Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Sharing Your Toothbrush—The Ultimate in Letting Go

After several years of comfortable independence, we have become an intergenerational household. Our adult daughter lives upstairs and recently, my father-in-law moved in downstairs. I wander around somewhere in the middle and try to convince my brain it can still function amidst other people’s comings and goings.

We gave Pa (how a man who never lived a day in the country acquired that title, I don’t know) our bedroom because it was downstairs and had an attached bath. The problem is, once he is up and about, he can never find his way back to his bedroom—or bathroom.
He always misses the doorway until we say, “Take a left, Pa, take a left,” and then he laughs and says, “Oh yeah.”
Every day after breakfast, Pa announces, “Well, I’m going to go brush my teeth.”
As he heads off, I call out, “Take a left,” and he disappears down the hall. After about the fourth morning of this routine, I noticed Pa coming out of the little half-bath where I stash my toothbrush. 
 Alarm bells rang in my head. He didn’t!
 When my husband came home, I told him to ask his father to show him where he brushed his teeth.  With all due certainty, Pa marched straight to our bathroom and pointed to the toothbrush—my toothbrush!
 Now, I don’t begrudge him my bedroom, or time, or attention. I am willing to bring him along everywhere we go, and I am willing to let the Lord work out servant hood in me, but share my toothbrush?!
 Funny thing is, as gross as the thought, it really didn’t send me into a mouthwash gargling frenzy (although I did promptly hide a new brush). 
 Perhaps all those months of living in Guatemala without a refrigerator toughened me up, or maybe, just maybe, the Lord is showing me what I so long to live—grace received, grace extended.
 And someday, when I wander into a little bathroom and brush what’s left of my pearly whites with someone else's brush, I pray that grace be passed on to me.
 Because of Blogger problems (unable to post this week in Firefox because of a BX error) I have postponed until Friday my review of Chase, a Bible study for women who desire the heart of God.
Author Jennie Allen also will be here in interview.
Blessings, friends near and far, 
Outdo one another in showing honor. Do not be slothful in zeal, be fervent in spirit, serve the Lord.--Romans 12:10-11 


  1. Thanks for the great smile to start my day, Marcia.

  2. Ok, Marcia - you're my hero. Three generations under one roof? AND you gave up your bedroom? And toothbrush? Yes, you ROCK ;)

    btw don't know what's going on with Blogger, but I've had a couple of people email me with questions this week. Try switching browsers to Chrome and see if that helps. It's a Google product too, and might "play" better with a sibling than Firefox does.

  3. Love it. I actually keep my toothbrush in a spot away from the other toothbrushes in our house because my husband always seems to gravitate to mine thinking it's his, even if I buy one that is pink!


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