Sunshine and Gratitude

Lindsey with ButterflyYesterday, in the sunshine of our backyard, Lindsey and I had one of our best talks yet. Earlier in the day, she had gotten angry with me about something I said, something she took entirely the wrong way. I was feeling sad and frustrated that our relationship still isn’t where I’d like it to be — where I feel it needs to be for me to have any influence in her life in the brief years before she’s out on her own. But she came out to talk to me, which was in itself a huge improvement from just a couple of years ago, when she would’ve simply hidden in her room indefinitely.

In yesterday’s talk, I was able to tell her many of the things that usually would’ve made her angry, and this time she seemed to really listen, and we had a real conversation. She told me why she got mad, she apologized, and she acknowledged that she took it entirely differently than I had intended. We talked for a long time — sometimes tearfully — and even talked about school, which tends to be a volatile subject.

Lindsey said (not for the first time) that she has a hard time talking to me and trusting that I have her best interest at heart, because “everyone has always walked out on me.” This time, though, it occurred to me (thank you, Jesus!) to tell her, “No. They haven’t. For the first 14 years of your life, that was true, but we haven’t walked out on you and we’re not going to.” I don’t know how long it will take for that truth to sink into her heart, but I’m praying it does.

I wrote all this in my journal this morning as a praise to God, but also as a reminder to myself. I have had great difficulty not letting my frustrations show in my interactions with Lindsey, but that’s not godly parenting, and it’s not what she needs. I prayed this morning that my heavenly Father would help me mother my children with joy, never forgetting what an honor and privilege it is to do so. I prayed that He would help me greet them with smiles, hug them often, and not let their attitudes or responses dictate my attitude towards them. I know the time is short, and I want to make the most of it. (Ephesians 5:16)

Multitudes on Monday

More gratitude for the past couple of weeks:

1241 – Finding pants Kathryn likes and will wear — a far bigger deal than it sounds!
1242 – Our “puppy” Lacy turned 5 years old.
1243 – Hosting a few homeschool moms here for a little “ladies’ night out.”
1244 – A Valentine coffee date with my love.
1245 – Even though plans for a getaway fell through, Ken and I still had a weekend alone, just the two of us.
1246 – Uninterrupted conversation with Ken at dinner.
1247 – Yummy breakfast date — and a gift card to pay for it.
1248 – Kathryn’s stubborn tooth (a molar) finally fell out.
1249 – A good visit from my Dad.
1250 – A fun family day with new experiences and the making of memories.
1251 – Amazement at the variety of creatures God made and the intricate detail with which He made them.
1252 – Praying with my husband.
1253 – Flexibility of homeschooling when a child isn’t feeling well.
1254 – Free trial of Netflix allowed us to watch a few educational films on a sick day.
1255 – All that my sister does for my dad with his doctors appointments and such.
1256 – Kathryn was able to do the racer derby, even though we had no idea what night it was and almost missed it. And the fact that our big God cares even about small things like that.
1257 – Sitting in the sunshine, and much-needed talks with the teen daughter God put in my life just a few years ago.

Even when circumstances of life are hard and we can’t see what He could be doing or why, our God is good. He’s been showing me this again lately, and with all that’s going on with my Dad, I really need that reminder.