“Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.” Ephesians 4:25
She slowly sauntered into the kitchen with mascara stained tears running down her cheeks fifteen minutes before we needed to be at school. A mouth full of braces opened to speak, “I’m the only one going.” Disappointed, not necessarily at the fact of having to go practice for All Region during Christmas break, but instead at the idea her friends wouldn’t be there to visit. Wiping off her tears, I assured her that the practice would be good for her and it was an opportunity to encourage someone else. -Not what she wanted to hear.
As I mom, I easily get tangled in the web of teenage emotion running through our house. It’s easy, after all, to think of the people who disappoint your child as “bad guys” spending minutes pondering how you’ll “fix” the issue. It’s also easy to sit and judge each situation against the reality of the world like, “Gee, my daughter’s moment of minor crisis is nothing compared to the children starving all over the world.” Proper perspective is absolutely necessary. But…what exactly is proper perspective? Evaluating the mini-crisis often leads to an opportunity for growth; as a parent, I want to establish these opportunities for God to do His mighty work growing the character traits or building blocks needed for my child to perform at maximum capacity for His kingdom.
Knowing she would need extra encouragement to attend the band practice, I prayed quickly, “God, this is your moment. She needs instruction on her instrument and she needs the practice of walking into an unfamiliar [but safe] place without her buddies. Please, guide me on what to do. Amen” Quickly strolling down to my son’s room, I explained the situation. A few years older than her and way cooler than good old mom, he graciously launched into action by driving her to the practice and speaking words of encouragement to her. A prayer answered. A blessing met. A challenge faced.