Our boys both experienced major milestones this past fall – Our 5 year old started kindergarten, and our 3 year old little guy started preschool :). Trusting God to continue to lead, guide and bless them as they learn and grow each day. We are very thankful that their transition has been such a positive experience. But one thing we had to contend with was my 5 year old’s bathroom habits while at school :|.
To give you a little background – My 5 year old takes after my mum and my maternal grandpa in that they are all extremely clean. I am always so tickled to see his face squeezed up when something disgusts him – for instance, asking him to pick up dirty tissue and throw it away lol. I saw that same look sooo many times on my mum and my grandpa growing up! lol. Like his grandma and his great grandpa, my little guy can be very particular about what he touches, what he eats or drinks …and yep, where he uses the bathroom. His preference is to always use the bathroom at home, or another familiar place. He prefers not to have to share the bathroom with too many people – not necessarily because the bathroom is dirty, just because he’d rather not. He can also be shy sometimes :)… so to cut a long story short, I soon discovered that he was avoiding using the bathroom while he was at school! It became obvious when on several days, after we arrived home, he would practically race to the bathroom to do his business – sometimes not even having enough time to take his jacket off.
It was a little puzzling because we never had this issue while he attended preschool. But then, his preschool was a much smaller class. I then discovered that because of his habit of holding it in while at school, his poop would come out really big when he eventually made it to the bathroom at home, on the days he needed to do a #2. And that was certainly no fun for him :(!
So we talked to him, encouraging him to use the bathroom in school whenever he needed to. I explained the reason behind his bigger than usual and consequently painful poops – it was because he was holding it all in while he was at school. He learned that it’s never a good idea to hold it in; it’s never a good idea to wait! When you wait, your poop doesn’t go away – it often just keeps getting bigger and bigger. And when you eventually have to go, it’s no fun at all – it can be very painful! And we learned that the other unfortunate danger of waiting is – If you keep holding it in until you are in a comfortable environment, then you are taking a huge risk of being an accident waiting to happen! How comfortable will you feel if you find that you suddenly can’t hold it in any longer, and you poop or pee on your underwear? To avoid all of the unpleasant consequences of holding it in, the best thing to do when you need to use the bathroom is: GO RIGHT AWAY!!! “I’ve learned my lesson”, my little guy said to me after our last big talk. So kids, what do when we need to use the bathroom? “Go right away!!!” we all shouted, laughing.
So I started asking him at drop off time, before he ran off with his backpack on: What do we do when we need to use the bathroom? And he would smile, with his 20 little teeth shining, and shout along with his brother – “GO RIGHT AWAY”!!! Thankfully, now he no longer waits till he gets home to use the bathroom. Yay :D! But hearing my boys yell “Go right away” whenever I ask them that big question always reminds me of how to handle my business too!
This whole situation made me think of how we will sometimes not act on or deal with issues that should be dealt with, maybe because we are not comfortable doing what needs to be done, or we are shy, embarrassed, angry, or whatever. We keep “holding it in” and we don’t deal with it. But of course, these issues don’t go away. They will keep getting bigger and bigger, and likely become more painful to address the longer we wait. Another unfortunate danger of waiting – like we discussed earlier, is that we might actually lose control of the situation one day and have it all blow up! And finally, holding stuff in – whether poop or issues, can affect our health negatively (Thanks Toyin for this reminder)! Holding it in is just never a good idea.
So I wanted to share this friendly reminder with you as well as myself :). If there’s something, anything, that you need to deal with, please pray, ask God for wisdom, strength, help and direction, and please, GO!
Need to right a wrong? GO RIGHT AWAY!
Need to forgive someone? GO RIGHT AWAY!
Need to end a toxic relationship? GO RIGHT AWAY!
Need to ask for someone’s forgiveness? GO RIGHT AWAY!
Need to confess something you’ve done? GO RIGHT AWAY!
Need to break hold of a sin or an addiction nobody else knows about? GO RIGHT AWAY!
Need to make amends one way or another, even if it’s “no big deal”? GO RIGHT AWAY!
Please, don’t wait – GO! Don’t hold it in. Don’t be tempted to wait, even if it seems like you have things under control now. Better to endure a little embarrassment or discomfort now, that to have a huge mess later down the road. If you need help dealing with the issue – then please, seek help through any appropriate means. Whether from a professional counselor, your pastor, or a trusted brother or sister; but definitely seek help if that’s what you need to do. Don’t just ignore the problem and hold it in! The “poop” will certainly not stay in there forever – it has to come out one day….and the longer we wait, the more likely it’s going to be painful, or be a big mess!
Please, let’s take God and His word seriously. Let’s walk in obedience, and GO RIGHT AWAY! I know that God, our Father, will always speak to each of us concerning whatever we need to address, whatever we need to “GO RIGHT AWAY” to do…at every point in our lives. And He won’t stop there. He will give us the strength, wisdom and the grace to do it right. Amen.
There are tons of useful scriptures that talk about this topic in the Bible, but here is the scripture that kept coming to mind as I prepared to write this note:
“Therefore, if you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother or sister has something against you, leave your gift there in front of the altar. First go and be reconciled to them; then come and offer your gift.” (NIV)
We probably all know the dangers of harboring unforgiveness or holding a grudge. But I think it is very useful to note that in this particular verse, Jesus talks about a brother or sister having something against us. There is no mention of who is at fault, or who the guilty party is. What matters is that a brother or sister has something against us, and Jesus wants us to GO! and be reconciled to them, before coming to offer a gift to God. I don’t think it gets any clearer than that :). It also reminds me of this scripture:
Romans 14:19 “Let us therefore make every effort to do what leads to peace and to mutual edification.” (NIV) – Amen!
Thanks a lot for taking the time to read all of this today, and I pray that as God speaks to us concerning every area of our lives, we will GO when we need to go, stay when we need to stay, and always live lives of obedience to our Father. And as one of many extra bonuses, we will by God’s grace avoid potential big messes down the line ;)!
Have a wonderful day, and May God’s peace ever dwell with you – Amen!
Much Love & Blessings,