Sometimes you have to YELL!

It was a typical morning. Everyone- ok *I*- was rushing around, trying to get ready and run out the door. We were, of course, running late. I was trying to get the kids to brush their teeth. They, however were engrossed in Curious George and some toy tractors. I asked once. I asked twice. I told them, still somewhat calm and composed even though I knew I was probably going to be late for my first appointment of the day. Even though we have this battle more mornings than not. Even though I have told them they will end up with icky Shrek teeth if they don’t brush twice a day. I had not raised my voice.

The next time I came through the living room to see they had yet to even look in the direction of the bathroom, I did it. I yelled. I know all the parenting books out there tell you to maintain composure and not let the little monsters get the best of you. I know that I am supposed to use natural consequences for their actions, but all I could see that getting me in this situation was a big fat dental bill down the road. So I let loose a roar that likely startled the neighbors dog. Yet, somehow it barely managed to get the attention of my children that were just a few feet away. So, I yelled some more.

Mom? Did you say something?

Finally they realized that they were, in fact the little girl and boy I wanted so desperately to brush their teeth. *whew* When I finally herded them into the bathroom (and apologized for being a raving lunatic and asked them to forgive me- and to please listen better in the future) the lightbulb literally lit up over my head. Yes, Isabelle had flipped the light switch. But I also had myself a little teachable moment.

How many times has God asked me? Then told me? How many times have I flat-out ignored him while I continued on my merry way doing exactly what I wanted? How many times have I made God yell before I would listen? I think this is one of the biggest struggles Christians face. We want to do God’s will. We want to let Him lead our life. We want to listen to Him. But so often we question what He is telling us. We want that big “slap you in the face” kind of sign.

God will ask us to do His will. He will tell us. Is that enough for you? Or are you so engrossed in Curious George and tractors that you cannot hear what He is saying? Of course, sometimes we don’t really want to hear what is being said either. So God keeps telling us, and we manage to be so involved in what we are doing that we can pretend we don’t hear Him asking, we don’t hear Him telling us. All the while we are praying, “God give me a sign!”.

While all of this turns the normal parent into a raving lunatic we are dealing with our Heavenly Father and he has the patience of, well, more patience than, a saint. If all of the prompting and prodding doesn’t seem to do the trick He can, and will, raise His voice to His children so that He can be heard loud and clear.

I wish I could say that this realization has made me listen to every whisper from God… or made my kids listen, to anything, ever… or made me stop yelling. No such luck! If only it were that easy! But I am more aware, I am trying. That, my friends, is what I believe God wants more than anything. He wants us to try, and in that effort to grow in relationship with Him.

Besides, no one likes a quitter 🙂

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