Friday, November 28, 2008

Embracing the Good and Bad of Life

"In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you." I Thessalonians 5:18

I think many times, as parents, we wonder if our children are truly learning the things that we are teaching and instructing them about. Occasionally, we are blessed with moments that affirm that they are learning and listening even when we thought perhaps they weren't. I had one of those treasured moments early this morning.

Our kids have been working through a stomach bug all week. Mostly our Gentle Strength.(middle child) Everyone seemed well and energetic yesturday and we shared a very laid back and enjoyable Thanksgiving Day together. We did the traditional 'go around the table and say things that you are thankful for'. We were prompting the kids to be as specific as they could. Not just saying, "I'm thankful for Dad;" but saying why they were thankful for Dad, etc.

After we had gone over all of the many blessings we have in our life, we took a moment to remember those who were no longer with us this year at Thanksgiving. My husband and I have both lost dear grandmothers this past year. We explained to the kids that although we miss them, that we are thankful that they both knew the Lord and that they are celebrating up in heaven with Jesus right now. We talked a very few minutes about how we need to be thankful for both the good and bad in life because we learn many things from going through difficult times.

The lesson was cut short with requests for "more green bean casserole" and wonderings about which kind of pie they might choose later on. Sadly, the pie had to wait...both our Gentle Strenth and our Beauty became very ill (stomach bug having gained new momentum.)

Shortly after midnight, I was brushing back my daughter's hair and telling her how sorry I was that her Thanksgiving had ended so sadly. Her response? Shockingly, she said, "It was still the best Thanksgiving ever. We need to be thankful for the good and the bad right? I'm thankful that you love me enough to be holding and brushing my hair back when I am sick...." Quite honestly, I had been the one sad about how Thanksgiving had ended. In those few moments I was blessed beyond words at my daughter's quick and heartfelt response and also challenged that I had allowed their sickness to cut my thankfulness short.

As I slipped back into bed, I was truly thankful that my daughter had been sick...we may have missed a treasured moment had we simply had a bunch of pie with whipped cream and ended the night with a movie as we had planned. Pie, whipped cream, and movies can come later...thank you God for the good and the bad that comes our way...thank you that if we allow you to, you can change the bad into good. It doesn't always become apparent right away. Sometimes it can take months or even years; but when we gaze in hindsight, we can often see the hand of God at work - weaving in the dark threads here and there required to make the tapestry of our lives vibrant, full, and beautiful.

"And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose." Romans 8:28

Many Blessings!


Daveda said...

Awww...I love that! "Good parents realize that God can use their children to teach them." ~ Daveda

Tammy said...

Isn't it humbling when our children put us back on the path? What a blessing and a wonderful way to end the holiday. :-)

Anonymous said...

"Out of the mouth of babes..." It's comforting when you realize that they "get" it - even more than we do sometimes!

Love Mr. Spaghetti Face, by the way!

Leslie said...

What an awesome story!! We should never be to old or too prideful to learn a thing or two from a precious child! Your children are adorable, you have a beautiful family!

Thanks for stopping by my blog, keep in touch!

Kathryn said...

A "Beauty" indeed ... inside and out!

Thanks so much for sharing that. If I had had the strength to read before today, I would've known that you guys were battling that stomach bug, too. Mine hit on Thanksgiving morning; Chris and Katy had to prepare their own Thanksgiving dinner. (Fortunately, I had prepared and assembled most everything the day before.)

I do pray that "Beauty" and "Gentle Strength" are recovering now ... and that "Littlest One" (and Mom & Dad!) remain impervious to the sneak stomach attack!