Over the last several days at dinner time I committed to asking my kids this question “How did you see God at work in your life today?”. Considering this is a deeply spiritual question for a three, five and nine year old, they’ve done remarkably well. Of course, their responses have been anywhere from “Well, you put candy in my lunch today!” to “I chose to be nice when the other kids were being mean.” Nevertheless, it is great to see their young minds think about God actively working in their lives.
This morning, just like every other morning, my nine year old daughter was stressing about the day ahead and rushing to get her shoes on about ten seconds after we should have been on our way to school. She began to rant about her planner and demanded me to sign it, a ritual we do every night when she comes home.
I said, “I am pretty sure I already signed that, Lil.” She immediately got angry and accused me of not doing it. She then began to accuse me of not making her lunch for the day. I told her it was done and waiting on the counter. She then accused me of never doing anything for her. This is an exact quote. “You never do anything for me.”
I couldn’t believe my ears. Are you kidding? I’ve never done anything for you? Without going into the twenty plus hours of painful labor, I began to recount in my mind all the hours without sleep holding her when she cried, the last nine years of staying home abandoning my professional career for her, the hundreds of lunches, thousands of nail painting parties/tea parties, loads of laundry, piano lessons, and countless prayers for her safety. I just could not believe she had the audacity to say that to me!
Her dad heard this conversation. He immediately, and in no uncertain terms, explained that she was terribly wrong and owed me a big apology. Through tears she came into the kitchen and held out her little arms and said, “I’m so sorry, Mom.”
Instantly, as I wrapped my arms around my now sobbing daughter, I realized she is nine. She is a kid, a great kid who rarely does anything with hateful intentions. She is a child. Why would she remember all the countless hours of parenting? In her eyes, life is what it is, she has two parents who love her, an endless supply of food to eat and a warm place to snuggle in at night. She has no basis of comparison, yet. I hate that one day she will notice the atrocities and horrors in this world. I don’t want her to see what nightmares exist out there for some children. For now, she is a child that enjoys blessing without understanding how blessed she truly is.
I’m not much different than she in the eyes of God. So often I complain about life, and yet look how I am blessed! How dare I ever complain to the maker and provider of every breath I take when He has given so much!!!
On the way into the car for the trip to school she turned to me again and said, “Mom, I’ve already seen God at work today.”
I said, “Oh yeah, baby? How?”
She said, “Because you forgave me.”
Dear Father, thank you for my daughter! She teaches me so much everyday. She humbles me and touches my heart so deeply with her sweet spirit. Please help me to be the mommy she needs. Please don’t let her grow bitter because of my mistakes. Thank you for your endless blessings and your love. Thank you for forgiving me when I needed it so desperately! Amen.