Monday, August 06, 2007

Can I Have a...?

OK, is it "cheating" if I post another entry from the book I'm writing? I wanted to post something for you today but we're moving, you know...So I'm going with something I've already written. I pray you'll be blessed.

Can I Have a...?
My children love animals. They always have. Whether it’s some exotic species at the zoo, horses in a field by which we’re driving, or simply squirrels in the back yard, my kids will stop what they’re doing and look up immediately whenever someone says, “Look! It’s a…!” They just love God’s furry creatures.
When they were quite small my kids began wanting a pet, but I had always felt we weren’t ready for one. One day I realized they were outside catching bugs, putting them in containers, naming them, and calling the bugs their pets. Yes, they were resorting to bugs for companions! Oh, I thought, I really need to let them have a pet.
In time, we were in a pet store and I fell in love with the mice. Call me crazy if you wish, but I really did fall in love! At Christmas time the next year, we added pet mice to our family. The kids loved these little critters. They played with them, cleaned their cages and cared for them. And for awhile they were satisfied. Eventually, though, their minds began to wander. They began to want more.
This wanting was especially true of Elizabeth. She began asking for various new pets. A guinea pig. A hermit crab. Perhaps a lizard. She talked about which cage from the attic she could use, so she could get a new pet without buying a new cage. Sometimes she asked about getting books to study about the animals so as to be more knowledgeable and ready to care for said pet. I know, this behavior all seems very responsible and admirable but after I’d just gotten her a mouse I was hoping she’d be content with it. I was getting tired of this new line of questioning.
One particular day she was asking me how much I thought a hermit crab would cost at the pet store. “Honey, I have no idea,” was my reply. Elizabeth stated, “I think they’re probably only $1, since the mice are only $2, and hermit crabs are smaller than mice.” And she asked me again for my opinion. Slightly wary of the conversation, I just said, “I don’t know!”
Then my sweet little, persistent daughter looked at me with her big eyes and asked, “Mom, can I get a hermit crab?”
I looked back at her, a bit exasperated and just thought, Ugh! You wanted a pet and I got you a pet. Now you keep asking me for another pet. And you want me to tell you how much a hermit crab costs. I’m telling you, I don’t know! But that isn’t good enough for you. And now you want to know if I’ll buy you a hermit crab? Girl, you ask too many questions!
When I finished my internal tirade, it was as if God held a mirror up to my face and asked if I could see any similarities between my daughter and me. Oh, they were there! Besides the blue-green eyes, the brown hair, and the charming smile, I saw a woman who asks an awful lot of questions.
God, what should I do in this situation?
That woman really hurt me. How am I supposed to forgive her?
When is this trial going to be over?
I’m so confused, Lord. Will you please lead me through this valley?
Why does mothering have to be so hard?
Do You really know what You’re doing here?
God, why do I have to go through this situation?

Then I looked at the difference between my response to my daughter’s questions, and God’s response to mine. God doesn’t get bothered by my questions. When I ask Him things, He never says, “I don’t know!” He is perfectly willing to listen to me as I share my uncertainties with Him, and He never gets tired of the conversation. Rather, He looks at me and loves me while I’m asking. I pondered this picture for awhile and thought, How thankful I am that God doesn’t tire of my questions! Even when I ask the same ones over and over again.
Can you wrap your mind around the wonder of God’s patience? Although we may grow weary of our children peppering us with inquiries, He is not like us. He knows the concerns and desires of our hearts. He knows the questions filling our minds. None of it is news to Him, yet God patiently and lovingly listens to our requests. Over and over again. And in His perfect time He will give us His answer.

Your Turn:
Is there a question, or questions, you have been asking God repeatedly?
Do you think He gets tired of you asking, or that He patiently and lovingly listens?
Make a list of the questions burdening you today and present them to God. Spend time in prayer thanking Him for listening to you, for loving you, and for answering in His perfect time. Ask Him to speak to your heart and spend time just listening to Him. Perhaps today is the day He will give you some of the answers you have been seeking.

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Karen said...

Thanks for sharing some more from your book Karen. Again the timing of this post was amazing. My children would like a pet too, and my daughter keeps gathering ear wigs and calling them her friends and any other spider, bug or whatever. My son says the birds that fly into the garden are his. Only this weekend their grandparents took them to the Pet Shop and they both held white mice and said they wanted them. I've been resistant, we like to travel and don't want to organise care for animals, then there's looking after them, and maybe getting furniture scratched up. Makes me feel a mean Mummy, could be timing. I like the way you compared the questions from a child to those we ask of God many times. It is true. Once again thank you, and this is great stuff Karen!

annie said...

Love this post Karen. So true!
I was driving Emelia to the omniplex the other morning. She had planned to go with the kids from our new church but had overslept. I told her it was fine, I would just drive her there and we would find the group. The entire way she fumed and worried about finding the group. "What if they won't let us in," "What if we can't see them." I heard these thoughts over and over and I told her, "I can handle it Emelia. Don't worry." I smiled to myself at that moment and realized that the same is true of God, we worry about the details when He has it. He has it all under control and we just have to trust Him. When we arrived at the omniplex I went straight in and immediately saw the group. She was with them immediately and it all worked out just as I knew it would. I am learning to trust God. It always works out, just as He knows it will.

Coach J said...

This is so true! God has done this to me many times with not only my kids, but the basketball girls, too. And I just have to laugh, and be amazed at how much He loves me. It's so funny to think we've got some areas down pat, and then God lets us know that we aren't as grown up as we think we are!

Karen said...

You never know Karen, it may well be that the Lord has placed NZ on your heart and one day you will come here, be it holiday or to share with Mums. As a child I used to have a saying when I lived in the UK, it was "If we were all the same we would move to NZ and the world would tip up!". In 1988 I tried to emigrate here to Auckland with a friend, but she got hooked up with a boyfriend and for one reason or another our plans ended. The thing was - NZ was on my heart in one way or another....anyway the Lord led me to Scotland, where I met my Kiwi hubby to be - and here I am. It took 10 years from the time I tried to move here, to God putting things together...I must blog this actually...and trots off to do it.

Karen said...

It's me again...I have blogged about my dream of coming to NZ. I really do feel to encourage you. I have had Russia on my heart for 10 years now, but don't know, when, if and how, but the Lord knows the times and will reveal it and make a way when he deems it.

kreed said...

Glad to know my kiddo is not the only one that begs for the next "level" of pet! And as an animal lover myself, I must admit it is hard for me to not give in.

I am loving the sharing of pieces of your is a great preview and I can't wait for the finished product!

LoveMyStarr said...

I know I ask a lot of questions of God, and He is always patient with me. I know I have been very short with Scamp when she wants something of me while I'm busy. God's patience makes me thankful and willing to try to be more patient with Scamp. Thanks for sharing!

Ang said...

You have an amazing way of seeing the spiritual in the ordinary. Thanks for sharing a sneak peek. I can't wait to read the book!

Corrie said...

I really enjoyed this read, Karen. We do ask a lot of God, even when he has already answered.
I was just up in your neck of the woods...beautiful! I thought of you when we drove through Lansing!
Hope your moving is going well!

Leigh Gray said...

thanks for sharing - precious!! you are a blessed writer!! can't wait till it comes out!!

have a great day and be careful with your back and moving!!! my husband always pulls something. hee hee

Karen said...

I know you are busy right now, but I have awarded you with a bloggy award, of which I feel you are sooo very deserving. You have been so encouraging, your writing, your book. I am sure you don't realise how much God is using you!