Friday, November 30, 2012

it's not fair...

Two summers ago, some friends and I were doing a bible study.  One day the discussion turned to our kids, well actually most weeks the discussion centered on our kids, and the fact that constantly claimed 'that's not fair!' or 'it's not fair!'.  We all decided that those words should be stricken from the English language.  We contemplated designing shirts that said 'Life's not fair' on the front and 'Suck it Up!' on the back but without much of a plan we never got anywhere with those shirts.  But I keep thinking about them, especially as we do our nightly homework.

Both boys have considerably more homework this year than last.  So they are using that phrase a lot more.  As in, 'it's not fair that Luke is done his homework before me'.  Or 'it's not fair that John gets to do a project and I have to do math.'  I have tried explaining over and over again that life just isn't fair but it usually works out equitably in the end.  But still we have whining. 

A few weeks ago we hit an all time low on a night that Mark was working and the boys were irritable, tired and hungry.  I was quickly running out of patience for the 'it's not fair' comments when one of the boys (and I truly can't remember which one) said 'it's not fair that we have homework and Grace doesn't'.  Well that comment pushed me over the edge.  I replied with things like, 'do you think it's FAIR that your sister's brain doesn't work right and she may never talk', 'do you think it's FAIR that your sister may never be potty trained', 'do you think it's FAIR that Grace doesn't eat solid food but has to be fed baby food for every meal' and on and on.  They just kept coming out of my mouth.  Both boys just stared at me as my hands were in fists at my sides, my voice was choking on the words and I had tears in my eyes. 

I was so angry.  Angry at the boys and their whining about fair and not fair.  Angry at myself for loosing control and practically shouting those things at my boys.  I remember telling Mark about it, but I'm pretty sure I down plaid my response so it didn't seem so out of control.

During Thanksgiving week I was having coffee with a friend.  She is like a mentor to me but I've never asked her to be my mentor so it's not official or anything but that's how I view her.  And I guess if she reads my blog she now knows that that is how I see her.  Anyway, we were having coffee and talking about our husbands, kids, faith, and just life in general.  We were talking about Grace, because I can't talk to my mentor / friend about my life without Grace coming up.  I'm not even sure now what I was saying but I got tears in my eyes over something.  My friend said, you know you're upset about this for you not Grace.  When I didn't reply, she said 'it's okay to be upset for yourself about things in life that Grace is missing out on, but you need to know that it doesn't bother Grace.'  In my mind I flashed back to the 'homework incident' and I realized that I still view Grace's disabilities and delays as something that's not fair.  All of the sudden my over reaction to the boys innocent comment made sense.

Then this week in bible study we read Mark 12:1 - 12, which is the parable of the evil farmers.  Basically it's a story of a man who plants a vineyard, then he puts a wall around it, digs a wine press and builds a watchtower for the vineyard.  He then rents out the vineyard to some farmers and moves to a different area.  When it was harvest time, the vineyard owner sent a servant to collect the rent in the form of grapes from these farmers.  Instead, the farmers beat him and send him on his way.  One after another the vineyard owner sent servants to collect the rent and the farmers either beat them or killed them.  Finally, the owner sends his son whom He loved, thinking they would respect him.  Instead, the farmers killed the son.

This story of course is about God sending Jesus to the world.  This is a story I have heard and read before in the different gospels.  But this is the first time that I realized how unfair the farmer's reaction was.  And with that thought came the realization that God knows just how unfair this world is.  He knows that my tears and frustration at the boys were really because I'm sad and mad about Grace's situation.  He knew that I needed my friend to speak truth into my life and that I needed to face the fact that I still have issues where Grace is concerned.  He knows the pain I face as a mother whose child is special and not always accepted by the world because He sent His special and perfect Son to the world and they killed Him.  He knows when I'm stuck in my brokenness and how I feel even if I can't or won't recognize that what I'm feeling is exactly what my boys have been expressing about their homework - that sometimes it's not fair.  

In realizing that I'm just as bad as my boys in whining about life not being fair.  I also realized the reason that I have been reminded recently of the fact that God is good all the time.  And that my circumstances may change but that God doesn't.  And why John's memory verse of 1 Thessalonians 5:16 - 18 made me cry as he was practicing it for me.

Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances;
 for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.

God's will for our lives might not always line up with our plan or our idea of a perfect life.  But I firmly believe He has a plan and a purpose for everything and I'm so thankful for the grace and mercy He shows me on a daily basis. 

And finally, because a post without pictures seems incomplete on my blog.  Here is one from almost a year ago of my three blessings.



Laurie said...

I absolutely love this post, Anne! Praise God for His grace and his "unfair," unconditional love toward us...

noreen said...

Beautiful picture of your kids and enjoyed your post about the unfairness in life. What was the most unfair of all is that Jesus had to suffer for our sins. Someone so innocent and perfect took that one for us. Amazing love he has for us.

Ellen Keepers said...

I clicked on your blog's link from your email. Wow!!! Your blog made me smile and feel like crying, all in the space of five minutes. Thank you for the words of frustration, and ultimately hope, that you wrote!! I needed that. :)