Sleds in hand, my three kids and a neighborhood friend went into the front yard to have fun. When I took a break from doing work inside to see what they were up to. I was surprised to see them sliding down the steep slope that is our front yard. They were having a blast but I immediately had some concerns. We live on a busy street. Once the sleds, ridden by these precious children, got to the bottom of the hill it would go over the sidewalk and up the bank of snow made by the street plows. Instead of acting like a soft cushion to catch them, it acted like a ramp that launched them into the shoulder of the road.
This was not okay, especially because my friend’s child was involved. I feared for their safety but also was afraid that their mother would look out her window and see her little guy racing into oncoming traffic…on my watch.
That was it. Game over.
I asked the kids to find something else to do. I let the murmuring and complaining slide because I knew how crushed they were to stop the sledding. A few minutes later I peaked out the window only to see the tail end my youngest heading towards the road…again
I called everyone in.
No one was happy.
My oldest was the most upset. A bad attitude emerged. She was responsible enough to sled without going in the road. She wasn’t the one who disobeyed. She felt like she was being punished.
I will spare you the ugly details… but after she calmed down I was able to talk to her.
As the oldest child I get what she was going through. She felt she was missing out because of her younger siblings. While she was mature enough play within reasonable boundaries her brother and sister were not – yet. She didn’t want to be responsible for them. She didn’t want to be the example.
It wasn’t fair.
I needed her to trust, that at that particular moment, in that particular situation I knew what I was doing by calling everyone in.
I needed her to trust me.
I needed her to believe that there was a reason I ‘spoiled their fun’. This didn’t mean that she would “never ever” allowed to sled in our front yard again. I explained to her the immense responsibility it is to be in charge of another person’s child. I saw it in her face that she understood. I knew she could sled without going into the street…but there was no way she could continue to sled as they watched on.
I heard the words ‘at that particular moment, in that particular situation ‘echo clear.
I’ve been challenged by my One Word for the New Year to trust God much in the same way I asked my daughter to trust me.
There will be things I do not understand like:
“Why my prayers are not getting answered as quickly as I liked?” “Why am I in the midst of this trial?” “Why am I not doing _______________?
There are things I do not understand…but God does. There are things I do not know…but God does.
Dear Lord, Help me to trust You even when I cannot see what You are doing or understand why You are doing it. I pray that I can be the kind of person that praises you in the good and the bad. I trust that nothing can separate me from your love. Guide me through my day, as I trust that you are accomplishing Your Will in Your timing. Continue to speak truth to my heart…
Thankfully my daughter was humble enough, after tears and a few slammed doors, to listen to what I had to say. Deep down she knows that we love her. It’s our job to protect her as well as the others in our care but her emotions got the best of her and clouded her understanding. It wasn’t until she was able to hear truth that her perspective changed.