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real motherhood. real marriage. real life.
Lessons in the Legos
Posted on July 22nd, 2015


I know the title suggests a parenting post, but hold on to your veils and cumber buns ladies and gentlemen, brides and grooms...this one's about marriage.   I'm going to go ahead and tell you that I don't want to share this.  Get ready for a post that makes me look like a horrid, sinful wife and my husband look like Jesus.  (I mean, YAY that I have a husband that shows me who Jesus is, but come on!  I'm still twitching a bit that God put this one on my heart.  He's ruining my sunshine-and-roses image.  As it should be, but it still stings!)  I feel like I should also share with you the alternate titles for this blog that I wanted to write, but didn't:
  • God Made Me Write This
  • Oh Yeah...Well...My Husband Sins Too
  • The Post I Don't Want to Write
  • I Hate Legos Forever & Ever
  • I'm Quitting the Blog
  • I'd Rather Be Watching Miss Congeniality & Eating Chocolate
This lesson didn't actually begin as a lesson for me.  It began as a lesson for my six-year-old, Carson.  I even quickly put some notes in my phone to document "her" lesson as a blog post idea started brewing.  This was back when I was safe and was planning on looking like a brilliant parent for you all.  (Have I mentioned I'm still twitching?  Sometimes Legos can be cruel.) 

This post requires a bit of an explanation for those of you that haven't experienced Legos in the past 20 years.  (If you haven't, I'd like to take this time to tell you...things have changed, my friends.) 

Carson recently came into a windfall from her grandparents and the Tooth Fairy.  She had $40.00 burning a hole in her pocket.  As you have likely already guessed, she elected to purchase Legos.  Specifically, the Lego Friends Jungle Tree Animal Sanctuary.  (This isn't a significant fact.  I'm stalling.)  Here is where I need to inform you about the "new" Legos.  This is a 320 piece 3D puzzle, basically.  Gone are the days of colored blocks and using your imagination to create a very rectangle-ish house with a flat roof.  (Or maybe I was the only creative engineer genius that dabbled in this particular flavor of Lego building?)  Oh no sir.  These things have a MANUAL you must follow to the letter, step-by-step, to make your tree sanctuary look like the sanctuary on the box.  I sat down with Carson one Saturday a few weeks ago and said we could build for "a little bit".

Well.

Four and half HOURS later, we were done with the tree sanctuary.  (I feel like this post should serve as a warning to new parents of little bitties who don't lose teeth and want to spend their Tooth Fairy money on toys that torture their parents.  Be warned.  No one warned me.  Rude.)  Actually, to be fair, Carson and I had a nice time.  The steps are very visual and easy to follow and all she really needed from me was keeping her on the right page so she didn't skip a step.  We got off track once and only once.  And here is where my shining parent moment showed up...

We got to a page of instructions and did as the pictures told us to do.  Only one piece wasn't fitting correctly.  Try as we might, it wasn't going to work.  We had to work backward, step-by-step for SEVENTEEN steps until we found the ONE piece we had placed incorrectly.  It wasn't off by a lot, only one little round bumpy thingy (I know you are impressed with my official Lego lingo.)  Carson had a bit of a "moment" as we were looking for our error.  She said dramatically wailed things like, "The whole thing is ruined!"  "We wasted our time!" "This is too hard for me!" "We'll never get this fixed!"

Oh y'all.  I heard God speak to me in that moment. I'm certain of it. 

One little mistake.  Only one tiny bump away from perfection.  Only one sin.  Just one.  Nothing big.  And look what happens...seventeen steps backward to find your mistake.  Seventeen steps forward, this time following MY manual, to get it fixed.

I wish y'all could have heard me.  I was Spiritual Super Mom!  SPUR OF THE MOMENT DEVOTIONAL, KIDS!  I've had a Word from the Lord!  Gather 'round my chickies!  Come hear the truth that God wants me to share with you!  Gold star for my spiritual leadership!  Shepherding my little lambs! 

(Cue a very grown-up, spiritually mature, Mommy Voice with my Teacher Tone thrown in.)

"Carson, this Lego block is like our sin.  Only one tiny little mistake, missing the mark by only a teeny tiny bit, gets us off track from God's plan for our lives.  We can't just quickly fix it either.  We have to retrace our steps all the way back to that one little sin, confess, ask for forgiveness, and then rebuild the damage we have done, step-by-step.  And God gave us one another to help us get back on track.  We don't have to figure it all out on our own, get upset and give up.  Mom was here to help you figure out where you went wrong and get you back on track, just like God can do for us."

That is parenting gold, y'all.  I don't care who you are, that's good stuff.  Carson agreed, was happy her jungle tree animal sanctuary was moving forward again, and we went on our happy Lego way.

You are self-righteous, my love.

Ahem.  Excuse me, God?  Surely you meant for that message to be sent somewhere else.  I'm good over here!  You just saw!  I heard your Word, I delivered it.  It was beautiful and meaningful.  I'm even going to write about this, God.  You are so faithful to continue giving me blog post topics.  It's all good.  I'm so in tune with you, Lord.  I made notes in my phone!  Don't worry, I've got it covered!

