The Problem with Bathtubs

Yesterday morning was crazy.  I couldn’t get my kids to wake up and get ready for school and the morning got off to a rough start.  And then got rougher.  My kids leave for school in shifts and after getting the first set off I went to check on Cadence to make sure she was in the bathtub and not distracted by tearing magazines (her favorite activity).  When I walked into her bathroom I was met by a splash….as in I stepped into about an inch of water on her bathroom floor.  She isn’t a small girl and apparently was using the bathtub as a slip and slide.  This was a disaster.  In addition she had turned the water back on and kept it running!  Of course, almost every towel I owned was in the washer.  Wet.  So I’m looking at this huge mess wondering how to clean it up and told her we were done with baths.  Only showers in her future.

There is a slight problem with bathtubs.  If you keep running water into them without letting it out you’re going to have a big, big, big mess.  Trust me, having an Autistic kid, I have tons of experience with this.  And these messes tend to stress me out.  They cause other problems if not taken care of quickly.  Water messes have to be cleaned up fast or you’ll soon have other bigger issues.  We live in a church parsonage.  It is not our house.  We try to take great care of this house and teach our kids to do the same.  We know that if we let Cadence run the bathtub over without cleaning up the mess, it will not only cost us, but others as well.  So I am done with Cadence taking a bath.  Showers from now on.

Recently I had an “episode” with a person in my world that rubs me the wrong way.  This person is prickly and demanding and given the other stressers and responsibilities in my life, I just don’t have a lot of tolerance for her.  Sad to say, but true.   This person really needs a lot of love.  She is alone in the world and needs some help.  I really want to help her.  I do.  But she makes me crazy!  I usually just want to shake her hard and remind her that she asked for my help and I’m volunteering my help so she should play nice. Right? So…for months and months her attitude has been like a running bathtub.  My bathtub.  My heart and mind has filled up with bad feelings towards her.  And I haven’t let them out.  I know the truth…I can let these bad feelings and my attitude problems out by simply laying them at Jesus’ feet.  That is the release valve.  The place where all the negative drains away (1 Peter 5:7 reminds us to give all our worries and cares to God) .  But I hadn’t drained any of it away and more and more kept being added until finally a few days ago she said something that hit me just the wrong way.  It was like the final drop of water and the bathtub ran over.

It made a big mess.  I said things I regretted.  And it hurt someone who was already in desperate need of grace.  And for a few days it occupied a lot of my mind and heart.  I was distracted by it and my kids saw me lose my testimony.  I was able to make amends and sort it out, but it took awhile to clean up the mess.  And it cost me.  It cost my family.

So a new rule for me and Cadence.  No more baths.  Only showers.  For her, the rule is for her body. For me, the rule is for my mind. No more soaking in a tub of bad attitudes, hurt or prickly feelings.  I want to be a shower kind of girl…so that all the negative thoughts and frustrations can just roll off and be washed away.  I don’t need them.  And I don’t need the mess they make.  My husband, The Peacher, always says that when you work with people you have to have tough skin and a soft heart.  When it is the other way around you’re in trouble.  Lord, help us to keep our hearts soft by showering in your love and grace so that you can wash away all the junk in our minds that will make a mess.


Photo credit: [mi:m] via / CC BY-NC