I make goat milk soaps. In my kitchen.
And this week, it has been nonstop so as to build up my inventory.
I use only all-natural products to make the soaps, including essential oils that come in dark brown glass jars.
This isn’t an advertisement. No, it’s the backdrop to a couple days ago when I came downstairs and smelled a very strong citrus smell. It was pleasant, actually… but strong, and I thought, hmmmmmm… why do I smell orange? Or lemon? (I couldn’t figure out which one it was.)
I looked through all my soap supplies and mentioned to the kids several times about the smell wafting through the air. No one said anything. So I didn’t think much of it.
I also saw shattered brown glass on the floor, a couple of small shards, close to the cabinets with a broom and dust pan nearby. But I didn’t think anything about that either.
And then I found this note near my bedroom door.
It was folded several times, beginning with a cursive “Open”, then “Open more”, then “Open even more.” I chuckled at that. I chuckled at the spelling, too.
This note was written by my sweet eldest 12 year old daughter. She wasn’t able to tell me in conversation what she had done, and had tried to clean it all up, but she still wanted to let me know and ask for my forgiveness.
Essential oils can be expensive. Thankfully, lemon is not the most expensive one. But it is one of the more common ones I use in my soaps, and now I was completely out of that one for my next batch, and the one that had dropped was a rather big jar that had just been opened. While my daughter sweetly asked ‘how much is lemon oil,’ there was no way she could pay for it.
And, just to further explain my personality, I’m one of those moms who DOES sometimes yell over spilled milk with an older child (I try not to, I promise!). Perhaps it’s because we work so hard to milk our goats and it is like precious white gold. And perhaps I hate cleaning up never-ending spills. Perhaps it’s just that I can’t get it into my head that these things happen and with 8 kids, somethin’s gunna spill. With 4 boys, a LOT is going to spill. And break. And shatter. And I get tired of that sometimes.
But when I read her note, I smiled, I chuckled… and then I cried. Of course I forgave her. Instantly. My heart melted and all I wanted to do was run to her and hug her and let her know that I loved her and forgave her. Suddenly, I didn’t even care about the essential oils. I didn’t care about the mess. I didn’t care about the soaps, if they had to be lemonless for the next few batches. I didn’t care about anything but comforting my daughter.
Is this not how God is with us?
Do we not beat ourselves up over a sin that’s been long forgiven or our flaws which keep appearing, and lament over ourselves for things we can ‘never repay’?
It occurred to me how ‘melted’ God’s heart must be when we look up to Him in tears and say “I am so sorry.” I always pictured Him going “Well, OK, THIS time I’ll let it slide, but don’t let it happen again.” But when I thought of my reaction to my daughter, I realized that He wants to run to us! He wants to lavish even more love when he sees us so broken, like little glass shards on the ground…
Can we accept His forgiveness? Can we forgive ourselves?
Afterall, we are His child. Little, broken, and with not all that much to offer accept “I’m sorry.”… and that is enough.