This past Tuesday, we were all trying to get ready to leave- which is a huge event. Packing the diaper bag, dressing and sometimes redressing everyone, making sure we have juice cups, books for the car ride, etc... Sometimes it can take 20 minutes to get out the door. Anyway, I (Tiffany) had been running up and down the stairs, hopping gracefully over our permanently affixed gate at the top (thanks to Mimi after Andrew fell on the stairs and broke his arm). The boys were upstairs playing. Micah and I were downstairs doing our pre-travel interviews of each other ("Did you get Elijah's food? Yes. Did you get cell phones? Yes." ~and so on and so on...) when we both heard Andrew yelling for us. You may be immediately alarmed, but we who are used to being called for frequently for issues such as toys stuck under the bed, the need for snacks, a hurt finger- all with the same urgency- were not as quick to act as we should have been. We did then hear Elijah fussing, obviously frustrated with his brother, so Micah hurried to offer assistance. We he found the boys, Elijah was hanging head first down the stairs. Andrew, the hero, was at the top holding his brother's legs yelling "Baby Ijah's falling down the stairs!" Sometime during the course of all of this hustling about, I had opened the gate.
You may be asking yourself, why in the world would I share this story- Especially when it broadcasts my negligence and lack of care for my children on this day. Well, I first want to honor my son for being such a sweet big-brother to Elijah. I have been thankful that they are becoming such good friends and that Andrew cares so much for him. Secondly, I make mistakes... usually multiple mistakes every day- some more obvious than others. My testimony is sure, though, that I am certainly responsible for the way I raise my children, but when my downfalls are exposed by the perfection of Christ, I am forgiven and found in Him to be a perfect mother. This is of course much easier for me to say because everything turned out OK, even though it is always true. I am convinced that when we do not share our testimonies of our sin, we miss the more compelling testimony of how God overcomes it time and time again.
Micah and I live by the truth that "None of us can be such good parents that God becomes obligated to save our children's souls. On the more encouraging end, none of us can mess up so badly that our children somehow extend beyond the reach of God's mercy." -Gary Thomas. This incident did not have eternal significance, but still proved that even though I messed up, God protected Elijah through Andrew's hands, firmly grasping his tiny legs. This was indeed mercy.