We have a neighbor girl who come to our house often. We love her so much. The boys see her as a friend…no questions asked.
I’m glad they have her for a playmate, but often I watch them play and notice so many things that are not as they should be. Developmental delays. Fear in her eyes. Men’s size 14 shoes on her feet. Body odor that is more than a few days of missed baths–maybe a lack of toilet paper. So often I wish I could make her life easier. Safer. Cleaner. More like it should be.
I do what I can. Love. Share food. Let her warm up inside the house sometimes. Help with homework. There was one thing I wished for months that I could do, but it seemed like a sensitive issue.
Can you offer someone a bath and advice on personal cleaning without hurting her feelings? I would never want to lessen her sense of dignity….but she is a girl, surely she would want to be clean and smell nice. Does she hurt because of the lack of personal hygeine?
Funny, when I write it in words offering a bath sounds simple. Somehow looking into eyes that have seen too much pain made it seem much more complicated.
I debated this. Asked a few friends to help me pray about it. Had days when I felt very annoyed by the odor that lingered in our house long after she was at hers.
Then one day I wrote this to my family: “Can you think of any way (that wouldn’t be offensive or threatening ) I could offer to M. that she could take a bath at our house? I DREAM of giving her a bath, shampooing her hair, getting her dressed in clean, good-smelling clothes, giving her lotion, and a tooth brush.”
Guess what? The NEXT DAY M’s mom asked if her two children could take a bath at our house that night!!!
A few hours later, she was at my house soaking in a warm, bubbly bath. Delight would be the only way to describe how I felt warming up the room before she came, arranging her towel and wash cloth, and running the water. Once she was in the tub I did a little dance right outside the bathroom door.
Over and over God amazes me with His care.
And did she feel better after the bath? I’d say yes… :) Soon she was coming several times a week, and each time there was no question the bath had been needed and enjoyed.
This is going to sound very non-spiritual after that, but I want to share this good find, too. :) The first time the grimy tub met my eyes I was a little discouraged to think of all the scrubbing. I tried out a homemade shower cleaner I’d seen on Pinterest, and did it ever save the day!
I modified the recipe a little. Basically you use one part Dawn dish soap and one part vinegar. I didn’t heat the vinegar before mixing as the recipe instructs. (Maybe that’s why it separated. It is easy to mix together, though, just before using.) I added water as well to stretch the ingredients (probably twice as much water as combined ingredients), and it was still just as powerful. After only a little soaking, the scum just rubs right off. It is definitely a keeper.
I guess the thought for today is:
God really cares about His children, and making a homemade cleaner will make your life easier and save you lots of money.
Oh, and sometimes both of those involve a bathtub.