Are You Listening?

October 25, 2011

Little boys.

Their world consists of cars, trucks, and imaginary play. They are warriors fighting off the bad guys. They pretend to be grown men working at the computer, plowing snow, or driving a school bus.  No wonder they don’t want to stop when mommy says, “It is time for bed. Get your jammies on, please.”

They continue to play, making very loud sounds. “Let’s go, get your jammies on and brush your teeth.” No response. They don’t even look my way. I wonder - can they even hear me over their loudness? They must sense my presence. “Hello?!? Are you guys listening?”

Finally, all ready for bed and as we say our prayers, my prayer night after night is for my boys to be more obedient and to treat each other always with love and respect.

It was one of these nights where I was overflowing with frustration.  After the boys were fast asleep I was praying and asking the Lord to search my heart. Then what spilled out of my mouth I almost choked on. “Lord, I know I always pray the same things and I need to be told over and over because I don’t get it right away and sometimes I just don’t listen.” What??? Did I really just say that to God?

Oh, yes I did. I couldn't help think how frustrated God must get when His children don’t listen, when I don’t listen. What am I missing out when I am not listening? Then I am reminded how patient, faithful and loving He is and I want to be more like Him.

Oh how I not want to get so caught up in thinking I need to complete daily chores {that can honestly wait} where I am barking orders at my kids and perhaps missing something they are trying to tell me!  Instead, I want to lead them with loving gentleness. Stopping, listening and watching them, catching and memorizing every moment. Maybe if I give more of what I want then in return I will receive it back from them. 

Have a blessed day!

Retell The Story {Again & Again}

October 10, 2011

“Momma, can you tell us the girl story?” asks my three year old as I get the boys tucked into bed. I look at him, his eyes searching my face with anticipation for the answer. But before my mouth utters "not tonight” because my physical being is drained, my heart is being tugged.

Some nights I am left feeling defeated from the day. Trying to balance work, getting dinner on the table, homework done, baths, and even the entire ‘getting ready for bed’ process in itself is pure exhausting. Oh, how I want to cheerfully tell this story!

But, where my heart is willing, my flesh is weak.

A simple story takes too long to tell when I am tired and anxious to get them into bed. The thing is, I just can't tell the story. My boys stop me numerous times to ask a question or remind me of something I have ‘missed’.

This story I read somewhere and then paraphrased it to my boys one night at bedtime. Ever since then they ask me to retell it almost every night. Now since I don’t remember where I read it or who authored it I feel bad because I can’t give credit where it is due, but my children absolutely love this story.

Over the course of time, I have added detail to the story to give it more life for the boys, but it always ends the same. Perhaps you may have heard this same story, but I’m sure told a little differently ;-)

Here is our rendition.

Me: One day Sally went to her friend’s house after school to do homework together.

The boys: What is Sally’s friends name?

Me: Nancy. Nancy’s mom asked her to stay for dinner so she did. Before it got too late, Sally left and walked home since she didn’t live very far.

The boys: Why didn’t Sally just sleep over?

Me: Because it was a school night. To save time, Sally decided to walk through the alley-way.

Oldest son: No Mom, she saw the alley-way first, then decided to walk down it.

Youngest son: What is an alley-way?

Me: A space between two buildings where you can walk. Like a path. (Thinking to myself, where was I? Oh yes!) As Sally was walking she saw a man at the end of the alley.

The boys: What was he doing?

Me: Leaning against the building.

The boys: What is his name?

Me: Harry.

The boys laugh.

Me: That name is funny? I used to work with a Harry. (Now I’m really getting distracted from the story!) As Sally kept walking she started to get scared. She prayed to God and asked Him to protect her. All of a sudden she didn’t feel like she was alone and she wasn’t afraid anymore.

My youngest son: Because … (I’m not going to state it here in case you have never heard this story before)

My oldest: No! Not yet...

Me: Okay, boys. Can I tell the story? The next morning Sally was getting ready for school and she heard on the news a girl was hurt really bad by a man. It happened where she had walked home the night before.  

Sally decided to call the police and tell them she saw a stranger standing in the alley-way. The police asked if she would come in and look at some pictures. Maybe she would see a picture of the same man she saw last night. Sally agreed and went to the police station. She identified the man she saw in one of the pictures. So, the police went out and picked up the man and brought him in to question him. The man confessed to hurting the girl.

The police called Sally to thank her for helping them. She asked the police how come this man didn’t hurt me? I walked right passed him last night! The police didn’t know, but asked the man because they were curious too. The man said, “Are you kidding? She had two really BIG guys walking with her!”

The boys: God’s angels!

Me: Yes, God sent his angels to protect her. That is what he does especially when we call out to Him.

Then some nights the conversation continues about maybe there are angels sitting on our roof, at the end of the bed, etc. God is always with us. 

And in the end, I am so very glad there was that tug at my heart to tell the story...again! 

Have a blessed day!
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