To do what I ask of him the first time I make the request.
I don't do this because I want to be a giant monster truck bearing down on the little truck and crushing it. I do it because it is important for our children to learn to trust us as their parents, that we love them completely and always have their best interests in mind. He knows that it is all right to ask (respectful) questions, but the obedience needs to come first. His first response needs to be "Yes, Mama" before the protests of "I don't want to do that right now" or the ceaseless "Why?"
When parents are unsettled, the kids pick up on it. This past week has been rough, and although the children have been blissfully unaware of the gravity of how our circumstances have changed, they notice we (mostly me, since I'm the one they're around all day) are preoccupied. And in my case, I'm ashamed to say, more prone to becoming unhinged.
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Clearly, this was not a coincidence.
Little Lady deals with external stress by singing. I've noticed that when her brother is getting in trouble, when there's tension as we're all running late to something in the car (usually church), when I get frustrated at the state of the house ... she sings.
|She's already "borrowing" my stuff.|
Because that never-ending "Why?" from my preschooler?
That's me. All the time. With God.
Even while knowing in my head that He is good and faithful to provide, I want to know all the whys. I definitely don't sing my happy songs. I get hung up on all the whys and I have moments when I completely forget about joy. How entitled am I to get so bent out of shape over everything I don't have, everything I'm having to surrender? That I forget that all I have is by the grace of God and that all I don't have? Well, that it could just possibly be divine mercy.
I grew up in the capital city of the coastal nation of Cameroon in west Africa. It's a rainforest, and every year, we would get at least a handful of fairly substantial tropical storms. Sometimes, the area downtown where my dad worked would get flooded. Cars would have to be moved up the hills so they wouldn't get submerged under all the water. Gushing rust-colored streams would suddenly appear along the sides of the roads.
There was a tiny neighborhood near where we lived. And by neighborhood, I mean a handful of shacks constructed by some cement blocks and sheets of corrugated metal. They were arranged around a small dirt "yard" of sorts, and when it poured, that little yard would fill and fill and fill.
And the children would swim. They would shriek and jump and splash in that orange water.
Delight in the midst of the deluge.
How much more does my God love me and know what I need? How much more can I trust that, even though I don't like what's going on, even though I hate the uncertainty and the seeming injustice, He sees the entire tapestry and that this is His masterful plan for us? How much more can I rest assured that His plan is good, better than anything I could dream up?
Maybe, just maybe, God just wants me to learn to put aside my whys, jump into the rain, and sing my own happy songs, trusting that He's got this.
*This is Why Parenting is So Hard (Kristen)
*Teach Them to Give (Courtney)
*Inspiring an Attitude of Gratitude (Alison)
*Raising Grateful Kids (amanda)
*Why You Can't Buy Gratitude At The Dollar Store (Andrea)
*Missing- Gratefulness in our home (Ange)
*Choosing Gratitude (Angela)
*5 Steps to Gratitude-Filled Family (Christa)
*Practicing Grateful Parenting (Dana)
*Sing a Song (Hannah)
*Cultivating Gratitude in Our Family (Jamie)
*Gratefulness in Our Home (Jana)
*Let It Begin with Me (Jen)
*Choosing Gratefulness (Jennifer)
*Raising Grateful Kids in an Entitled World - The Book (Jeri)
*Eradicating Entitlement - What are You Rooted in? (Jessica)
*Gratefulness in Our Home (Kate)
*7 Unusual Ways I Know How to Be Grateful (Kathryn)
*Raising Grateful Kids (Keri)
*How My Children Remind Me to Pray with Gratitude (Kishona)
*Entitlement: The Ugly Truth of a Beautiful Lie (Leigha)
*The Most Important Thing You Can Do to Raise Grateful Kids (Lindsey)
*Dear Son: How Do I Teach You to Be Grateful without Guilt? (Marie)
*Gratitude: A Practical Definition (Mia)
*Cultivating Gratitude in Our Home (Nancy)
*Learning Gratitude through Chronic Illness (Rachel)
*Being Grateful (Rebecca)
*I've Found Something I Can't Live Without (Sarah)
*The Power of Naming our Gifts (Sarah)
*Outfitted (Sarah Jo)
*Growing Gratitude in Our Family (Sondra)
*Teaching Gratefulness (Stephanie)