Tuesday, April 28, 2009


I spend my days with two small, but growing children. One who can talk(and talk and talk some more) and one who babbles and giggles in her own secret language. And growing in secret darkness and warmth, another little one who can by now hear our voices and wonder where we are, the family she hasn't met yet.
To our son, the talker, everything needs an explanation and discussion. Sometimes the why question is a genuine inquiry, a sincere need to know and understand. Other times, the question is asked as a stalling technique, often after a polite, but direct command or order is given. Those are the times that he is reminded to not question but please obey. Say, "Yes, Mommy".
Sighing, he parrots the words back, with slight irritation creeping into his voice.
Then off he goes to complete the task.
With the increase in vocabulary and language skills, I have noticed comes the ability to complain with greater ease and occasion. Complaints about rainy days, complaints about cold days, complaints about bored days, complaints about eating fruits and vegetables, complaints about gum chewing(not enough), complaints about schoolwork, housework, and yardwork. They all find their way into our conversations each day and I find myself complaining about all the complaining. It doesn't surprise me. We are an ungrateful people who have to remind ourselves to be thankful. Strange, since there are many things that require no such reminders, they come so naturally. Complaining being one of them.
It also doesn't surprise me because we are saturated with a worldview that features complaining at every turn and Christians are not immune. The local radio show hosts(Christians included) complain about how long the workday is, the commute, the traffic, the weather conditions for going to work and the worst of all, the weather conditions for the weekend. It's hard not want to complain since apparently there is so much lamenting to be done.
As our son grows and realizes the list of complaints multiply everyday, my job is to reverse those trends. Difficult? Yes, especially without complaining about it.
We start with complaints about the weather.
God sends the rain to make things grow.
What would we eat if God stopped sending the rain?
He answers: Eggs
Chickens need food to lay eggs.
Him: Oh.
And so we thank God for sending the rain despite the fact it pours when he'd rather be outside riding his bike or digging in the dirt with his trucks.
Somehow we must overcome this sinful desire to complain. ("It's not by might, nor by power, but by My Spirit" comes to mind, Zech. 4:6)
Here also are some wise words from wise mamas working on similar goals.
Mary from Owlhaven expounds on the same frustration of wanting to see immediate change in her children. She finds her answer in the Bible, where else?
And as Ann so amazingly articulates, even the dirt that we walk on, sweep up and wash away is a gift from God given to us as an inheritance to sustain us until we return to it. Her words as always, are rich and full of meaning. What a gift.

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