Sunday

The Magic Eraser

Sometimes I ignore my children.  GASP!  I know.  It's shameful behavior.  The other day, I was busy at my computer.  My kids were home from school and done with their homework.  Usually, I'm rushing around getting snacks, going thru backpack papers and trying to decide what to make for dinner with one potato, two cans of corn and a link of sausage. Instead, I was in cyberspace.


This proved to be a problem.


My kids asked *even though I don't claim to have heard them-cyberspace will do that to you-it sucks out your brains* if they could use my giant box of sharpee markers to color.  Now, every mother knows you don't let your young children color with permanent markers.  But shopping on the internet for squeaky shoes for your toddler who isn't toddling can distort this.  


I said yes.


So it seems.


About 20 minutes later, I looked up from my workstation only to see my children at the dining room table coloring away.


"What do you think you are doing?" I demanded.


Then it dawned on me. I approved this activity.  They pointed this out.  That's funny, because I remember them saying, "We're going to clean our rooms and be perfect while you ignore us."


Oops.


When I looked closer, I freaked out. Underneath the notebook paper was an entire scene of flowers, bugs and robots in permanent marker on my beautiful table.


I am not proud of what happened next.  It's painful to even bring it up.


I yelled.  I screamed. I shook my fists in the air!


My daughter rolled her eyes at me and said, "You said it was okay" and stormed off to her room.  My son who's lips tremble at the mention of trouble burst into tears.  He grabbed my legs and begged forgiveness.  He then slowly walked to his room with his head bent in sorrow.


I know you are thinking I am horrible. You are right!  I just didn't feel it yet.


Grabbing a rag and furniture polish, I scrubbed.  It didn't budge the inky mess.


Digging thru my stash of cleaners, I found a "Magic Eraser."  It was unopened and I needed some magic.


I wet it and wiped the table.  Every mark disappeared.  Glory be!


"Kids, kids come here.  Look, it's magic," I exclaimed.


No one came.


That’s when it dawned on me that I was a horrible mother!


Uh.  I hate that feeling.  


I brought each of my children downstairs.  I showed them the magic.  My daughter, with arms crossed, said, "That's cool, I guess." My son's shoulders still shook.  


"It's okay," I said.


He burst into tears.  "I'm so sorry," he cried.


I got down on my knees and pulled my kids to me.  This is what I said.


"I was wrong.  I made a mistake.  I shouldn't have let you use those markers or I should have put a tablecloth down first.  I'm sorry for yelling and blaming you.  It was not your fault.  Can you forgive me?"


My daughter shrugged and my son sniffled.


"I sinned," I confessed.


They both looked up at me.  Surprise registered on their face.


I took the Magic Eraser and pretended to rub it all over my body.


"What are you doing?" my daughter asked in a horrified voice.  


"I'm erasing myself.  I don't feel like a very good mom right now."


There was a smile.


"I forgive you," my daughter said.  "Me, too," my son whimpered as he wiped his runny nose.


They left me standing in the kitchen.  I picked up the eraser to put it away.  I still felt bad.  Angry for being so, so--human.  I looked at the eraser and wished I could swipe it across my heart to remove the awful residue.


And then I remembered I can.


We make mistakes.   We feel bad, even sorry.  We ask forgiveness.  The sin is wiped away.  


Just like that.   


The Magic Eraser.  I got to use two of them in one day.  And I am thankful for both.


For the Soul:

“Cleanse me with hyssop, and I will be clean; wash me, and I will be whiter than snow.” Psalm 51:7


This was originally posted in February 2008, I'm trying to move some of my first posts over from my old Mac site.

60 comments:

blessedwith5 said...

I love your story! I can see that we are both up well past our bedtimes! Could it be that you are trying to gain back a bit of sanity that you lost today? I am!

Dawn said...

Magic Erasers... love 'em. Both kinds!

Kendra said...

THAT is a beautiful story! It's good for our children to see that we sin too and that we ask for forgiveness and are forgiven.

Gigi said...

I'm going to have to file that one away for use at a future time. Thank you!

marky said...

I really liked that one,thanks for sharing that. My mind works well with analogies.

Heather said...

This is beautiful ... brought tears to my eyes :)

Monica said...

What a wonderful story!! I am guilty of being a bad mom so often and I am so very thankful that I can go to Jesus for forgiveness and share that with my children.

Mom of TWO Princesses said...

Wow, what an awesome lesson for both you & the kids. And me! Thank you for sharing this!

Mandy said...

