Mercy in the middle

Monday Meg and Josie had the treat of spending the day with Grandma. Such a day usually includes lunch out, a day spent exploring old town Orange (think lots of shops) and Barnes & Nobles.

For background, Meg and Josie have a night out with daddy weekly-and they always go to Barnes & Nobles. Demi and Amie are very much looking forward to the day when they will be invited along. They don't go now, for a few very good reasons.
I could sum them up with: the time we went with gracefulmom and her two littles, and the four of them were stopped mid-reach for the fire alarm pull. (spidey senses to the rescue!). Or the uncountable times I ventured forth with them and they just could not sit still, could not be quiet. The many spills we have had in as many trips... Or the time they knocked over a large book display. Or my current adventure: Monday's;

They did really well, I can tell they are getting older and not so squirrelly. We read a pile of Teenage Mutant Ninja turtles and Clifford the big red dog- cuz we are just into that high-brow stuff... had some hot cocoa, real mom and her offspring bonding time. Until the obligatory trip to the restroom and Amie's fall down the escalator. I was right below her and caught her, but not before she got scratched up and frightened. And then, somehow Demi managed to spray the 1/2 teaspoon of cocoa remaining in his cup (with a lid!) all over himself. It was amazing the square footage he was able to cover with such a small amount of the stuff. So, I came home and laughed about it with Sky, while saying...again..."never again!"...

The whole thing with B & N and my struggle with mom guilt, which is why I usually take them..again, made me think about mercy. Mercy that is extended towards us, and not because we've earned it, but because of love.

"But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us." Romans 5:8

It is because of love that I take my little ones on such a trip, when it would be much easier on me to stay home. I extend grace toward them because of love.

"But God, who is rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in trespasses, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), and raised us up together, and made us sit together in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, that in the ages to come He might show the exceeding riches of His grace in His kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God," Ephesians 2:4-8

We are in need of God's mercy because of our pitiful situation, our dead situation. God is so rich in mercy to make us alive out of our deadened- by- sin state, to be alive together with Christ. He shows the exceeding riches of His grace in His kindness towards us. His grace is a free thing, a gift we do not deserve. This grace we are unable to resist.

"I have loved you with an eternal love, therefore, with loving kindness have I drawn thee." Jer 31:3

I love my boy because he is mine, because the Lord gave him to me. I have grace and mercy towards him, not because he is such a good little boy that he deserves it, but because my love is a free thing. I take him to Barnes & Nobles not because I believe he will behave perfectly, but because my love is unconditional.

[Mom] suffers long and is kind;...[mom]... does not behave rudely,..[mom] is not provoked, thinks no evil; does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth; [mom] bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things."

I hope my children see love, and that this love will draw them to the One that is love made real.