Monday, June 30, 2008

Lessons From Parenthood

Jeana: Noah, please put your clothes away.

Noah: Okay.

Noah puts his pants away and then pounces on his brother is who playing with Noah's toys.

Jeana: Noah, did you put your clothes away?

Noah: I put my pants away.

Jeana: What about your shirts? And socks? And pajamas and underwear?

Noah: But Toby will get my toys!

Jeana: Don't worry about what Toby is doing. Just do what I asked you to do, please.

That last line, that line I repeat 50 times a day. Okay, not really but sometimes it feels like it. It's frustrating to me that I have to ask Noah multiple times to do a simple task because he will only focus on what his brother is doing. There are variations on the above the conversation. Sometimes the complaint about Toby is that Toby is in Noah's way. Or that Toby is making a different mess that Noah would rather clean up than the chore I've assigned him.

The excuses don't matter to me. All I want is for Noah to simply get up and do what I've asked of him. Most of the time it would take him less than a minute. But many times the distraction and the complaining stretch the chore out into 15 minutes or longer and Noah misses out on several rewards because we no longer have time in the day to get to them. Things I know he would a walk to the park, or time spent playing a game, or making a special treat to eat.

I'm sure you see where this is going. I struggle with comparing myself to others. I have always struggled with this and even though I have had times of focus on God's direction, I know that I will most likely stumble in this area again. I know that God is infinitely more patient that I am so I don't worry that he is getting frustrated with me because I keep saying, "But So-and-So is doing this..." instead of simply doing what he asks me to do. However, it makes me sad that I am not pleasing him by being instantly obedient.

When Noah hops to it and does his chores quickly it makes me so proud and eager to just pour blessings on him. What if I am missing out on blessings that God is just longing to give me simply because I keep looking over at my brothers and sisters and saying, "But they're doing this, they're in my way, I want to do that instead." Additionally, Noah's prompt obedience is a clear sign of his love and respect for me. I hate to think that I am disrepecting the lover of my soul by doing something as petty and immature as comparing my calling to anothers.

Jeana, don't worry about what <insert your name here> is doing. Just do what I've asked you to do, please.


  1. yeah - like in the chronicles of narnia in the horse and his boy when aslan says to aravis, "child, i am telling you your story, not hers. no one is told any story but their own."


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