I spend a great deal of time planning our family’s dinner plan each month. I go through cookbooks, magazines, and websites trying to find recipes my family will love. With three very different children it’s rare that I find something everyone likes. When I do, I breathe a sigh of relief and the meal immediately goes into our “A” rotation. Most nights, however, someone at the table is less than thrilled at what is served on the plate in front of them.
You can’t please all of the people all of the time.
I have given myself over to the fact that not every meal is going to be a home run. Even though I know this, there are times when I get discouraged. What really frays my senses after a long day is the complaining. After the complaints have died down and the kids have resigned themselves to eat their dinner and the negotiations begin.
“How much do I have to eat to be excused?”
“How much do I have to eat to get dessert?”
They want to know the bare minimum they will need to consume in order to get what they want. That’s hard on this mama who makes the effort to serve her children. I get excited about new meals so when I am met with hearts that lack gratitude I need grace to get me through.
I have been known to negotiate with God.
“Do I really have to stop watching this TV show; it’s not that bad…”
“I don’t need to go to church this week; after all I went the last three weeks…in a row! The pastor won’t be there anyway.”
“How many times a week do I really need to pray for it to count?”
As I consider the hearts of my children and my frustrations at meal time, I realize there have been seasons when I have tried to get away with as little as possible in regards to my relationship with God. Even now I am realizing there are chosen places in my life I have not given Him complete control. I am trying to hold on to that last little bit of what’s mine,
What if they were all His instead?
“Can I serve You if I don’t give You everything?”
He will use what I give Him but I will never come into the fullness of what He has for me. My wildest dreams that are buried in my heart, just waiting to spring forth, will lay dormant.
It’s safe to say my kids will not get the nutrients they need if they only ate what they wanted to eat. “Winning” the negotiation might seem like something to celebrate. Wearing me down so that I eventually let them leave the table minus one meal in the day doesn't seem like a big deal but when it becomes a habit it will catch up with them. They will begin to lack.
Aware of my tendency to bargain I am moving ahead, seeking to give my all…everything.