The First Time

“It’s time to go guys!  Get your shoes on!”  My simple request fell on deaf ears as my three rambunctious kiddos tore around the house, continuing to play a rowdy game of hide-and-go-seek tag.

“Come on! Let’s go!  We are going to be late.”  I said in a slightly firmer voice.

This time, my kids paused long enough to acknowledge that I was standing in the hallway and words were coming out of my mouth.  However, I suspect they were experiencing the Charlie Brown phenomenon where every adult word sounded like a muffled trumpet: “wha, wha, wha, wha, wha wha wha whaaaa.”

As they ripped around the corner of the living room, they grabbed the rickety stairwell banister along the way.  This is, of course, the rickety banister post that we have told them countless times to NOT yank on!

I could feel my blood pressure starting to rise.

The next lap around the house proved to be their last.  Like a football linebacker planted on the field, I took my position in the middle of the hallway.  Undeterred, they barreled towards me.  But I was ready.  I grabbed the first kid I could get my hands on and bellowed: “IT IS TIME TO GO!  PUT ON YOUR SHOES AND GET IN THE CAR!!!!”

To which my cheeky oldest son responded: “wow mom, you don’t have to yell at us.”

ARE. YOU. KIDDING. ME?!!!!

As the kids sheepishly put on their shoes and headed to the car, I took my own lap around the house, trying to decompress and get my temper in check.

“Why can’t my kids ever listen the first time?!”  “It shouldn’t be so hard to pay attention and do what they are told!”

As I grumbled under my breath, a gentle whisper caught me off guard.

“How often do YOU listen to ME the first time?!”

That stopped me in my tracks.

The tender thoughts continued: “How often are you so distracted that you cannot hear My voice?  And when you do hear me, how often do you question what I’m asking you to do?”

My initial anger and frustration at my wayward children, melted into humble acknowledgment of my own child-like tendencies to often miss or completely ignore my Heavenly Father’s gentle prompts.

Should children listen to and obey their parents?  Well, that’s a no brainer, isn’t it?

Will they get it right every time?  Absolutely not.

While it’s important for me to correct my kids when they are drifting off course, it’s also important to remember that they are just kids being kids.  And my often-time “spirited” offspring need love and grace and gentle reproof just like their less-than-perfect mama does from time to time.

As I stood in my hallway, allowing the Holy Spirit to lovingly redirect my agitated thoughts and temper, I was filled with a sense of complete and utter gratitude.  What an amazing God I serve!

He cares enough about me AND my children to regularly guide and redirect me to His truth and grace.

He unfailingly teaches me about His FATHER HEART and reminds me of His overwhelming love and affection for ME and for ALL of his children.

Oh!  That I would ALWAYS choose to listen, learn, and to respond to Him the FIRST TIME.  How much more could I grow, flourish and be a blessing to those around me?!

And, Oh that I could grow to be the kind of parent to my children that God is to me!

It’s nice to know that all I have to do is cry out to HIM, and He is more than willing to help show me the way.

boys running

“He who has my commandments and keeps them is the one who loves Me; and he who loves me will be loved by my Father and I will love him and disclose myself to him.”  John 14:21

“Commit everything you do to the LORD. Trust him, and he will help you.”  Psalm 37:5

 

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