There have been many things swirling around in my head this week and I’ve thought “I should work through that in a blog” but truthfully, I’ve just been so very busy I haven’t gotten to it. This week I leave for New York for a show. For the past five years I have produced the annual convention for the National Retail Federation. It is a fun deviation from my everyday job working from home to get to travel and produce a show with retail and business leaders from around the world. I always enjoy it – this is what I used to do as a career and it always stretches me a little bit to step back into it for a week. I try to take my vacation and produce a couple of shows a year to keep my foot in that arena and make a little extra income for our family. All that to say if I am slow to respond to things these days – there has been a reason!
Something appropriate is happening right now that is exactly what I was going to write about today! Right now as I type this Grace is saying “I need my glass slipper” over and over. She has been saying it for about 10 minutes without rest. She is watching her favorite movie, Cinderella, in her Cinderella dress. She has 5 pairs of Princess slippers, and right now one of the glass slippers is missing and she is just devastated. She is missing her favorite movie and driving me crazy repeating over and over her request for this slipper, while there are 4 perfectly good pairs of slippers waiting for her in her room. She’s been doing this pretty often – I guess it is a two year-old thing. She’ll get “stuck” on something and miss fun and joy and life while she is fixated on this one thing wrong in her world. One night last week she was totally fixated on having a glass of milk, and we were out. Justin had made this great dinner, and she wouldn’t eat any of it and cried through the meal because she wanted milk and was angry that we weren’t giving her milk. Everything we tried to do or give her in lieu of milk made her cry. It made what could have been a pleasant dinner a very frustrating experience. As I was watching her I got that uncomfortable feeling because yet again, it made me start thinking again how alike we are.
I keep getting “stuck” on worry or stress or praying for this “one thing” that we need, and sometimes it is like it is this massive wall in front of me blocking my view. And I hate that about myself because I know I am missing joy in those moments where I am stuck. I am not dwelling in gratitude, and I have so very much to be grateful for. I know that God is infinitely patient and infinitely loving, and so he probably is not like me, but I get TIRED of Grace asking repeatedly for one small thing and missing all of the other wonderful things we’ve provided for her. She has food, drink, toys, a home, love, laughter, fun. Why on earth is a missing slipper causing so much drama? I know He isn’t like we are, but don’t you wonder if the Lord ever gets frustrated with our constant desire for more? If the times where I pray and ask and ask and ask and ask for the same thing doesn’t just make Him want to go “STOP and look around you and see what all I’ve given you – there is a reason why this thing that you want isn’t appearing in front of you, and it has nothing to do with a lack of love for you.” Now as a disclaimer, I don’t think that is the way the Lord responds when we ask. Like I said, He’s infinitely more loving than we are and I’m so thankful that He’s more patient as well.
But watching Grace does make me wonder. Matthew 7:11 says If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him! So if that is true, and I believe that it is, then there is a reason even for the things missing in our lives.
There is a balance to be struck, don’t you think? We are supposed to take our desires, our “one thing we need” requests, our concerns and requests to our God. He wants to hear from us. He knows these “glass slippers” are important to us and He wants us to ask Him for them. But while we wait, while we ask, we need to trust Him to provide and take joy in our lives and live the life we’ve been given to the fullest. There must be a way to wait and yet not “get stuck,” right? I don’t know that I have this concept, or this balance, down. Again I go back to what I am learning as I watch Matt Chandler go through this time in his life. He trusts God. He believes Jesus is all. He knows that God is in control and that it may not be God’s will for him to stay on this earth even another day. And yet he asks for healing. His desire is to walk his daughter down the aisle and to grow old with his wife. So He draws near to God, he speaks His requests, and He trusts God to work all for good, regardless of the outcome. WOW that’s hard. It’s hard to wrap our minds around, right? But it’s right.
Just as parenting teaches me things about God, so does marriage. On a micro level, marriage models the relationship of the church of Jesus Christ to God. As a wife I STRIVE to be submissive to my husband. Yet I am one opinionated lady. So here’s what I do. I draw near to Justin, I communicate with him what I think that I need, and then I rest and trust him to make the wise decisions for our family that God leads him to make. And it is HARD! Sometimes I have to bite my tongue. I have to seriously reign in my nature to take control. But because I love my husband, because I know his heart for me and our girls, I can trust him to make decisions with our best interests in mind.
If you read much of my blog, it always seems to come down to this: I want to trust the heart of my Father. And when I don’t trust His heart, I get into trouble. So today I take these desires, this “one thing” that we’ve been praying for truthfully for years now, and I trust my Father to provide that in His timing and according to His will, and in the meantime, I trust him to use us as we wait for His glory. And I dwell in gratitude for ALL we have been given. I determine not to get stuck and throw a fit for what we don’t have – but to take joy in what we have been given.
And that dadgum glass slipper can stay lost for another 2 years and I still won’t doubt His love for us. Because I know better. My Father loves me, and if the glass slipper is best, He’ll give it to me when I need it most.