Lindsey.  Search your heart.  That Word was for you, daughter.

Stop. It.

Here is where I'm supposed to tell you that I fell before the Lord and wept tears of repentance and made it right.

Um. No. 

Here is what I told God. "Stop. It."  Because if I have to share this then it's going to be heavy and yucky and awkward and awful.  And I don't know if you've noticed, God, but so far I'm going for a blog that's real! but light! and fun!  This does not fit in.  "So, no.  Stop it."

Yeah.  That went over just as you can imagine.

I struggled with a convicted heart for the next several weeks to write this.  And truth be told (as I believe I have mentioned a time or three already in this post), I still don't want to write it.  Obedience kinda sucks sometimes. SIGHHHHHH...

Now you are all ready for a big confession, huh?  A big sin.  Something huge and irrevocably detrimental to my marriage.  I went back and forth on whether or not to post what it was, but ultimately decided not to.  Not because I think it's none of your business.  I'm pretty transparent in general.  I don't necessarily mind you all knowing what it was.  But I found that I wanted to tell you that it was "just a small sin" to save face and so that I can comfortably make eye contact with you when you tell me you've read my new blog post.  I wanted to say "it's no big deal" or "it's not what you might be thinking" or "it wouldn't seem that big to you if you knew".  But those are all just covers to bandage my own flesh.  Sin is sin.  There is no big and no small.  Naming it isn't the point.  It's the fact that it happened and it's sin, period.  I didn't want this to be a post about how I ____ and you shouldn't do ____ in your marriage.  I wanted others to be able to fill in their own blanks here with their own struggles and sins.  I've confessed to God and to John, and that's all I feel like I need to do with it.  The point in sharing it with you is this...

It was small.  So small.  And that's the problem.

A long time ago, I sinned against my husband.  I told him a lie.  It was so insignificant at first.  Just a tiny bump on a Lego board.  Then, as I tried to build on top of the small lie, things began to not quite match up.  This block fit, but not the way it was supposed to.  That block worked, but it looked a little off.  The next block and the next kind of made things look like it was going to be okay, but the final block didn't fit at all and there was no way to move forward.  It was simply not going to work.  I couldn't even build on top of it any longer.  It was hanging there, exposed.  Unavoidable.  Halting further construction.

I had a choice in that moment.  I could try to keep building, knowing full well it wasn't the kind of sanctuary I wanted to be building.  Or I could repent, confess my sin to God and my husband, and ask for their help to rebuild the mess I had made.  The first choice, initially easy but ultimately destructive.  The second choice, initially difficult and scary but ultimately redemptive and beautiful. 

Well, crap.

I confessed.  It was so very scary...and embarrassing...and shameful...and maddening...and HARD...

...and FREEING!!!

"It is for freedom that Christ has set us free.  Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery."  {Galatians 5:1 NIV}

So John and I had a bit of a mess to rebuild.  We had Lego pieces all around us and we are still turning the manual page-by-page, step-by-step to rebuild our sanctuary.  John was so full of mercy, so abundant with grace.  He didn't tell me my sin was okay.  He just promised that he forgave me, that we would work it out, that he would help me.  That I wasn't alone.  He was a beautiful picture of Jesus to me that day.  I didn't deserve it.  I had hurt him.  I had caused damage that couldn't easily be reversed.  I had bruised our relationship and it would take time to heal.  Yet he still chose to show me grace and mercy.  And it set me free.  We are stronger because of it. 

Even though I grew up in church and know all the right things to say at the right moments and  I know the verses to recite, the words to pray...I'm still blown away by God and how He redeems our stupid mess and makes it something for which we can be thankful and give Him glory.  I'm blown smack away by a God that loves me and sets me free, even when what I deserve is to be apart from Him.

So there you go.  Thanks, stupid Legos.  You dug up an old sin and confession that was done and buried and forced me to share it.  Now my mom is going to call me and wonder if we are in marriage counseling (after she also fusses at me for using the word "crap" again in a blog post.)  Now my friends are going to be wondering what I did and when and how and why and and and and...

And that's okay (I guess. Ha!) because maybe one person who has a bruised relationship might read this and start to retrace their steps back to that one Lego piece that went wrong.  Or several Lego pieces.  Maybe all 320 pieces.  All marriages have their issues and their sins and their struggles. 

What's your Lego piece?

Well goodness gracious, Dr. Phil.  How profound of an ending is that?  LOL!  I'm kind of laughing at myself for that line, even though I'm going to leave it, because it's true.  Cringe.

I have to also tell you that John has approved this post.  When I told him that I wrote a blog about marriage and that I needed his approval before posting, he looked at me a little skeptically.  I said, "Don't worry.  It is the one I told you I was writing that makes me look bad and you look great."  To which he replied, "Oh.  Good.  Okay then."  And he smirked.

Rude.

And also...

I'm done with Legos.  They are dead to me.


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