That was a great story. We are all guilty of doing that. What a great lesson for everyone!

Hadley Coble said...

thanks for that. it's always good to hear that I'm not the only one who loses my temper, and who has to ask forgiveness from my kids and my Father. Some days I just sit in awe and wonder that God loves me despite how rotten I am.

Lisa J said...

I too use the Magic Eraser, I love the way you put the two together. The picture was very heart warming. We tend to forget how forgiving God is. But we do have to "use" the Magic Eraser. Sometimes that easier said than done huh? Great post.

Mycrazylife said...

I love this post Kristen! I had a similar experience yesterday and yet when the bad mommy comes to visit, even repenting and asking for forgiveness doesn't always clean up my guilty conscience. I always need to be reminded about God's sea of forgetfulness....at least several hundred times!

Oh and I am shocked that the Magic Eraser took off permanent marker! Thanks for the tip!

Karen said...

We all have those "bad mom" moments. It's brave of you to point out yours. I always try to do what you did, which is tell my kids that I was wrong, ask their forgiveness, and ask God's forgiveness in front of them. Then, I ask them, "How much does Mommy love you?" And they reply, "All the time, forever and ever, no matter what."

Karen said...

Oh, and another trick for permanent marker is blotting with rubbing alcohol (works well on kid skin, too).

Memarie Lane said...

I've been doing that too, finding myself just saying "uh-huh" to the kids to get them to go away so I can finish something, without listening to what they actually said.

I have ink on my table b/c I put a picture with writing on the back down on it while it was wet. And NOTHING, not even a magic eraser will get that ink off. My parents gave me the table, so now every time they come over I have to cover that spot with a pile of napkins and hope no one moves it.

Moriah @ Please Pass the Salt said...

Great analogy and I, too, LOVE those magic erasers. Use 'em on everything.

KD @ A Bit Squirrelly said...

What a great story! I have some Magic Erasers that could be put to good use!

Lanxi said...

I am so glad you moved this from your old site. We all get the benefit from it.

Great post - loved the analogy!

Threeundertwo said...

1) I've never heard of magic eraser - sounds like I need to get some.
2) Brilliant analogy!
3) My brain often hears "we're going to clean our rooms and be good" even when those aren't the actual words that hit my ears.
4) I love the picture at the bottom of the page!

Pregnantly Plump said...

That's a perfect analogy! Can't say I've had as much success with our Magic Erasers. Maybe I should give them another chance.

Marni Tiani Self said...

You brought tears to my eyes. You are seriously awesome. :)

samar bloggirl said...

that really moved me. thanks for sharing. :)

P.S. He loves you... said...

This is what AWESOME blogs are supposed to look it!

Thanks for your testimony!

Thanks for being a parent who confesses to your children and teaches them repentence in this way!

Faerie Mom said...

Wonderful story. Thanks for sharing. I know I feel like a horrible mother at times for soem of the same type of stuff....

Sonya said...

What a great story!

Big Hair Envy said...

It's important for our children to realize that moms are human. Great story!

LifeatTheCircus said...

Great post! Glad you are republishing these. What a great way to model your need for a Savior. I am sure that incident will stick with them. So often kids think their parents never mess up, never do wrong. I think it is so important that we confess our sin, that we call it what it is, sin, and we model asking forgiveness. Isn't it great that our Lord does wash it away instantly?

Great post! You are a great mommy!

Vixbil said...

What a brilliant post I so know how you feel
xx

Jai said...

What a wonderful lesson! And yes, I love the Magic Eraser too ... BOTH KINDS!!!!

Thank you for this lesson on sin, forgiveness and asking for forgiveness when I make a mistake, especially with my children.

Probably need to go and apologize for something I did last week!

Jenn said...

I feel miserable when I lose it with my children. Thank goodness we serve a God who forgives and loves us unconditionally.

I loved the analogy of the magic eraser. I will be using that in our homeschool this year. I think I will display it and use it to help my children understand the importance of forgiveness. Thanks for the great idea.

Jennie said...

I can relate to this on SO many levels. Thank you for sharing.

Gotta GROW with it said...

well first i was going to suggest you use the marker to put a frame around those cute flowers and call it a placemat!

your magic eraser was such a wonderful post about the reality of being a mom who struggles and can admit it! thanks!

Muthering Heights said...

I think it's great that you admitted that you sinned, and asked for forgiveness in front of your kids, rather than explaining it away. It's probably a lesson that will stick with them more than just listening to a story about needing forgiveness!

