Saturday, May 31, 2014

Stealing from the Rich to Give to the Rich?

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On Mother's Day weekend I spoke at services at Crossroads Church in Fremont about "Lies Moms Believe." One of the lies I addressed is "I am ruining my children." Because we often think our kids will only pick up on our failures, weakness, parenting mistakes. Any bad choices they make in life are our fault. Will they learn anything good from us?

The truth is we can greatly influence our children but we cannot control them. We must do our best and surrender the results to God. They do see us and they are learning from us even though sometimes they act like we are invisible. We influence them every day, but we cannot control them.

Almost every night I pray with my kids that we would have generous hearts. That we would be generous with our time and money. And almost every night, sweet Jordis prays the same exact prayer. "Dear God (omits "thank you") for this wonderful world. Please help angels to surround our house. Double them both." Amen. She has admitted that she doesn't even know what this means. She has just picked up on it from someone else's prayer, twisted the words a bit, and then repeated it. For years. Only adds to it or spices it up when I ask her to. I long for the day when she prays to have a generous heart and an open hand with her stuff. Enter Mother's Day morning.

I spoke at two services Saturday night and then Sunday morning I woke up to Mother's Day blessings and confirmation of what I was teaching - we do influence our children. Jordis came to me with a Mother's Day gift. Twenty dollars of her very own money. (Grandma hid money eggs instead of candy on Easter so I thought that is where the money came from.)
"Mom, this is for you. It is from my give jar and I wanted to give it to you."
"Oh sweetheart, thank you so much. That is so generous of you. Maybe we can work together to figure out who we can give this to who really needs it. Thank you so much."
So sweet. So blessed. She is really getting this generosity. A little misguided to give it to her mom instead of someone really in need, but I'll take it. 
As I walked out the door I saw her in her room going through letters and pictures of our Compassion sponsored kids. Be still my soul. She does hear us and see us. We are influencing her to be generous and to care about others.

I then spoke at two more services on Sunday and had this new illustration to throw into my talk as we talk about how we influence our children. Thank you Jesus . . .
until I get home. And find out that she has given her brother 20 bucks. And then she brings out her wallet that is LOADED with cash. Many one dollar bills, some twenties, fives... $70 more dollars to be exact. Where is Jordis getting her money? Generous Jordis is really a criminal.

We question her. She just had the money. She just got it. She didn't take it. She won't reveal her sources. Meanwhile the whole family is now involved in this money scam and none of us can control our laughter. Elijah, Lydia, me, Shiloh. Cannot stop laughing at the five-year-old thief who will not come clean and yet has money for days. Did you get into Dad's wallet? Did you get into Mom's purse? Did you take it from Grammy's purse when you were at the office with her? She. Won't. Budge. She didn't take it from anywhere or anyone. She just had it.

We go to Grammy and Grandpa's later in the day and finally coerce a confession out of her. And when I say coerce . . . I mean, comedy. My brothers and sister-in-law as my witnesses, Jordis is a piece of work. And she was working us. "If I tell you, you have to give me five dollars." Whaaaaat? At one point my brother Cameron (who is trying to contain his laughter during this whole debacle) says to me "You're not winning." Then we all crack up. She finally whispers in my ear "Your purse."

She got it from my purse. Before you go thinking I'm all money bags, you must understand I had recently gone to the bank and got cash and a bunch of ones because we just started giving the kids allowance. And I needed a bunch of change for when I sold Totally Desperate Mom after the Mother's Day services. And my five-year-old took advantage of me and my temporary cash situation. And there went my illustration. And there went Jordis's allowance. We took all the money from her and she did not receive her one-dollar allowance that week. And she will never steal money again. We hope.

The moral of the story? I don't even know. Good luck in parenting?
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