It promised to be a weekend of fun.
My kids had their younger cousin in town for a couple days. It turned out to be two glorious days filled with chocolate chip pancakes and sticky fingers with syrup, story time, jump rope, Chuck E Cheese, a green bean eating contest, massive train layouts and basketball.
But it also required a trip to the store.
Specifically to Target to fetch a few necessary items such as milk, eggs and ingredients to make spaghetti. As I carefully wove my way through the store with my little entourage of three following close behind I heard small mumbles of grief amongst them begin to increase in volume. As I slowly wove my way through the crowd in the refrigerated section I heard a very distinct and loud....
"It's NOT FAIR!!!"
Very soon agreement that each one of them had been treated with great injustice during this shopping trip was vocalized by each of them.
I looked warily at the grandmotherly woman shopping near me and caught her facial expression. It was one of sympathy toward me and then it precariously verged on slight horror as she clearly counted I had THREE children trailing behind me whining about their slighted selves. I knew what she was thinking...
THREE?! Are you crazy?! You poor thing!
Feeling like a walking ad for Xanax I pulled the cart over and grabbed a family size tube of Pilsbury chocolate chip cookie dough. Mommies always need something on hand for when whining threatens to send us over the edge.
With the tube of cookie dough in my hand I knelt down and addressed the kids. "Listen up guys...here's the thing...not everything is fair. Just because one of you got ear buds today does not mean its everyone's day or everyone's turn. There are different needs for each of us. Not everything is exact."
They didn't like the truth any more after I spoke it yet it was the truth. A three year old needs more sleep than an eight year old. An eight year old needs more sleep than a fifteen year old. One child may need sound canceling headphones due to sensory/auditory issues but his sibling might require goggles at bath time if water is an issue. A daughter may only tolerate gluten free foods but a son may be able to consume wheat. Children and adults alike all have needs and each of their needs are different. We can help our children with this struggle when we point out individual needs.
From the moment we are born into this world it's clear it's an unfair one. Why are some families poor and some families wealthy? Some people eat right, don't smoke, exercise and yet have many health problems while others eat and smoke with abandon and enjoy excellent health. Some people work hard every day just to make ends meet while others never work a day in their life. Why do some families suffer great loss? Miscarriage causes great grief and is not fair to each and every woman who lost her baby.
Yet it's better to accept that life is not fair. Likewise, God never promised a life on earth without pain or grief. Man's court of law is no substitute for God's. With man's law there may be some justice found but if a murderer is punished by a court of law for his crime is it really still fair the victim died to begin with?
God tailors his plans for each and every one of us. He knows us better than anyone. We may not understand his viewpoint on our life but we know he's concerned with what's best in chiseling us. We can all rest assured he will not cut corners on his plans for our life....
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