Saturday, August 4, 2012

Man Plans, God laughs (borrowed from an episode of Frazier)

It had been a good day, some house cleaning, leisurely reading, baby girl “making” scented lotions (Each use is $1 if you’re interested.) Late afternoon, we went shopping: shoes, back-pack, shorts. And by then, nearing dinner-time, she wanted to make the hour drive to the mall.

I vetoed the outing, saying we could go tomorrow: more time to shop and better weather. And then her face grew long, lips pursed, and I felt my irritation rising: she is too old for this; we spent the whole afternoon shopping for her.

A breath or two. A different approach. “Baby girl, did I say we couldn’t go to the mall at all?” She shakes her head side-to-side. “Didn’t we do several things you wanted today? So why the sour face?”

“I wanted to do everything that I had planned.”

Oh she is my child!

Her face, her hands, her very quick (and occasionally ill-timed and inappropriate) wit, and her wanting it all—her way, just as she planned.

Lord, is this how I am with you? If something doesn’t go just so, do I want to chuck it all? Why do I overlook the joy that I’ve already had just because something is different than I imagined it would be?

Why do I throw in the towel when something doesn’t go my way? Help me, Lord, to let go of my plans, to be accepting of whatever it is you have planned for me.

"'For I know the plans I have for you,' declares the Lord." Jeremiah 29:11

I feel my irritation subsiding. The lesson here is not only hers to be learned. How amazing it is when the Lord uses our children to humble us.

“Baby girl, is it worth ruining the rest of the evening just because we’re not doing something exactly the way you want it? Or is it better to have had fun doing some of what you wanted today and some more tomorrow?”  Her look softens. “Or even if we didn’t go to the mall tomorrow, isn’t it better to enjoy what we did today?”

I don’t know if she is surprised by the lack of a mom speech or agrees with the logic, but the long face is lessened. And she is OK with her plans being changed.

Lord, help me to be OK with mine being changed as well.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

OK With the Now

I love to be right. Not only knowing that I am right; I want other people to know I'm right and admit that they are wrong.

I am not good at slowly letting people come to their own realizations. I push. And push. Relentless until they see the error of their ways or until I am furious and frustrated, or both.

And I want others, not necessarily involved to tell me I am right too.

Is that too much to ask?
(I Think we may have discovered one of the beams in mine own eye!)

But what to do when you are at an impasse?

Is it Christian to agree to disagree? How do you respond when they are too angry? Angry enough to hurt others with words because they want to be right too?

I told my husband I don't want my attitude to be sinful. But I have no idea what that means. Or how to start if I did.

So I stopped pushing. I quit talking or texting the other party, long before I wanted to. And I asked the Lord what I needed to do and admitted I already had my own ideas. And I didn't try to rally others to my side too terribly much.

And I saw I was keeping score.

Take 2.

Ok. Do I have to/need to let them spend alone time with my kid (and future ones, if it happens)? Is it wrong to curb relationships if you feel genuinely insulted and belittled? And how do you explain it to the kids and the other party?

Is not being sinful synonymous with ignoring your own feelings about serious issues (values and morals)?

Or is it OK to proceed cautiously? Understanding that right now I don't have a comfort level? And that it’s OK not to. Being a Christian does not mean you are OK with everyone all the time, even if they are Christians too. And knowing it is OK to say “No” or “Enough. It is our family. Let us do it our way.” doesn’t make you any less in His eyes, even if it is hard for others to hear.

But I don’t think it is a final answer. I have to be open to change in the future? Knowing that we all change and grow. But knowing I want THE END, a resolution, RIGHT NOW? But learning to be OK with the now?
It is new for me, but I am trying. Learning it is OK to stand up for myself without beating someone else into submission…..and being OK with where it takes me…..that is what I’m learning today.