Natalie

I was sitting on the couch in the living room but I could hear Natalie’s pleading from the office, crystal clear.

“I don’t wanna go to bed! Why do I have to go? It’s not fair!”

Her whines filled the house, carried on the strength of a 10-year-old’s anger.

When it became obvious that her mother was not to be persuaded, the stomps came.

Barging past me came Natalie in her red felt boots, pressing her heels with power into the hardwood floors.

With each stomp, the barrette in her hair bounced.

Her bottom lip was poked out, her eyebrows were bunched together,  and her eyes narrowed.

She was beyond annoyed and it showed.

When she finally reached her bedroom, she slammed the door, rattling the decorative nameplate on it.

I laughed softly to myself as I remembered my own Natalie moment.

When I was around the same age, I was upset that I couldn’t go to a particular restaurant.

So I pouted.

I stomped.

I whined like there was no tomorrow.

And as I sat in my bedroom, fuming and lamenting my poor ol’ terrible life, my parents were readying themselves to leave the house….

….And had decided to take me to the restaurant after all.

But it wasn’t what I expected.

The food didn’t taste as good. The restaurant didn’t glow as much. The conversation wasn’t as jovial.

I remember feeling guilty and bad.  I had been a major brat. I had forced my parents to take me, and it was a miserable time.

It wasn’t fun and it wasn’t what I wanted.

We all have our Natalie moments.

When things aren’t going our way or when we don’t get what we want, our bottom lips droop.

We want to bang our fists and feet against the ground.

We want to run up to God’s throne and whine,

“When?”  

“Why?”

and sometimes,

“Pretty pretty please?!”

And when we do, our Heavenly Father responds in the perfect way He always does.

Sometimes, like Natalie’s mom, He will not acquiesce because what we want is not at all good for us.

And sometimes, like my parents, He may allow us to have what we’re asking for in order to teach, humble, and mature.

Like any good Parent, God only desires to dispense good gifts from His hand.

And like any good child, as we mature, we need to learn obedience.

Acceptance.

Humility.

And patience.

As I age physically and spiritually, I trust more and more that what He says and answers is indeed the ultimate best.

My whine is in the cellar, hopefully never to be opened again.

And soon, so will Natalie’s.  


Advertisements

Insomnia

I must be the only person in the whole wide world who is awake.

I remember thinking that as my 7-year-old self imagined a world with clear streets, empty buildings, and no conscious people anywhere….except me. 

I laid face up in my bed and rubbed my red and blue plaid blanket across my knuckles for comfort.

I could hear my sister snoring lightly beneath me in the bottom bunk.

She could always fall asleep at the drop of a hat and never had any trouble dreaming til daylight.

Not me. The gene of unbroken rest didn’t pass to me.

Maybe that’s why night and I have never been the best of friends.

I was reminded of our friction this week.

I’d doze for a couple of hours and then would be awake for the rest of the night.

Or I’d slumber straight through morning but wake up still feeling tired.

Or better yet, I’d climb into bed and lay there for hours and hours until sleep decided to show up.

The experience mirrored my sleep life growing up.

My father would ask,

 “What are you thinking about?

You’re thinking too much.”

Maybe I was then.

Maybe I am now.

Maybe God’s trying to tell me something.

Either way, I pray for sweet relief.