February 27, 2013
I have been accused of being a Pollyanna, an unwavering optimist, and even a Little Miss Sunshine. But these were all cases of mistaken identity. It really was a misunderstanding. I am actually a misunderstood realist.
I hold a high standard for my kids to maintain a good attitude about life.
On the outside, it may seem like I expect them to be fake, that they are not allowed to be upset or disappointed. That's not the case. I do, however, want them to grasp every single day how good they have it. When the enemy of their soul tries to steal their perspective, I get involved. I am even a bit impatient with long "poor me" speeches.
The good man brings good things out of the good stored up in his heart, and the evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in his heart. For out of the overflow of his heart his mouth speaks. Luke 6:45
They have a blessed life. They are spoiled. Yes, I said it. I admit that these little Crawford kids are spoiled. I love spoiling them. But I also am intolerant of any attitude of entitlement. I am impatient with pity parties. I immediately respond with, "Don't you know how blessed you are?" I often say, "Well, let's scale back until your perspective returns. You have a great life. You have lost sight of that today." I have learned that my empty words start to sound believable. I will buy into my own bad press. On the other hand, my words of thankfulness fight away those temptations.
When they were younger, crying Crawford kids were sent to their rooms to cry it out. Similar to the idea of removing a crying baby from a movie theater or a meeting. It was the considerate thing to do for the rest of the family. But as the kids are getting older, they cry or stomp their feet over odd things. I often think, "Really? This is your heartbreak." I know that many kids live in the present tense and only the present tense. But it is our job to offer perspective. I remember the past, and I am praying about their future. I must communicate that to them. They cannot let the enemy push their raft downstream without their permission.
Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old, he will not turn from it. Proverbs 22:6
My kids are not expected to be perfect. But they can expect to hear God's Word on all occasions, including times of pouting.
I do expect smiles. I do expect gratitude.
Not all of the time of course.
Our world still has grief and stress.
Our world is under attack from the enemy.
When real threats occur, we cry and pray and cry some more.
I do live in the real world.
But because of the generosity of my parents,
the unselfishness of my husband, and
the goodness of God,
my real world is a blessed world.
I am thankful for it.
I smile a lot.