Unicorns, muffins and not getting a dog.


This week, I was reminded of the importance of carving out time for everyone in my life, especially those I want to be there long term. Often times I rush to the aid of people in spiritual crisis and forget that my three at home are my priority.  My daughter reminded me of a simple reality I was beginning to forget and in the process even got to be late for work.

Amberley left for work early, so the kids and I took the mini-van and left for school and child care drop-offs. The first drop off is easy, we pull up to the school and Jude jumps out of the van at the speed of light. I then help him get his back pack on, he gives me a fist bump, tells me he loves me and then starts running as fast as he can to be the first at his classroom. It is our ritual, it never changes and I love it.

Next, we head into the city where Ida goes to day care. Half way there she says “you need to listen to my words, and I can tell you how I feel.” She went on to explain how unfair her life is and how she, as a 4 year old needs more freedom. I was mostly concerned with getting to work for a series of meetings but I could see that in her world, there were massive problems. Massive tear filled problems that needed immediate attention.

With Ida’s world crashing down I asked her if she wanted to go for a breakfast date, no 4 year old turns that down. We pulled up to McDonalds, got our food and then she began explaining the tragedies of life. They included not understanding why she can’t hide and hoard candy in her closet, needing a dog, needing a pony that is really a unicorn in disguise, wanting to be in charge of who makes the rules in the house and of course her largest complaint… why does brother get to be 6 already.

Listening to all of this come out in passionate detail (including intense facial expressions and tears) made it difficult not to smile. Then in her possibly silly complaints about life I started to see a bit of myself. There are issues in my life that I get frustrated with and want to unload all at once and let the chips fall where they may. I wondered what would happen if adults got to unload like this? I was proud of her for bringing her pain to me like a heavy back pack she couldn’t wait to unload. I wonder how long she was waiting to drop this off?

It made me think back to when Jesus calmed the storm, the disciples were reacting far differently than Jesus was. They woke him up in a panic because they thought he didn’t care about their needs. Even though he was completely asleep, he did care. But he was calm, it didn’t shake him or surprise him. (Mark 4) My daughter trusts me, but at the same time goes through issues that she is not so sure I always care about. She sees me approaching life with a different level of urgency than she feels needs to be applied to her problems. That must be really frustrating for her. I know how I feel when I bring things to God and he doesn’t rush to my rescue, smite my enemies or give me the next steps I need to take. Just because the answer is different or slower than I expected, it doesn’t mean that God doesn’t care.

I know that God cares a lot! I have to believe that. I know he isn’t laughing at my emergencies and probably sees the troubles of my heart and the troubles of Ida’s heart on parallel footing. I assume that because I am an adult that my storms in life are far more serious than the storms in her life. However, to her, those storms are a really big deal! Me needing to replace a transmission in a vehicle or deal with someone difficult and her realizing that she will always be younger than her brother might actually carry the same emotional weight, just in different packages.

There wasn’t a ton of resolution for her, her brother is still the same age as he was this morning, she is still not allowed to stock pile candy in her closet, there is no dog, no unicorn, and her parents will still be making the house rules. What she did get though was a chocolate chip muffin and the knowledge that her father cares about her storms and the stuff that really bugs her. This might be really simple, but I am really glad my daughter interrupted my day and taught me more about Jesus. She reminded me that he is still listening when I bring my problems to him and drop them off expecting an immediate result… and then hearing nothing.  I will just be more patient knowing that he has everything under control. My job is, I get to wait and see what amazing things he is going to do next. God has never let me down, even though sometimes it feels like it at the time. When I look up from the storms of life I can see that he is fully amazing and there are surprises around every corner. This is where my faith kicks in, when I don’t see an immediate result, that usually means that something more amazing than I was dreaming about is happening behind the scenes, there is blessing and then there is over and above blessing and resolution.


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