Halloween Candy…..Stop the Madness!

Halloween candy is the worst thing ever!  Not only does it juice them up the night of Halloween but it lingers for weeks after as a source of constant conflict.

Can I have a piece of candy Mommy?

No

Why not?

Because there are healthier options.  A kid cannot live on candy alone.

But I have been so good!

Yeah, well you are supposed to be good.

Drives me crazy!  Yesterday my daughter asked for candy before lunch.  I told her she could have a piece if she cooperated for quiet time.  She proceeded to whine, wake up her brothers and not rest at all.  As I gave up on a quiet time and headed downstairs she had the nerve to ask for candy.

No Abigail, you broke our agreement.

Moments later, I look over and she is walking across the kitchen with her hand behind her back.

Abigail, do you have a piece of candy?

No Momma,

Last chance to tell me the truth.  You will be in bigger trouble if you lie than if you just tell me the truth.  Do you have candy in your hand behind your back?

No Momma, my back just hurts.

Seriously?  She’s five and she bold faced lied to me.  She’s advanced for her age, what can I say.  It broke my heart.  She’s too little to be covering things up.  Have I not created a safe place for her to be honest?  I was so hurt by her lie.

How often do we do just that to God?  How often do we cover up something and try to hide it when God is looking at us and saying, “I see that hand behind your back.  It will be easier if you tell me the truth.”

What’s in your hand behind your back?  I could be a past experience that you can’t talk to God about yet?  Maybe it’s an addiction that has taken the place of God in your life.  Maybe it’s stress instead of trust in God.  Perhaps its judging others instead of loving them.  It’s different for all of us.  For me, I feel like it’s often a cupcake instead of self control or snapping instead of patience.

Whatever it happens to be, God is offering an easier road in exchange for our honesty with Him.  Remove the hand from behind your back, open your palm and accept the plan.

Cupcakes and Crazies

How often do our children have opportunities to be naughty, ornery or stinkers?  Nearly every minute of every single day.  Leave markers on the floor and find murals on your walls.  Leave fabric markers on the floor find a new pattern on your ottoman (may have happened at my house).  Buy just one of any toy and ask them to share it.  Plenty of opportunity to get in trouble in an average day.

Now think of the last time you set your child up for kindness or goodness.  I hope you are coming up with more times than I did.  We have taken our kids to service projects at church and we have done good things for others but often we do them without the kids, or while they nap.  We have been robbing them of easy opportunity to be kind and caring to others and the joy that brings.

Lastnight, my daughter and I made cupcakes for a neighbor girl whose birthday was today.  We are new to the neighborhood and so are they so we have bonded over the last week as we have unpacked and they have helped us find our way around town.  This morning my daughter and I delivered the cupcakes and Abigail was glowing with joy for how happy she had made our neighbor.  A couple hours later the birthday girl came over with our plate and this note.

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Abigail was over the moon excited to receive a thank you note.  She ran in, showed her daddy and said, “I want to write her a thank you note back!”

I believe that God designed doing good to feel good so we would do more of it. It filled my heart to see my sweet girl feel so good after doing something kind for a new friend.  I plan to set her up for kindness more often.

Matthew 5:16
In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.

When your crazies start raising you…

I am finding that my children are speaking more and more crazy truth into me.  A few months ago, while cleaning my house like a mad woman before my daughter’s 4th Birthday Party I was shouting marching orders at my husband and kids and quickly making my daughter’s bed.  I was changing out her pillowcases when she stops doing what I asked her to do and asked, “Mommy, why are you changing my pillowcases?”  I snapped back at her, in my rush, “Because your pillowcases need to match the rest of your bed.”  She quickly and quietly replied, “But Mommy my friends aren’t coming over to see my pillowcases.  They are coming over to see me.”

She stopped me dead in my tracks.  She was right, darn it!  Here I was rushing around trying to get my house perfect to impress our guests who weren’t going to notice that I had wiped down my walls, dusted our ceiling fan blades and made our pillows match our sheets.  They weren’t coming over to judge my ability to keep a clean home.  They were coming over to celebrate this beautiful little girl, to love on her on her special day, to eat cake and have fun.  I have thought about this interaction countless times since it happened.

Sometimes we get so consumed with the image we are projecting, what others will think about our ability to clean our house, mother our children, wife our husband, work our job, balance our life, that we forget that we are already enough for the One and the ones who count the most.

Ephesians 2:8-10   For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God—  not by works, so that no one can boast. For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.

Thank you my Sweet Abigail for the reminder.