MTM (unlike the TMNT)

Monday’s Teachable Moments.

Yesterday, while watching Kellan and Elaine, we had a few small meltdowns.  It’s hard getting it just right with them, knowing how I can communicate to them that I love and value them, and yet take chances to teach.

It was this way with Teresa at first. But I’ve been her nanny for almost 10 months now and because of some hard times and hard conversations (and some serious one on one time) she now operates off the base knowledge that I love her and that when we have to stop and talk, it’s only because I love her and want the best for her.  It’s a remarkably easy situation, actually.

But Elaine has only had me for a month and really doesn’t know, yet, that I love her. So it hurts her little heart when I correct her.  Like yesterday, when she was wearing a dress and doing cirque du soliel in the living room, and I asked her to either sit proper or put on some shorts . She freaked. The girl started the big cries, the “I can’t calm down, I think I forgot how to breathe,” cries.  And we stoppped and talked about why it’s important not to flash our underpants at the whole world, and why it’s okay for mommy (and daddy and kellan and the babysitter,) but maybe not our friends and neighbors to see us in various states of undress…but she was still all torn up about having been corrected. And at least a little bit, about not getting her way.

The struggle here is not just the struggle of a child’s will. It’s mine too. I want Elaine to love me and to know that I love her and to be at peace.  And what seems like the easiest way to do that is to let the little creature do as she pleases. But it’s not the best.  God doesn’t see me having a fit and doing something that isn’t best and say, “Well, she’ll like me better that way, so I’ll just let the little creature do as she pleases.” He takes the time and love to dedicate to me, to have the tough conversations and make the tough choices, to allow me pain and grief and even CAUSE it sometimes, because he’s teaching me.

I think this is the best way I can reconcile my sinful, prideful heart to the idea that a good God can CAUSE pain and calamity.

See,  I caused the pain and suffering that Elaine went through when I told her she needed to change.  I could have done nothing and allowed her negative results of her actions, but instead I intervened and thereby created the hurt she endured. I did it on purpose, and I’d do it again in the situation. Why? Because she had to have that fit in order to see that she needed a change. Theoretically, she could have seen the reasoning at first, put up no fight, and moved on.  But then this post would just have different circumstances, with the same argument.  The fact that sometimes we MUST suffer to understand, to grow, to learn, and that we are created by One who loves me so that he’ll take us to that painful place- becuase it’s what we need for our best-

which only He knows. He promised that he’s got our best in his sights and he’s working toward it, whatever that means from this side of eternity, bound by time.

So monday’s teachable moment was for Elaine that her underpants need to be under something and for me, that a good God is a God who creates even those things which we interpret as bad, but are for our best.

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