It’s been a growing conviction – a tide coming in.
The stacks of parenting books – they didn’t herald it. But it came. It keeps washing over me, gaining ground.
It is this: Learning to ask.
Or is it? Without this skill, we are lost.
The latest wave came on a Sunday on vacation. We were leaving church and my M (my heart and soul in 5-year-old-form) she couldn’t fasten her seatbelt. In fractured seconds, desperation turned to despair. Tears, crying, screaming…
I sighed deep. What to do with the drama? How to help this girl make progress? My first temptation has always been to MAKE THE CRYING STOP – to rush back and fix it. But my fixing…it can make deep cracks in my daughter. She must learn.
Somewhere in this parenting dilemma, the thought came, “She has forgotten something.” I spoke it as it came, “Emmie, you are forgetting something. You are forgetting that you have parents that LOVE you and that WANT to help you…IF you ASK.”
Little hands wiped away tears as she said, “Please help me with this.” I was almost crying with her as I buckled her up.
Then the words begin to slip into my soul.
The thin glass between M and I – it was a looking-glass.
In the mirror, I saw what I must look like to my heavenly father.
The second things start to go wrong, I throw up my arms in despair! I throw an internal fit. I huff. I puff. and I forget. I forget that I have a father that loves me. I forget that I have a Father waiting in the wings, wanting desperately for his child to cry out to him rather than despair…to bring her desperation to His feet.
The truth is that the tantrums, whether internal or external, they suck the life out of those around us. They rob us and others of energy. I teach my kids this, but do I teach myself? (more on this next time) Does desperation drive me to asking or to despair?
So right now, as a parent, and as a mother the biggest lesson to be learned in our house – asking.
7 “Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you.8 For everyone who asks receives, and the one who seeks finds, and to the one who knocks it will be opened. 9 Or which one of you, if his son asks him for bread, will give him a stone? 10 Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a serpent? 11 If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask him!
If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you.