhere anytime soon, so this was an exceptionally bad time for diarrhea. I checked him, and it was practically a false alarm, so I was grateful. Still, he said in such a sad voice, “Now I’m not a big boy anymore.” I took my time with him and explained it was because of the medicine and that everyone has something like that happen at some point. I assured him he was still a big boy, and we’d get him fixed up. He seemed fine after that which was a relief. A little later, I casually said, “I love you, baby.” I tell him that all the time, and he always says it back, but this time his reaction was different. He leaned close to me and whispered, “Even after I did that?”

This mama’s heart broke. His accident was completely understandable, and I felt I had been encouraging and sensitive. Then I moved on, and I thought he had as well. It never occurred to me that he would still be thinking about it, let alone questioning how I might feel about him as a result. We had an eyeball-to-eyeball conversation at that moment that could leave no doubt in his mind of how much he is loved and accepted, no matter what he has done.

And then I thought about me. And I thought about you.

How many times have I wondered, “Lord, do You still love me even after I did that?” Have you ever wondered the same? No need sending me Bible verses, people; I know them inside-out. His mercies endure forever. I can’t out-sin grace. I can quote the verses all day long…for you. I find it much harder, however, to quote them for myself. You know why? I know my own dirt.

You see, when I┬ávisit your house, I sit politely on the sofa. I admire your living room…the one place you know people are most likely to see. It’s where you display photos of your perfectly happy family and your color coordinated furniture and accents. Oh, I know your house probably isn’t perfect in every room, but I can totally give you a pass on that because no one else’s home is perfect either. It’s no big deal.

My own house, I judge. I know that even though the living room may be in order, there are dirty dishes in the sink. I have a dish washer, but it happens to be full of clean dishes that haven’t been put away yet. I’ll likely offer you a drink rather than telling you to make yourself at home. It’s not because I’m a great hostess–God knows that’s not the case–it’s because I don’t want you to see the mess inside my refrigerator that needs to be cleaned out.

When I see your house, I see grace. When I see mine, I see the mess. I see reality, and I see truth. But here’s the thing. When you’re serving the Lord sincerely (no matter how imperfectly), truth and grace go hand-in-hand. There is grace for all the nooks and crannies, including that closet where the skeleton resides.

Romans 8:39

It’s true that my refrigerator is a mess. It’s also true that I am perfectly lovable whether I get it cleaned out today or not. It’s true that my son had an accident. It’s also true that I love him no matter what he has done, accident or not. And, my friend, it’s true that you and I have made mistakes that we’d rather others never know. We have weaknesses we’d rather not shout from the rooftop, but there is nothing truer than this: Nothing can separate us from the love of God in Christ (Romans 8:39). Do yourself a favor and tuck that away in your heart. It’s what keeps me going when nothing else will, and the beauty of it is that this simple truth applies even after I did that.

From the heart of Dixie Mama…always say grace.



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  1. Elizabeth

    I think my heart broke right along with yours! Our little ones need SO much love and encouragement. Luke 6:38 popped into my mind: “Give, and it will be given to you. They will pour into your lap a good measure– pressed down, shaken together, and running over. For by your standard of measure it will be measured to you in return.” I just want to fill my little vessels full to overflowing with love and forgiveness! I don’t want them to ever doubt how much I care for them, or think it could ever be taken away.

    Being a mother has certainly given me insight into how the Father loves me, although it really is tough to remember sometimes! I love that your post made me rethink how His love applies to me today. <3

    1. Hayley Cranfield

      Thank you, Elizabeth. I’ve never thought of that verse in relation to investing in my son before. That gives it a whole new meaning. Thank you for sharing that.

  2. Hayley Cranfield

    Thank you for the sweet compliment and encouragement, Tanya. I’m so new to the blogging world and still fumbling around :) But I love sharing my heart as I’m sure you do as well. So glad to have connected with you here!

  3. Tanya Feygin

    I found your blog after you left a comment on mine! It’s amazing!
    Thank you so much for sharing your heart!
    I could totally relate to this post as I have a five-year-old son who asks me the same thing when I happen to discipline him… It is heartbreaking… And, yes, I do reassure him that I love him just the same and even more than he will ever know… God’s grace IS amazing and thank you for reminding us that God is our Father who loves is unconditionally…

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