A Perfect Christmas Present…
Yesterday a bowl fell out of the cupboard into my face and smashed off part of my front tooth. I am super bummed. My parents spent a lot of money making my teeth nice when I was a kid and I have alway appreciated that. I hate the idea of what I am going to have to go through to get this fixed and it has made me a bit grumpy overall. In addition it is causing me a bunch of pain. And eating is not enjoyable (which might be a good thing overall…).
What was that last paragraph…a fact tacked onto a whine fest. No one really wants to listen to that junk. As a mom I am an expert in recognizing a whine. It occurs frequently in my house. This is something we’re working on, but to whine or not to whine is the whiner’s decision even though there may be negative consequences should the whining occur.
It’s so weird how it happens actually. We can wake up and everything can be wonderful and all of a sudden, out of nowhere, the whine appears. It rears its ugly head and disrupts everything that’s going on. I can bribe or threaten, but it doesn’t matter when the whine comes out it’s the only sound you can hear in the house. All I want is to put in some earplugs and shut it out. I really don’t care that your socks aren’t on quite right (you took them off and put them back on yourself). It really doesn’t phase me that you want a drink of milk (you haven’t finished the water I got you 5 minutes ago…or was it 5 seconds?). And repeating the phrase “I want my Daddy” over and over again because you got in trouble is NOT going to get you out of it. Once again I must repeat…where are my earplugs?
Funny isn’t it how much the whine can get to you. It doesn’t even matter if you’re in a store and you hear in the background somebody else’s kids start it up…it still grates on the nerves. And even more than the chorus of my own children’s whining, I find adult whining to be especially irritating. And in thinking those thoughts…BAM! it hits me. I am a super whiner. Sure I may not whine to other people all that much, but I am starting to think that perhaps many of my prayers really have that whiny tinge.
(Seriously God, I don’t know how you put up with listening to your children most of the time.) When I am tired (the constant state of parenting) or sickly or had something crummy happen out it comes. “Oh God, why?” or “It’s not fair.”. Are my prayers seriously sounding like the noise of tired children? Do I keep repeating the same thing over and over? When did my time become a state of me doing all the talking?
How in the world does this blog relate to the title you ask? Well, we have been talking to our children about what we believe Christmas to be all about. We are trying to proactively teach our kids about giving being the most important thing you can do. And we talk about how this is the time of year we celebrate Jesus’ birthday. (SIDE NOTE: If you have a chance watch the movie The Bell’s of St. Mary’s for the fabulous Christmas play done about Jesus’ birthday…do it)
So, perfect Christmas present for God…earplugs. I mean if that’s what I want to shut out all the whining I have been hearing lately then God MUST really want some. I mean, don’t you think that He could use a break? I can’t be the only one that has been letting my mouth run a bit lately.
The thing is that shutting out the whining isn’t what I really want. What I really want is for the whining to stop. I want to have conversations with my kids. I want them to listen to the wisdom I have for them and enjoy our journey together. I want to have some peaceful quietness where we are enjoying each other’s company. I want to be able to really focus on what they are saying to me so I can meet their needs not just temporarily stop the noise.
I know that if that’s what I want for my relationship with my children it’s only a type and shadow of what God wants for His relationship with me His child. He doesn’t want to play a game of manipulation with me…where I badger Him to get what I want and He gives it to me to shut me up. He wants me to grow up in His love and His wisdom, listening to Hi and using the gifts He has given me to accomplish a lifestyle of lavish love. His desire is that I live differently than the whiny, greedy lifestyle of the flesh. Soft words destroy mountains of anger and frustration. This is the power that I can wield when I grow up. And as THE EXAMPLE my children see I believe their actions will also begin to reflect a new heart of joy.
And so, this year, instead of getting God earplugs I am making a pledge to stop whining. I am going to take to mind two scriptures to focus on.
2 Corinthian 10:3-6 The world is unprincipled. It’s dog-eat-dog out there! The world doesn’t fight fair. But we don’t live or fight our battles that way—never have and never will. The tools of our trade aren’t for marketing or manipulation, but they are for demolishing that entire massively corrupt culture. We use our powerful God-tools for smashing warped philosophies, tearing down barriers erected against the truth of God, fitting every loose thought and emotion and impulse into the structure of life shaped by Christ. Our tools are ready at hand for clearing the ground of every obstruction and building lives of obedience into maturity.
1 Thessalonians 5: 15-18 See that no one renders evil for evil to anyone, but always pursue what is good both for yourselves and for all. Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.
To You Dear Lord I give not only this day, but everyday, and every minute for Your glory. I lay aside my selfish ways and look up higher for Your ways. I will close my mouth and listen to what You have to say. When I do open my mouth You will hear streams of rejoicing thankfulness instead of whiny complaining. You really do meet ALL of my needs and I want to respond to all that You have given me. For Christmas this year I want to give You the prefect present. And so, I give You my humbled self. Renew within me again the heart of a servant for I want to be Yours. Happy Birthday Jesus!
(P.S. I started this blog on Monday, but got busy with the day-to-day. Since then I have been to the dentist who fixed my tooth and am doing wonderfully although I was informed that I will not be able to take a direct bite of an apple again…which means I would like a swiss army knife instead of earplugs so I can cut my apples next time I go apple picking. A good change I think. And by the way…aren’t my bath boys gorgeous? ~J)