Sunday, May 20, 2012

Under the Car Seats

With only 3 1/2 days remaining in the 1st grade and 5 days away from celebrating 8th birthdays we finally retired our 5 point harness car seats today.

I got to do the honor of removing those old gray Britaxes. Although I generally consider our family clean and basically civilized, that all changed when I saw the disgusting mess that had been hidden under those car seats. My pride prevented me from photographing the scene, but I was truly repulsed by the sticky, crumbly, melted yuck that has been collected in the few months I have owned my car.

So while the children enjoyed some playtime with their Daddy, I took the car for a deep cleaning at my local car wash. It took almost an hour (and a half a container of cleaning wipes) to vacuum, scrub and de-grunge my car. It was hard work, but the end result was worth it.

Somewhere in my scrubbing-- with my lip curled, sweat beading on my brow--I had a picture of the depths on a human heart. All kinds of mess can be hidden--especially under our protective devices. We have the best of intentions. And no matter how busy we are, a deep cleaning-- down to the cracks and crevices-- is necessary every now and then.

Cleanse me with hyssop, and I will be clean; wash me, and I will be whiter than snow.   
Let me hear joy and gladness; let the bones you have crushed rejoice. 
Hide your face from my sins and blot out all my iniquity. 
Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me. 
Psalm 51:7-10

It can be embarrassing for the junk we have been carrying around to be brought to light--even if it is just revealed to ourselves. But it is crucial that we ask God to help us see it in order to deal with it.

Search me, God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. 
See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting. 
Psalm 139:23-24

Because God loves us, He reveals our junk. It is not to humiliate us--it is so He can clean us up and make us like new again. 

In retrospect it always seems worth the cringing and the hard work to enjoy the growth on the other side.

And now I am off to console myself over how BIG they look... :-(


Immeasurably More Mama said...

I read your tweet about this earlier, laughed, and then read it to my husband. Every time he cleans our carseats he says he vacuums up a school of goldfish crackers! :)

JMom said...

It was golfish, chex mix, dried up grass from the soccer field, raisins and even a few errant fries. (That's just the stuff I could identify!!!) :-)

Liz said...

Oh my goodness! K looks about 10 years old in that pic!!!

Tara said...

One time when my youngest brother was about 3 he found an old french fry under the seat of our car and before anyone could stop him he ate it. haha My mother was horrified. Fortunately his health wasn't permanently damaged.;)

Anonymous said...

I can not believe they are 8 already :)
I agree with Liz / K does look like a 10 year old.

Keri said...

Oh, I can only imagine the sense of freedom they're experiencing in those booster seats now! You're a smart mama to keep them in the Britax seats for as long as you did, but after 8 years of lots of straps and buckles, I'm sure all of you are enjoying the simplicity of a seatbelt. (And as I must remind myself repeatedly, the safety measures that I take with my children are superfluous when God already has them in His mighty hands!)

Melissa C. said...

My daughter turns 8 in August and she is counting the DAYS until she gets out of her 5-point harness! It's a huge milestone! :)