Friday, February 06, 2009

Trusty and her little dude after dinner last night...

You Haven’t Tried It Yet

Anna has this fixation with being scared lately… as in, she thinks she loves scary stories. She thinks she loves being scared, or being brave while others are scared. Anytime she hangs out with someone she asks them to tell her a scary story. When they say, “A scary story? Why do you want to hear a scary story?” she tells them, “Because I love scary stories!” The truth is, she’s never really experienced anything very scary yet. She’s never heard a really scary story at all. Basically she’s watched a couple of intense scenes in Disney movies that we used to fast forward and so now she believes herself to be un-scare-able. Let’s be honest: Ursula and Scar are not that big of a deal. If she were to come face to face with something that is really bone-chillingly scary, she would freak out… she just hasn’t actually tried it yet.

I think there are tons of things like that in our lives that we write off because we just don’t know and we don’t know because we haven’t actually tried them out. Like the idea that being humble, contrite and sorry when you’re wrong is actually more fun than being right…

On Monday morning I took our three kids to Wal-Mart by myself for a little grocery trip. We take this adventure surprisingly often, so I knew I could do it, but there were several things on that particular morning that made it difficult. For one thing, the girls woke up on the wrong side of the bed. By the way, I used to hear people talk about ‘waking up on the wrong side of the bed’ and scoff, but it’s totally a thing! Some days they are just grumps, and this was one of them. They complained about their breakfast and then didn’t eat it. They complained about their shoes and the fact that they had to wear coats and hoods (it was cold and rainy). They complained about the music in the car and Anna kept dropping something she was playing with and whining about how she couldn’t reach down to retrieve it while buckled up. I was cold and soaking wet from fastening seatbelts in the rain. It was a nine-minute drive so completely packed with huffs, puffs and grumbles that by the time we got to the store, I was at the boiling point!

Somebody said something ridiculous and I lost it. I just lost it. I went off on them and told them what a terrible day it was shaping up to be. My heart was pounding in my chest and I felt like I was going to ‘hulk out’ at any moment… The car was totally silent except for the twenty-seven-pound raindrops hitting the glass and that’s when it hit me: a choice. I had a choice. It was as clear as it was preposterous, but in those moments of silence I knew that I could either stay mad, and ruin that whole morning, or I could apologize to my kids and redeem it. It was right there in front of me, but something held me back…

In Ephesians 4 Paul said, “Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love.” I was going to have to humble myself before my five-year-old, before my three-year-old, and before my three-month-old! People don’t really do this kind of thing easily. We would rather be right. We’re embarrassed to be wrong… to need forgiveness… to humble ourselves, especially before little kids, but the problem is that we just haven’t tried it yet. You see, I went for it. I turned around and looked at those little sad faces and said, “Guys, I’m really sorry. I was wrong to get so mad. I really love you. Will you forgive me?” Their joy was instantaneous! They forgave me and returned my love and we had a great shopping trip. By the time we came out of the store even the rain had turned to snow! It felt like my heart had done the same thing: the dreary wet became light and beautiful and I was happy… it really works. You should try it sometime!


Hannah said...

the other week anna said...."hannah! we both have blond hair, except mine is a little lighter and we both LOVE scary stories!" haha, crazy girl..

Hannah Marie

The Hull Munchkins said...

Oh baby Jack, you and your sisters are growing entirely too fast!! I'll have to think up some scary stories to tell you next time we hang out! That is so funny.

Your grocery trip made me squirm and laugh out loud at the same time! Kids make life so much more challenging and hilarious.

I love reading about my little nieces and nephew.
-Aunt Paba

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