Wednesday, July 20, 2011

A Spiritual Time-Out

Earlier I sent my 8 year old to his room to take some time alone and talk to God.  His attitude had gone from just okay to downright not nice.  He was falling apart over little things and not responding well to anyone.  I told him he needed to just take some time and make things right between him and God, and that he could not come out of his room until he had done this.  About 15 minutes later, while I was in the shower (door open, mind you!) listening to my daughters slamming their bedroom door over and over and over, I thought, "I wish I had sent myself to my room to talk to God!"  If only, right? 

Nothing about my day started out great.  I woke up to my 2 year old screaming and crying.  As I entered her room, I smelled the offense!  She has experimented with removing her own diaper recently.  This time, something happened soon after for which she was ill-prepared.  She was trapped at one side of her bed absolutely terrified at what was laying on the other side!  Okay!  Bath time bright and early!  Laundry to follow. 

After breakfast, I agreed to let the kids build a monstrous house out of every cushion, pillow, chair, blanket, and book in the house, accepting that I would use the living room space for my workout this evening instead of this morning.  Shortly after this process began is when my son's attitude took a turn for the worse.  He's a perfectionist with very big visions; when he can't make the visions a reality, he becomes easily frustrated.  Meanwhile, my printer misprinted and ruined at least 4 pretty valuable coupons.  I realize this isn't a life or death issue, but when you're a single income family, saving money is key!  My online banking website also seemed to be having an off day, but when I finally reached it I realized that a check written weeks ago had not cashed.  It was now past due!  Beautiful!  (Please forgive the sarcasm.)  So, I could hope that my insurance company would practice some decency; that after I submitted an online payment, should they receive a check that they contact me before cashing it.  But, I don't have that much faith in insurance companies.  So, I sat on the phone with a very courteous bank representative who kindly stopped the payment of my check to the small tune of thirty-five dollars!  Yippee!  Well, at least that's done!

So, fast forward to my epiphany in the shower that I really wish I'd sent myself to my room to talk to God.  The reality is, that is exactly what I needed and need to do!  At least, in a sense.  So, maybe I can't actually remove myself entirely from my young children's presence for 20 minutes to go to my room for a real time-out, but I can take a spiritual time-out whenever I am smart enough to realize I need one.  This can be as simple as stopping, breathing, and refocusing on God, "the one in whom our hope should rest in quiet confidence all along."  Yes, all the little frustrations of the day are valid.  Each one was unexpected and irritating to some degree.  But, is it the end of the world?  Heck no!  An early bath here, some extra laundry there, $35 here....  It is going to be alright!  I would have realized that much earlier if I had simply taken a moment to remind myself of the one who holds my world in His hands. 

I had enough time and insight to afford my son the opportunity to go remind himself of the one who cares for him.  He could have taken two minutes or an hour and it wouldn't have mattered to me!  I just wanted him to take a spiritual time-out so that his day would get better and not worse.  Not surprisingly, he came downstairs after about 30 minutes and gave me a hug and apologized for his attitude.  I knew he had talked to God!  I never told him he needed to apologize to me.   But, this time of quiet meditation or prayer with His heavenly Father was all he needed to redirect his path.  He has been just fine ever since.  I will be too.  I have taken a few moments to quiet myself and place my cares in my Father's hands.  (They're much bigger than mine--He can hold an awful lot!)  I know I can't fix every aggravating thing that happens in my life, and I really don't expect God to either.  But, I know that if I quietly remind myself, in the middle of life's aggravations, that God cares for me and sees the end as well as the beginning, I can handle just about anything. 

*quote by Candy Chand, Gift of Grace

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