Foot-Stomping and Pouty Faces

Though it happened more than ten years ago, the memory of it still haunts me – even more so today than at the time. It was one of our first arguments as a married couple. My husband offered to do the grocery shopping for the week and took the grocery list all neatly organized and categorized by aisle (his request, as he was not as “familiar” with the layout of the land!). We had shopped many times together but this was Kevin’s first time, since we had married, going it alone! He returned with the groceries and began pulling his treasures out of the bags.

 

Wait, that’s not the brand of bread I buy! 1% milk? But I drink 2%! I was keeping these thoughts inside my head but as the pile of groceries on the kitchen counter was growing, so was my discontentment. The ice cream was the final straw! Though it was SOOOOO important at the time, truthfully I don’t even remember now what flavor of ice cream I had requested, but it was NOT what he brought home!

 

To write this all out now, I’m ashamed to see how I responded to the loving attempt Kevin had made to lift one of my burdens that week. But even more, I’m ashamed as I think about how many times that scene has played out over and over through my lifetime.

 

If it wasn’t the groceries that weren’t just what I wanted, it was the seat I’d been assigned in the classroom, or the neighbors who had moved in to the apartment below me, or the way my baby screamed when nobody else’s baby was screaming, or the way my husband or children’s timetable was different than the way I had planned the day.

 

In every case I took what was handed to me – ultimately handed to me by the Lord – and spit on it!

 

Fast forward to Marriage, Year #12.

 

Now one house, two kids, three cars, and many, many grocery store trips later…

 

The kids and I are hanging out after the first day of school on a very hot, late summer day when we hear the familiar and welcome sound of the ice cream truck coming. My daughter and I run out the door to catch it, taking orders as we go.

 

Colin calls out, “I’d like a fudge Popsicle, please!” We return minutes later with our goodies and 7-year-old Colin greets us at the door, “What did you get me, Mom?”

 

The prankster in me couldn’t resist – “I got you just what you wanted! A banana Popsicle, right?”

 

I watched as sweet Colin’s face sank just a bit. He thought for no more than half a second and then quickly replied, “Well, I’ll try it!” My heart melted. The Holy Spirit immediately spoke to my heart:

 

Let the little children lead them.

 

“At that time Jesus said, ‘I praise you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because you have hidden these things from the wise and learned, and revealed them to little children.’”
(Matthew 11:25 NIV)

 

As I handed Colin the fudge Popsicle he had been hoping for I realized that there was no irony here, just God’s divine way of connecting my present with my past. The ice cream scene with my husband years ago had, in essence, just been repeated. This time with a godly result! Where I had responded with a complaining heart, my 7-year-old had responded with gratefulness for what he had been given and with trust that perhaps what his mama had picked out for him could even be better.

 

[Now, just so you don’t get the false picture that I’m raising a saint here, I have to add that there are plenty of times when Colin’s heart response is right in step with my own. Like, for example, about 2 hours later when we’d been playing a board game and I said it was time to clean up. That was not what he wanted to hear, and the foot stopping and squeaky, whiny voice that followed showed it!]

 

Oh, how I must grieve the heart of God my Father over and over! How many times – even in one day – do I respond with a foot-stomp and pouty face (whether literally or not) when what the Lord has handed me is not what I was expecting?? It is in moments like these that I am so grateful that His love for me is not dependent upon my heart of obedience (or lack thereof).

 

I am so grateful that He is patient with me – even when conviction takes years to bring about a changed heart.

 

“The Lord is compassionate and gracious,
slow to anger, abounding in love.
He will not always accuse,
nor will he harbor his anger forever;…”

 

I am so grateful that He blesses me, even as I act like a spoiled child and don’t deserve anything!

 

“…he does not treat us as our sins deserve
or repay us according to our iniquities.
For as high as the heavens are above the earth,
so great is his love for those who fear him;…”

 

I am so grateful that His forgiveness knows no bounds!

 

“…as far as the east is from the west,
so far has he removed our transgressions from us.

As a father has compassion on his children,
so the Lord has compassion on those who fear him…”
(Psalm 103:8-13 NIV)

 

And I love that He has graciously given me children to both reveal the sins of my heart and, on days like this – to even lead me by their example!

 

If my words today resonate in your heart, we’d be so blessed to hear from you!

 

How has the Lord used your spouse and/or your children to reveal the sin in your heart and convict you towards change?

 

In what area of your life do you need to replace foot-stomping and a pouty face with a grateful heart?

 

**Watch for news of Throne of Grace’s Fall Sale coming a little after noon (PST) today!**

 

In His Grace and for His Glory,

Comments

  1. Susan Schrum says:

    This made me smile, especially when I saw so much of my Amanda here. Can’t believe how alike you two are!! And, that is a very good thing! Love you!

  2. paula land says:

    thank you Molly that was honest and well said. we sure all fall short. i remember you when you were a little girl. my son was chris shook.
    paula shook land

  3. Beth Gillis says:

    Ah yes, I can relate just a tad. Whatever behavior my little Dani needs discipline for, I might as well just look in the mirror. =/ Quick to anger…check. Disobedient heart….check. Dissatisfaction….check. But like you said, it’s a comfort and blessing to know and trust that the LORD is loving, kind, gracious, and merciful.

  4. Uh-oh! The “prankster” in you comes directly from your sinful mother!!!! How many times did I pull “pranks” on you and Emmy??? It’s a wonder you didn’t end up on the psychiatrist’s couch over the way I raised you both! God is so gracious and faithful to cover our sin and to redeem our mistakes to His glory and for our good!!!

  5. Wow Molly. This really touched me. I’m Jacobs mom. I am putting my world in perspective day by day with my sons illness as we move toward his cure, and this really touched me. As I let go of control over some things and allow others to help, I needed to hear this. I am so grateful for the help and love we are receiving as we embark on this journey. Thank you for the blog.

    • Lori, I am thrilled that you found us here! The Throne of Grace team prayed for Jacob on Thursday. I’m so glad to hear that the scripture cards were a blessing to you. Would it be okay with you if we asked our readers to pray for Jacob? We post prayer requests and praises on the blog once a week on Mondays. Let me know if that would be okay.

      “May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.” (Romans 15:13)

      With love & prayers,
      Molly

      • Molly, we would be so grateful for prayers for Jacob. He had to go back in the hospital for a little bit last night, but he’s back home now. Thank you for all you do. Love, Lori

  6. Hi Molly, this is Ava from the other side of town. 🙂 Thank you so much for your post. What a great story. God really used it to speak to me… something He’s been speaking to me about in my own life. For example, my two lovely girls were demonstrating their selfish, sinful nature just yesterday while sharing a bowl of leftover cake batter. In the midst of their incessant whining & bickering about who was getting more(and while my whole body was feeling like nails were being dragged across a chalkboard) this thought came to me: This is what God’s children must sound like to Him when we are not demonstrating love to one another, or just being ungrateful and whining about our circumstances–Is that what I sound like, Lord? How awful! Pls forgive me–Your story of Colin and his willing heart to trust in spite of his disappointment touched me when I needed it most. Thank you! :o)

  7. Ava, So great to hear from you! (All the way from the other side of town!) 🙂 Thank you for taking the time to read and respond. I can relate to your story as well! As both you and Beth stated so perfectly, it’s a blessing when the Lord allows us to see in the mirror the same sinful heart demonstrated by our children. Just evidence that He is not through with us yet! 🙂 It keeps us humble and, hopefully, allows us to show a little mercy when we would otherwise feel like blowing our top!

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