Tammy said...

Beautiful story! And a good reminder to us all.

Thank you!

Joy said...

I have those bad moments WAY WAY WAY too often and every single time I feel so incredibly bad. And I feel like the worst mom.

Your humility, admission of guilt, and apology is going to be so much more effective than the rant you had earlier. They'll remember it... and they'll model it!

Blondie said...

Wonderful post! I lose it at least once daily with my kids (to varying degrees of course) but something like that would send me right over the edge for sure. I love the analogy, and I doubt I will ever use a Magic Eraser again without thinking of it. (And I use them often around here, trust me!)

The Fritz Facts said...

That is a great story!! I love the magic erasers!!

Tara said...

That's a great story and a great lesson for all three of you.

I love how you frequently change the photo of your kids at the bottom of the page, too.

smiles4u said...

Thank you for your honesty. I believe the gift you gave your children in being so honest with them and showing them that you are human and make mistakes is great. Asking our children to forgive us when we wrong them is setting an example of a life of forgivness and grace.

Jamie said...

Precious story! Your children are blessed to have a mom like you - not perfect but willing to apologize.

Lynn said...

YOU are a wonderful storyteller!!! Thank you for sharing your story and the deeper meaning along with it.

Rachel said...

We all have those days, I know I do. What a wonderful teaching moment for your children, to learn first hand that sin is universal and forgiveness is, too.

Mel @ A Box of Chocolates said...

When I grow up I want to be as good of a mommy and person as you are. What a great idea about the magic eraser not only for the markers but yourself. I'm gonna have to keep that trick up my sleeve.

Lisa @ Stop and Smell the Chocolates said...

So good to remember! And I really do need to get one of those erasers.

Bina said...

Wow. What a beautiful and touching post. Thanks so much for making me feel "normal" as well.

And you know, those Magic Erasers" are a MIRACLE I tell ya!!!!

Luke said...

I admit it: That made me tear up.

...

So good. And it's so good to hear of other humans out there. Sometimes I feel alone in that. Thanks!

~Luke

Valarie said...

This was great! I am also so thankful for those erasers!

D... said...

What a perfect anecdote. I really love this. And, oh yeah, those erasers are awesome.

Wife and Mommy said...

What a wonderful way to take a not-so-good-mommy-incident and make it into a teachable moment that the kids will remember. Awesome!

auds at barking mad said...

What a wonderful post.

Mrs. Querido said...

Thank you for the inspiring post. You have reminded me that mommies don't have to be perfect, but we can strive toward Perfection (in Him of course!). And don't you love it when kids are so forgiving of our errors? Beautiful!

Blessings!

Mrs. Q

Ok, Where Was I? said...

It's great that you told your kids you made the mistake. I hate those moments, and boy do we all have them.

My two year old discovered sharpees while I was on the computer in another room. He colored all over the desk and himself. And yes, I have that magic eraser.

twin power mommy said...

What an awesome story. I love it!
Brought a little tear to my eye.

You have such a way with words. You can express thoughts that other people think but aren't able to get out on paper (or type).

Love the magic eraser. I use it OFTEN!!!! (both kinds, boss)

Well Behaved Krissy said...

Awesome! Love those "teachable moments" like that.

Our Crooked Tree said...

It is in these moments I think I learn more than my kds do!

Tanya said...

I love this. I'm glad I'm not the only "human" mother. Unfortunately, scenes like this happen in my house much more often than I'd like to admit. But, as you so beautiful pointed out, Magic Erasers to the rescue.

Skubaliscious said...

Thank you for this. I have lots of moments I would like to erase...good to know it happens to everyone and a great reminder that we do have a magic eraser :)

MoziEsmé said...

What a beautiful story! I can see myself so easily here - you took a bad situation and turned it into a brilliant lesson for the kids.

Gary Thompson said...

Wow. What a GREAT reminder. And it does me good to know I'm not the only parent who loses it now and then. But the one thing I always wished my parents would have done is to admit that they were wrong. We'd have such a better relationship if they had.

That's one thing I am determined to do. Repenting before your children is a great way to model humility and show them you really care.

Leigh Anne Watts said...

I know this is an older post. I know you get a lot of comments. But, I just wanted to tell you how deeply this touched me. As a Mother, I so often feel like a failure. This post made me rethink the way I feel about myself based on the way God feels about me. He loves me and he forgives me, and when I mess up so do my children. I hate that feeling like I have wronged them. Thanks for being so open.