Sealing the Deal

This morning I began the very tedious task of sealing our porcelain tile grout.  My motivation of course is to get my washer and dryer back into it’s regular production schedule because 5 people dirty a lot of laundry.  My mother-in-law has been more than gracious in allowing me to use her laundry room and thus her house for the past week but there is just something about being able to do laundry in and amongst all of my other chores that is so wonderful.  I know…laundry wonderful?  I guess when you don’t have it you really miss it!  While I was on the cold, hard floor meticulously trying to stay in the lines this morning during Jackson’s nap I kept thinking about other deals we’ve sealed as of late.

Nathan quite often says the phrase “Here’s the deal…”  It’s just one of his signature lines.  Well…my children have picked up on this and they try to negotiate everything…and I mean everything.  It’s in their blood I suppose but there are just some things we cannot debate…like bedtime and what we’re having for dinner and what days we are going to go to school.  There have been some things however that we have reached an agreement for negotiation that our children could earn special things that they wanted.

Emalynn desperately wanted a Cinderella dress when she was 2 1/2 years old.  So we told her that if she went for an entire week with no accidents in her big girls we would get her a Cinderella dress.  That girl went cold turkey for an entire week with ZERO accidents and a week later mommy and daddy brought home the dress…and shoes, jewelry and accessories to boot (she is my daughter so of course she was thrilled!).  We continued the dress motivation for things like giving up a diaper at night (which she didn’t need anyway) for a Snow White Dress and giving up her pacifier for a Tinker Bell dress.  She also earned Belle and Ariel but I can’t remember exactly how.  Anyway…our little princess earned her way into royalty week by week and reached milestones doing it.

Quite a few months ago we were having trouble with Maxwell having accidents in the night.  We told him that if he went an entire week with no accidents he could have the monster truck he wanted at the grocery store.  It took a little over a week and he did it!  He’s now currently working on earning a remote control monster truck…that one is going to take a little longer to earn…more like our next deal.

Emalynn earnestly wants to get her ears pierced.  The first stipulation was that her last conference with her teacher went well and she gets to go to first grade next year.  We were very impressed with the report and so very proud of her as she is reading and writing at a first grade level and ready to move on.  She also needs to make her bed and get dressed by herself from now until the end of school as well as any other chores we ask her to do without grumbling or complaining and when school gets out she gets to get her ears pierced.  She is very excited and works very hard for this much-anticipated accomplishment.  I was taken a bit by surprise by our next deal!

I have had some furniture since I first moved out at the age of 19…so this furniture is 11 years old and not the best quality…but it’s the first I had purchased with my own money so it has sentimental value of sort…to me anyway.  We are finishing the basement and finally going to be able to use it again…along with the ever so ugly and unfortunately “comfortable” La-Z-Boy recliner my husband inherited from his grandmother…just as sentimental as my uncomfortably stylish set.  So I extended a deal to my husband thinking for sure he’d decline.  I said…” Okay…here’s the deal…we can get rid of the couch you hate IF we can ditch the ugly brown recliner.”   He smiled, extended his right hand and said “Deal!”  It was sealed.  I did not see that one coming. 

Last night Nathan told me about how Maxwell told him yesterday “Jesus is the boss, Dad!”…as if to say “So, you’re not!”  I wouldn’t doubt Maxwell was trying to make some kind of deal previous to this discussion!  Nathan had to tell him that Jesus made Daddy the boss.  Max then said “You can’t save the world, Dad!”  That makes me so very thankful that the deal God made with me a very long time ago has been sealed and cannot be broken.  Jesus knocked on the door of my heart and I believed and accepted His free gift of salvation sealed through His death and resurrection.  Even though I was only 7, that deal is still sealed and holds today and will until the day God calls me home.  I didn’t deserve it…I didn’t earn it.  I was on my knees on a cold, hard floor trying to be sure I covered every crack and crevice when I took a cold, hard look at myself and realized that while I certainly won’t cover all of them, Jesus doesn’t miss any of my sins…His blood covers them all.  I then wondered…”What does God get out of this deal?”  It’s one of those things I will never understand…all a part of the wonders of His love…immesurably more that I can ever ask or imagine.

My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me:   And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand.  My Father, which gave them me, is greater than all; and no man is able to pluck them out of my Father’s hand.  John 10:27-29

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