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There are moments when we are taught lessons that interrupt our direction in life, for good or for bad. Either way, the incident leaves a scar. For me, a scar symbolizes a victory, because if your scar had never healed, you would not be here today. I share some of my scars with you in hopes that you will learn from my experiences, or at least gather some insight to help you make it through your own. This book was inspired from a life lesson I was trying to teach my daughter, but as it turned out, I was the one being schooled.
I had it in my mind to do something nice for my daughters because they had done well on their report cards. Since my oldest daughter needed a skirt for a field trip, I figured I’d take advantage of the opportunity. I took both girls, including my little one, along with me to go shopping.
We searched up and down that store for a skirt that my 13-year-old would actually like and want to wear. If you have teenage girls, you already know the dilemma I was facing. Selah. After about twenty minutes, I found a skirt and asked my daughter to try it on to see if she’d like it. She argued with me for about five minutes about trying it on because she didn’t like the way it looked on the hanger. Now my back was starting to cave in, so I told her (through the grinding of my teeth) to try it on anyway because she might like the way it fit. Who doesn’t love a pencil skirt?! Of course, she loved it.
On the way to the cashier, she decided she needed a jacket now, too. She was pushing me to the limit—and when I say “me,” I mean “my budget.” We found a cute red jacket. Then my little one decided she was in love with this see-through backpack. I asked her how much, then I calculated the cost of what my bill would be, including what my other daughter had already picked up.
I was thinking, “Woah, I’m way over my budget. My husband’s going to kill me.” But in the back of my mind I was telling myself, “They earned it and they deserve it.” So after I told her no the first time, I changed my mind and told her, “Go ahead and get the backpack, but if you want ice cream, this is going to cut into the ice cream cost.”
I had promised them something special and I was thinking ice cream was the cheapest thing I could get away with right then, but now she wanted this backpack on top of my older daughter’s items. So I was feeling a little concerned. While in the checkout line, I asked myself where I could get cheap ice cream so I could at least still give them a treat. Where else? McDonald’s … duh. But of course, my girls are too sophisticated for a simple McDonald’s ice cream.
As we pulled up to the drive-thru, my little one caught a huge attitude about how she doesn’t want this kind of ice cream! I began to reiterate that she had just left the store with a cute outfit and she should be grateful that she still getting ice cream, considering it was way over budget. She began to tear up. I told her how disappointed I was that she was acting that way, and that she wasn’t being grateful for the experience and appreciative of having ice cream. I wanted to yell at her, but I’ve been really trying to tone my attitude down and control my emotions. Which is another lesson I’m trying to teach my kids by MY example … not always successfully. Meanwhile, my oldest daughter sat in the back seat, not saying a word.
I told my little one how extremely close I was to returning the outfit I’d just bought her and not buying any ice cream at all. But I didn’t do it. I was already in the drive thru, which doesn’t mean a thing really; I could easily drive right past the window and order nothing! I’ve done it before. Parents, please tell me you understand and that I’m not the only one. Can I tell you, I was fire-hot inside because I could not believe how ungrateful she was acting! Well, after a few minutes my daughter finally apologized for her actions and her bad attitude. She said she was happy and thankful for the ice cream. She dried up her tears and happily licked away at the M&M sprinkles. Did I mention how upset I was about her lack of gratitude? Yes, I think I did.
Fast forward to the next morning. I’m in the shower speaking my daily affirmations, getting ready for my day, wanting to have that power-start morning, yet dreading to go to work, when I hear a voice tell me, “The same lesson you were trying to teach your daughter last night, I’m trying to teach you.”
“Wow!” I thought to myself. “I am acting as ungrateful about my life as she was about the ice cream.”
I immediately replied, “Thank you for the ice cream, Lord. Forgive me for being ungrateful. Forgive me for not being thankful for what you’ve given me and what you’ve done for me. Forgive me for being short-sighted and not grateful for what you have planned for my future.”
My whole mindset shifted that day. Even the confessions that were coming out of my mouth were altered. I started thanking God for everything under the Sun. I mean, I was laying it on Him! I was thanking Him for waking me up that morning, I was thanking Him for my children, thanking Him for my husband, thanking Him for my job, thanking Him for my car, thanking Him for where I lived, for the bed I slept in, for the hair on my head, for the use of my limbs, etc., etc., etc. I thanked Him so much that day because I realized that I had been holding myself back from all the good that God had reserved for me.
However, I knew there was more to this story than what He spoke to me that morning. So of course, I asked. I knew my lesson was not over that quickly. I also knew that God was being gentle with me, using just that one statement. Before I get to describing the shift this made in my life, I have to finish explaining the damaging effects of my grumbling. And for that I would have to take you all the way to the beginning, but I don’t really have the time. So I will share some of the events that triggered the grumblings.
God will never perform a major surgery on our heart without getting our consent first. He gives us a tug and hope that we respond fully to complete the process. Allow Him to gently redeem you from yourself. I promise you’ll benefit from the process. ❤
Celebrating Mental Health Month in May! #MHM2019 #betteryou #4mind4body