Diaper, diapers, everywhere. As a mom with two littles still in diapers, there are moments when it seems like our whole world revolves around diapers. Here’s a peek into what I mean.
The other day, my cousin and her daughter stopped over for a visit. We headed to the basement so our girls could play while we took advantage of some much-needed mama chat time. As we sat on the floor, surrounded by a sea of brightly colored toys, I told her how my two-year-old loves to hide things and put items in strange places. I explained that this is what I believe led to my recent experience of running a diaper through the washing machine. (For those of you who have never done this, just know that a diaper can only hold so much liquid before it bursts open, letting loose a flood of gooey gel beads that like to cling to everything. Oh, what a mess.)
Then, no joke, within maybe five minutes of sharing that little anecdote, her daughter pulled a used diaper out from the black hole of our toy bin. All I could do was laugh because, well, what else do you do in that situation? (Looking back, I guess it may have been nice to get her daughter some hand sanitizer. Oh well.)
All of this got me thinking, though, about how many “dirty diapers” I might have hidden in my own heart. Are there some that I’m not even aware of but are just waiting to show themselves at the most inopportune time?
One thing I’ve noticed lately is that my patience has been running a little lower than usual. I used to feel like a fairly patient person—and then I had kids. Now don’t get me wrong—kids are wonderful, amazing, and I love mine like crazy. But they have a unique way of testing their parents’ patience to the extreme. I may not always show my impatience outwardly, but I can often feel it well up in my heart which can be just as bad—maybe even worse at times.
We need to be so careful to “guard our hearts, because everything we do flows out from it” (Proverbs 4:23). Everything? Yes, everything.
Even some of the seemingly most minor things can affect our hearts. Say someone cuts you off in traffic. You may handle it well on the outside, but you allow just a bit of frustration to creep in. Later that morning, a co-worker spills coffee on you. It was an accident, so you graciously accept the apology—only to think some rather ungracious thoughts in your head about her clumsiness. Little things like this begin to pile on throughout the day, and by the time you’re home, you are done.
Maybe you yell at your kids, snap at your roommate, or passively belittle your spouse. Maybe you withdraw from others and refrain from doing tasks that you know are your responsibility. Perhaps you eat that entire bag of cookies when no one else is watching. When our hearts aren’t healthy, it’s going to show up somewhere else. We can’t keep our dirty diapers hidden forever.
To rid ourselves of the junk we’ve built up, we need to hand our hurts, our anger, and our mistakes over to God—no matter how big or how small. If there is sin involved, we can confess that to God and trust that when we genuinely ask for forgiveness, He will indeed forgive us (1 John 1:9). We can pray to Him and spend time refilling our hearts and minds with God’s Word, which is packed with grace, truth, and love.
Let’s take this a step further now. Is there someone else that you can open up to about your struggles and frustrations? Someone you can show your dirty diaper to and, instead of judging or condemning, they will simply help you throw it in the trash where it belongs? It could be a friend, family member, or a Christian counselor. God is the ultimate healer of our hearts, but He often places others on our path to help when we have some heavy-duty cleaning that needs to be done.
Two people are better off than one, for they can help each other succeed. If one person falls, the other can reach out and help.
For those of you who are curious, I spoke with my husband after the “incident,” and his response to my telling him about the buried treasure was, “You found it?!” He realized that a diaper had gone missing the night before but figured he just forgot throwing it away. Nope, that diaper was most definitely not thrown away! But you know what? In this case, I was just so thankful to have someone helping me share the literal diaper load—and it truly provided some good laughs as well!