Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Just Say "NO"

I choose battles. Sometimes I win and sometimes I lose. Sometimes my desire to fight is determined by how dangerous the behavior/circumstance is to my child. Sometimes I guess socks with sandals will not kill them. Although, I do want EVERYONE to know that I am well aware of the fact that it is after Labor Day and socks should NEVER be worn with sandals…now you all know that I know that, so don’t look at me funny! I suppose it can never hurt someone to have a lollipop before dinner if you are at a restaurant and it will allow for pleasant conversation. I can handle that. I’m even OK every now and then if my children would rather sleep on the extremely hard floor instead of their bed…just go to sleep already! These are a few examples of battles that I will wave the white flag to. Go ahead, you win. It’s done. Put a fork in me, I’m done. So, what battles will I stand firm in? Some days it varies. There are always variables in parenting, aren’t there? There is the sleep variable. The “I have a new baby 7 hours of television will not kill you” variable. There is also the, “You can have Coke with lunch, you’re spending the night with Grandma.” These are only a few.

This morning I guess I was just looking for a fight. Julia has been asking for a while if she can recycle. I know that I need to do something to save the planet, but it’s overwhelming how much everyone is pushing. So, I decided that our “one thing” would be to recycle our grocery bags. You have to return them inside out, so we were turning all of our bags inside out. Anson was working on Thank You notes, so the girls and I were bag flipping. Well, Ella thought it would be a good idea to put a bag on her head. Because I am not 2 years old, I knew this was a really bad idea. Not only was it a bad idea, it was deadly. I immediately took the bag from her (duh) and said, “Ella I don’t have to let you put a bag on your head. It’ll kill you.” She was furious! In that second I thought of all of the times that God took the bag out of my hands. Ella wasn’t mad because she couldn’t suffocate. She was mad because I refused to give her what she wanted...her will be done. The ONLY reason I refused was because her decision would have resulted in certain death. Scream all you want, I’m not going to allow that. You can terrorize me all day long about gum and eventually I’ll give it to you. You can beg for popcorn with a movie and I’ll budge. I will not, however, allow my children to participate in activities that I know will, without a doubt, kill them. Physically or spiritually. That’s my job.

You know who else has that job? God. Do you know that the Psalms teaches us that God never sleeps nor slumbers? My husband is guilty of “dozing” while a game is on. I’ll tell him to turn it off and go to bed and he says that he was watching it. God doesn’t watch me like Mike watches the game. Do you know that God rejoices over you with singing? That’s right. He adores us in amounts we will never know. He is a good parent. He will not allow us to put a bag over our head. Scream all you want. He will not do it.

So, as we kick and scream and demand things that we think will be fun and good for us, perhaps He withholds because He knows what we need and what will kill us…or at the very least, send us to the ER.

Things are hard these days. I find that this is not as easy as I thought or maybe as I make it look. HA! Being a parent is so stinkin’ hard and I never turn off. Even now the girls are calling for me because like a moron I let them have a little bit of Coke with lunch and they were NOT spending the night with Grandma. Please, please, PLEASE GO TO SLEEP! What I derive so much security from is that I am a child, too. I have a good parent who is keeping watch. Jesus is interceding without ceasing on my behalf. He is not going to allow me to have anything in my life that is dangerous. He will take any bags that I am playing with. He'll do that because He loves me and because He is good.

“He will not let your foot slip---he who watches over Israel will not slumber; indeed, he who watches over Israel will neither slumber nor sleep.” Psalm 121:3-4

“The LORD your God is with you, he is mighty to save. He will take great delight in you, he will quiet you with his love, he will rejoice over you with singing.”
Zephaniah 3:17

“Therefore he is able to save completely those who come to God through him, because he always lives to intercede for them.” Hebrews 7:25

NOTE: After reading this again after posting I feel a little uncomfortable. I know that we live in a fallen world and there are things all around me that are harmful. The point here is that God is a good parent. He has made a way for us to be reconciled to Him, and is constantly keeping watch over us. I feel that it is very important that this be Biblically sound, and sometimes I just get nervous. So, please read your Bible daily...and I'll do the same.


Berry Patch said...

I think you got it right. While we may live in a fallen world, God still wants to protect us like we want to protect our children. While there may be things that happen that we can't change as a parent, we always strive to do our very best. Jeremiah 29:11 is always a great verse. I truly believe that one. I love reading your thoughts. Keep posting. :-)

Christy said...

You truly wrote this perfectly. Thank you for sharing!!

Jo said...

Ah the variables of parenting. Yes, I discovered the 'I just had a baby and 7 hours of tv won't kill you' one a while back. You're so great, Ali. Definitely made to be a teacher.