Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Three Word Wednesday :: Small Moments Matter

My boy and I had a rough morning the Friday his first week of kindergarten. Of course, I should tell you he didn’t start school until Wednesday, so we’re talking Morning #3. Anyway.

I also should tell you, he’s a morning person, and I’m not, really. He likes to start the day singing, tickling, playing, and talking. I like to start the day quietly and doing what needs to be done to get out the door, if we have somewhere to be.

You can probably already see the issue.

He changed his breakfast choice so he could copy his sister instead of making his own choice. He talked while he brushed his teeth while wearing in his school uniform shirt. He played with LEGOs instead of getting his shoes and socks. He skipped and ran and got distracted along the way.

And instead of seeing him as an active boy who loves life, I started nagging about hurrying up and not making messes and doing what I asked when I asked and being nice to his sister. Greg warned me my tone was condescending, but I kept on.

We mostly regrouped with a prayer and some hugs before Greg took the kids to the bus stop. And then I cried. Parenting is sometimes exhausting, especially when personalities clash and the momma feels a like she’s letting down her boy.

Greg ended up calling once he got to work and we talked. Well, I, of course, cried some more. We evaluated some of the current issues – most of which I had more to do with me and less to do with Ben. And we talked through some strategies.

I realized (or, rather, remembered ...) I default to demands that try to control the outcome when I’m frustrated. When I’m being honest, I realize that only ignites the situation – especially with my boy Ben.

I’d finished reading “Simply Tuesday: Small-Moment Living in a Fast-Moving World” by Emily Freeman the night before. I read the book quicker than I should have because the book was so in sync with what my mind and soul are experiencing but struggling to put into words. I marked paragraphs about child-like faith, everyday faith, smallness being great in the kingdom of God, and love.

Emily’s words made me fall in love with Tuesdays – the most ordinary day of the week – and benches. I’ve long loved having my people around the table, sharing real life together, so the bench analogy for relationships makes sense to me. Jesus didn’t go around building his father’s kingdom by constructing massive cities; he built relationships with people sitting on benches and wells, meeting them in their ordinary life.

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The same needs to happen in my house, where my family and I invite God to build his kingdom. Too often though, I try to dictate the reactions and outcomes. I try to force my kids – well, let’s be honest, the one who is less like me – into following my timetable and method for doing things. My way seems neater and more efficient. His way is certainly more fun.

I know God is teaching me here. I know these small moments matter for my family. {Tweet that.}

“As parents, we want so badly for things to turn out well, for the kids to get into a good school, make right choices, be safe and cared for. But this desire sometimes ends up polluting all the Tuesday moments, and we accidentally find ourselves building cities all over the laundry and the leftovers.”
{Emily Freeman in “Simply Tuesday,” page 133}

I pollute our house with demands and frustration over things that don’t really matter. When I do this, I rob the joy and peace from the kingdom God is building here.

I picked up my kids from the bus Friday afternoon with a refreshed perspective and grateful for the forgiveness that comes easily for children. My boy had a new Band-Aid on his leg, plans to play Super Mario Bros., and no worries for what was to come. And I headed into the weekend with an appreciation for the small things that really are the big things.

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