A Prodigal Brother and His Redeemer

 In the world of motherhood, it's like there's some grand scheme of how to keep us in line.  A majority of the time the scheme involves guilt. After all, if you want to feel guilty, as a mom, there's an unending supply of things to feel guilty about...and quite nicely, the voices in our heads have made out a very diverse schedule of such things.

But just when you think you've had enough...they throw us a bone.  They give us a moment that makes up for all of the other moments. For just a minute, they allow us to sit back and say "I think I'm getting the hang of this!" and then swiftly we're brought back to reality by the food fight in the backseat.

 It's fun though, it really is.

Today, I got one of those moments. The one where I sit back in complete awe and utter a prayer of thanksgiving for making something beautiful out of the mess that I am.

Today, I took my kids to a quaint little mining town in the foothills.  We made candles, drank sasparilla, bought ginormous handmade lollipops, and bowled the old fashioned way.

One of the neat things about this town are the old fashioned dry goods shops. Well, they're neat if you're over the age of 25 and capable of NOT touching everything in sight.

I warned my kids before entering such a shop that if they could not keep their hands to themselves, that they would swiftly be banished to the little bench in front of the store, while the rest of us shopped.

Nathaniel couldn't keep his hands to himself. So off to the bench he went. Honestly, I think those glasses magnified his sad little eyes more than they help him see better.

Anyway, Caleb watched him exit the store. After a minute, Caleb pulled me aside and wanted to know if it was okay if he went and took Nathaniel's punishment so that Nathaniel could come back inside.  I was completely and utterly taken aback. My son, my eldest son, was willing to take the well deserved punishment of his little brother...for no other reason than that he loves him.

I had my little moment, that feeling of relief and thankfulness that God is really WITH me, and not in some far off place where I can't reach Him.

And then I was quickly brought back to reality by the literal kids in a candy store.  And all I've got to say is, there's a reason it's a cliche.

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