Wednesday, July 1
I have always joked that if I didn’t have to feed my children, parenting would be a lot easier.
Can I get an Amen?
Every day I wake up and I’m like, “I have to feed these kids again?!”
Mealtimes in our household have been a source of … frustration in my life. My older son, Brooks, who will be five in October eats as if everything is poison and as if time on earth has stopped. His menu consists of the same three things and he takes about 5 billion years to eat any meal. My younger son, Graham, about 17 months old, won’t sit long enough to eat anything so I walk around the house like a caterer holding a plate of hors d’oeuvres as he works the room and grazes only on the crowd favorites.
Giving either of them anything new or healthy is apparently attempted murder and giving vegetables is an especially heinous crime. The amount of times I remind Brooks to “EAT!” in what many would think is the common sense thing to do when food is in front of you is quite shocking, and I am almost certain he has the same negotiating skills as the top hostage negotiator in the country.
However, as much as I wake up each morning with that haunting question I mentioned earlier, I continue to give it a go. I continue to put vegetables on their plates. I continue to sit Graham in his high chair thinking, “Maybe today’s the day he stays.” I continue to give Brooks the same speech I give all the good ‘ole day long when I tell him, “Vegetables make you big and strong. Don’t you want to be big and strong like the Hulk?” I continue to offer Graham new foods even though he throws them on the floor. I continue to push Brooks to “TAKE THE NEXT BITE!” because I care. I care about them and their well-being. I know better than they do. I’m working to keep them healthy, safe, protected and, you know, alive. I know something they don’t: if they listen to me, it may seem like torture right now, but it will be better for them in the long run.
In Proverbs 1:33, it says, “But he who listens to me shall live securely…”. Whether or not we live with toddlers, young children, tweens or teens, we know better than they do. We’ve lived longer, experienced more, and was once their age. Sure, we make mistakes and don’t always get it right, but I know, especially when it comes to my two sons, it is best for them to listen to me because all I’m doing is allowing them to live securely. The decisions and choices I make for them are only to benefit them and not hurt them, regardless of what they may feel or think.
We teach our children by sometimes not giving them what we want when they want it because we know better. Sometimes God gives us what we want when we want it because He truly does delight in our joy. But sometimes God knows better. He knows what’s on the other side of that door that we think we need to walk through.
When Brooks was very little he used to walk in on me going to the bathroom and try to pull me off the toilet mid-pee yelling, “THAT WAY MAMA, THAT WAY!” I would sit patiently and calmly saying, “We’re not going that way yet, Sweety, you need to wait.” I’m mid-pee, ya’ll. I literally can’t go anywhere. Brooks didn’t understand what I was doing at that moment. He didn’t quite get that peeing required me to sit there and not move. I knew better.
And you know what? I think sometimes we are like little toddlers towards God when it comes to our lives and how we think they should go, and we are yelling at God, “THAT WAY, GOD! THAT WAY!!” And God is sitting there patiently and lovingly, (probably not peeing), saying, “We’re not going that way yet, Sweety, you need to wait.”
Because God knows better… and “he who listens to him shall live securely.”
Karen Veenstra, Family Program Coordinator
Karen is married to her husband, Adam, of nine years and they have two sons, Brooks (4) & Graham (1). They attend our Morris County campus. Your Elementary and Middle School-aged kiddos may also know her as Macy.
Check out today’s Boredom Buster! Click on the image below.