My family enjoys a little tradition each Tuesday:
Buy one scoop of ice cream and get one free at Swensen’s! What a simple, yet fun, way to enjoy being together as a family. By the way, my kids are huge fans of ice cream (that apple didn’t fall far from the tree! 🙂 and Paul is very good about pointing out the store to us whenever we walk by it, reminding us that this is the place to get the good stuff!
We moved at the beginning of July and that threw his whole world out of whack, resulting in lots of teachable moments and training times. Last week we were gearing up to go to Swensen’s, and we were just waiting on Paul to put his shoes on. Very dramatically, Paul refused to put his shoes on and made quite the fuss. I knew that Paul loved Swensen’s and I knew what would happen once he put his shoes on, and I couldn’t wait to give him a good thing.
Nat and Ellie were patiently waiting in the truck for Paul to put his shoes on, and yet he simply would not put them on. My heart was heavy when I told Nat to go to the store without us and as Nat pulled out of the driveway, I watched Paul’s face crumble in disbelief and shock. Oh the tears really flowed then. My little boy needed to learn a lesson though, and at that moment I could completely relate to the “this hurts me more than it hurts you” mantra. Paul hurried to put his shoes on, but it was too late. Nat was already gone. That definitely wasn’t the way we had planned the afternoon to go.
Later on that day, I was thinking about how desperately I wanted to give Paul a good thing, but I simply couldn’t because of his disobedience. As I was thinking about Paul’s actions, I realized that that’s exactly what I do to God so often. God asks me to simply obey Him (let go of bitterness, extend mercy, swallow unkind words, etc), and yet many times I act like Paul did in refusing to put his shoes on. Then when a situation blows up in my face, I run to God bewildered, thinking, “What just happened?”
Praise God for His longsuffering and compassion. What a good example to follow as we navigate these parenting waters. I’m happy to report this past Tuesday, Paul willingly put on his shoes and we were able to enjoy our family outing!
Living in Thailand is a daily adventure for Anne Williams and her family of five. In between all of the many language blunders, running after toddlers, and giving the neighbors plenty to smile at, she is grateful God’s grace is always available just when she needs it.