"Kids do seriously hilarious things. We have two girls (ages 5 and 2), and I seriously would never come up with some of the things they do. Sometimes the things they do make me laugh out loud and others make me just want to stick my head and the sand because there is a melt-down ensuing.
There is no experience in my life that has been more sanctifying than being a parent.
Seriously, woah. No one could have ever prepared me for how to handle the hilarity, joy, and also the feeling that I'm going to just lose it if I have to explain one more time why they cannot eat the whole bottle of multi-vitamins.
A few months ago, I shared a post on facebook about how to " be mean" to your kids. And I received more comments on almost any post ever.
So many friends commented sharing the "mean" things they do to their kids. Things like brushing teeth, letting them know that their shoes are on the wrong feet, asking them to put away the laundry (that you washed, dried, and folded), not allowing them to run into the street, and teaching they should not lick things at the grocery store. You know, those things that protect them, teach them, help them mature into healthy people.
A story from my life...
I can remember one instance in particular while living in Michigan when God used my 2-year-old daughter's tantrum to teach me (in his loving, kind and gentle way). It was snowing and Annalee wanted to go outside and play in the snow. She had on only a diaper, so I explained to her that we needed to go upstairs and get her coat, hat, boots, clothes. She LOST it. She wanted to go right now! But, I knew that she was not prepared and if I let her go now, she would not be able to enjoy playing in the snow and worst case could be hurt by the unprepared exposure to the cold. I spent the next 15 minutes or so waiting for her to stop throwing a fit so that I could walk with her upstairs to get ready for the snowy fun that awaited her. And eventually, she agreed and we had a blast outside, but only because she was prepared for it.
What I learned...
My children are one of the main ways God speaks to me these days - both through their tantrums and their pure and innocent hearts. How many times have I fussed at God because he said "no" or "not yet," or in his kindness he protected me, but I viewed it as confining instead of a blessing?
I remember asking the Lord, " Is this what you feel when I don't listen or when I'm impatient?" Talk about convicting.
I wonder how our relationship with the Father would change if we related to Him in the manner in which we're trying to teach our children to relate to us? Acknowledging that He knows more than we do, coming to Him when we need help or when we messed up, accepting that when he asks us to wait that there is a loving purpose. I'm so thankful that He is a good, loving, and patient Father.