Catch and release:an act of grace and mercy

9:39 AM

Elijah has recently discovered the lost art of climbing in and climbing out as well as climbing on top of. It's an exciting time in the Hargrove home. Thankfully it's only shorter things like his toy chest and not taller ones like his crib because I could not handle putting Elijah in a toddler bed yet. He's not very graceful either in case any of you are wondering. He doesn't hike his leg up and just climb in. He more topples in than anything else and he doesn't do it the one time, he does it over and over again. Climbing in the toy box and then climbing out only to climb back in and then to climb out. 

Kaleb and I took turns this morning closing the toy box and sitting on it making sure he doesn't climb on the window sill behind it so he can stand on top of it as if he's king and then fall over like humpty dumpty. Eventually we gave up and opened up his toy box so he could just play. It wasn't worth the ear piercing screams and tantrum throwing that was going down. I sat back on the couch and watched him climb in and climb out each time he climbs out finding myself wanting to jolt to catch him before he fell over the wrong way and really hurt his neck or something. I looked over at Kaleb and he had the same stance. Sitting on the edge of the couch watching him carefully, ready to pounce and come to Elijah's rescue the minute he fell. Alas, we did not pounce or rescue and in that moment it occurred to me how many times I struggle with this. 

This act of learning when to rescue and when to pull back. When to hold off for a second longer because he has to learn the consequences or when to not be the overbearing mom and just sit back to see what happens. I'm still shocked most days when I realize how much God is teaching me through raising Elijah. He teaches me about myself but more importantly He teaches me about His own heart. Because after soaking all of that in for a brief moment I wondered how God must feel. He's so good at this balancing act that I am so unfortunately bad at. He doesn't question or wonder. He knows when to scoop us up before we hit the ground and when to just let us fall. He's kind of awesome like that though if we're on the falling end of it we may think the exact opposite. 

(By the way he was laughing when I took this picture so don't worry, he's fine. He is a boy after all.)

When the Lord catches us before falling, it's called grace. When he inevitably picks us up after we fall, it's mercy. So I'm wondering how much and when to give it to Elijah. When do I discipline and when do I step back. When is it too much and when is it not enough. In a shorter amount of years then I'd like to admit I won't be struggling with this over a toy box but over things much more serious. Things that break mothers hearts and send us to our closet, hitting that worn in spot in the carpet where our knees seem to be spending most of their time. That place where no matter how much we've prayed, shared, read, spoken over them....we will still end up there in some way over some thing. And even if it seems to be a small something it's a big something to our mama heart. So I guess more or less I'm learning about this now with my 14 month old to better be prepared for him as a 16 year old even though I'll still be running after God's instruction. I'm sure some days as I'm practicing this act, He is practicing His own act but with me instead of my son because, after all, I am His daughter and He shows me more grace on a normal day then I'd like to admit.

Catch and release. Here we go...

"...but where sin increased, grace abounded all the more,..." Romans 5:20

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