Life is about Choices


This morning my youngest was complaining that she was cold.  I reminded her that she had a nice warm robe hanging in her closet that might help her.  To which she replied, “But then I would have to leave my orange roll.”  (A favorite “special breakfast…thanks Pillsbury!)

I said “Life is all about choices” and she said “No it isn’t; it is about God.”

I am happy that this would be something she would say to me as we talk about life and why we live it.  I am extremely happy after the day I had yesterday with my two girls.  It is so frustrating to try to do all the “right” things yet not see your kids living a life that reflects all the “right” things.  Yesterday my handsome fella had to step in and talk to the girls about how poorly they were treating me.  I am not looking for accolades of praise for everything I do, but I would just like nice words or no words at all.  It seems that I don’t ever please my girls.  I hear lots of heavy sighs, cries of “I’ll never get….” and “why nots”.

I try hard to say “yes” as much as I can but there are some things I just can’t change.  Like yesterday when one of my girls said that Halloween was on Monday and I said that it was not this monday but the next so a little over a week.  She argued with me and then got angry about it.

It is a calendar.  I don’t write it.  I can’t change it.

Then there was the child that wanted a certain “pattern block”.  I had tried to get some better descriptions from her as I was not aware of anything we owned called a pattern block.  For two days I had been trying to figure this out and finally I thought of something it could be.  So on Friday, while the girls were at school, I went out the storage shed and opened up some of the boxes we packed up this summer when trying to sell our house.  I was thankful to find what I thought were the “pattern blocks” in the fourth box I opened.  I was so proud and put them on the table so she would see them when she got home.

Her response went something like this– Mom, these AREN’T pattern blocks.  Now I will NEVER have pattern blocks.  These AREN’T them.

So tell me….please…what are they.  I’ve been trying for days.

I did say to this child.  It is ok if these are not the right thing.  But could you try to say it nicer.  Something like “Mom, thanks for trying to find my blocks, but this isn’t what I was talking about.”

These are just two examples of the “fun times” we had right after the girls came home yesterday.

Then later in the evening as we were leaving a friend’s house after our small group Bible study (Brad was at work and not with us).  I was standing at the door getting a few more minutes of chatting in and the girls went to the van.  The van was in front of another house’s yard and the door was closed.  But what could I hear from the front door???

Yes, I could hear my two precious girls yelling at each other and screaming.

Ahhhh, it warms a mom’s heart to hear that as you stand talking to a friend.

I used the remote opener to open the door and let them know I was aware of the situation.  After the doors closed it was just seconds before I could hear it going again.  (Sigh)

I got in the van and didn’t scream, but instead I said “Girls I don’t understand it.  You go to church, Bible club, Pioneers, we have devotions as a family….yet I see little evidence of what you are learning.  I see little fruit.  What kind of trees are you?  What kind of fruit are you producing?  If you are applying what you are learning in all these places then I will see love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.  But I’m not seeing it.”

They got still and quiet.

I turned on the van and we drove away.

I used to say when I taught school that I felt like I was hitting my head against the wall—saying the same things over and over but no one was getting it.  I’m at that same place as a Mom.

As a teacher I would reflect and adapt.  So as a Mom I’m trying the same thing.

Life IS about choices.  I need to choose as a Mom to strive to raise daughters who know, love and serve him.  I need to be doing that myself in order to teach them.  I need to make sure that I am adjusting to the culture of my kids in a way that will reach them.  My kids are only with me for a season.

By the way—the “pattern blocks” were eventually found after Dad talked with the child and she came to me and did a much better job of conversing with me about what she meant by “pattern blocks”.  She was willing to answer my questions to help me understand.  We found what she was looking for on the shelf in her room, right by all the things she plays with daily.  And for the child that was cold….still as I type this at 10:30 on Saturday morning she doesn’t have her robe on but instead is curled up on the sofa under a sofa pillow to keep warm.

Ah, I love my family.


3 responses »

  1. I just sat down at my computer after sending our six children out the door, with their father, to help with yard work at an Aunt’s house. My last words were, “tough it out,” as two children were complaining about uncomfortable socks, and lack of a hat.

    Thank you for sharing your frustration, and helping me to know that I am not alone. I love the “no fruit” example. That is exactly what my children are lacking right now. (ok, and maybe me, too!)

    On a postitive note, when I cook a nice meal, my kids almost always thank me. It starts with one, and then I hear five more times, “Thank- you, Mommy.” It used to drive me a little nuts, because it seemed so “rote,” but I have learned to savor it, and be thankful that they are thankful!

    There is hope! You are doing a great job, Becki!!!!

  2. Thanks Kelly. You are right about how we need to savor the nuggets of thankfulness that we get along the way. Maybe we should be like the squirrels and hide them away for the “winters of life” when the thanks seems to be more sparse.
    I’m beginning to see a new purpose for all the acorns in my yard. A reminder to be thankful, share my thanks and recall good times!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s