Thursday, August 7, 2008

Paper Plate Tamborines.....

You can’t take it personal. You want to, but you can’t. Its feels personal, but it isn’t. Sometimes as a step parent you get the fall out from a child resenting the fact that you are there. Or the behaviors may just be residuals of the fact that they miss their parent or the way their life used to be. So sometimes you get the rolling of the eyes, the stomping off, the ignoring or disregard for what you have put in place. Some of this happens in regular nuclear families, but with the stress of the blended family already tense, this kind of issue gets amplified, sometimes unjustly, sometimes not. But you can’t take it personal. You want to, but you can’t.

We have learned to deal with this by keeping the main thing; the main thing. Personally, I just remember I do what I do because I love my husband; I made a covenant to him before God and witnesses to be his helpmeet. It has nothing to do with the kids, how they feel about me or how I feel about them. So no matter what it “feels” like, we are obligated to keep our word to God that we would help each other raise these children in the fear of God. Oh sure, there are days that the children think we’re great. There are times we may feel a love for them the same as we would our biological child. We know however that our job and responsibility to them, nor their respect and honor to us isn’t conditional on whether we “feeeeel” we do or not.

I’m reminded of story that made me reflect on a macaroni tambourine that my daughter made me out of paper plates, macaroni and crayons. She had streamers flowing from it and as a 2nd grader, she probably worked on it all day. I took it to work (I worked at a doctor’s office at the time) and had it displayed on my desk for years. When I got ready to switch jobs, a co-worker who was helping me pack was about to toss it out when I stopped her. She was like” It’s not like it’s a real tambourine, you can’t use it girl”. I told her I may not be able to do a thing with it, but I value my daughter and she made it for me, so it goes in the box.

When you look at how you treat people or things (children, siblings, spouses, co-workers, neighbors, the earth etc..) it can’t always be contingent on what your perceived value of the person or the relationship is. Sometimes the value isn’t just in them, “the creation”…its in the Creator. How you treat the creation can reflect how you really feel about the Creator. So, all of God’s little creations running around our home will be honored as His masterpieces. Thank God He used pencil so as He gives us wisdom we can adjust, erase and show up a little better every day.

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