Friday, May 16, 2014

Gratitude, even when it's tough



Boy can it be hard to maintain an attitude of gratitude about anything when other's have something that you want and you have been told you can't have it! I know that I struggle with this as an adult (the budget is usually what tells me "no").  But I find it especially hard to tell Big Sister "no" when there's really no reason for me to say "no" except that she is allergic to nuts.

Don't get me wrong, I tell her "no" all the time and I have no problems with that. No, you cannot watch another movie. No, you cannot play in water in your bathing suit when its 50 degrees outside. No, you can't have a cookie before dinner. On and on it goes.

So, here was the situation. Her class was going to have a special event, then the ice cream truck was going to be there. I looked over the list of all the offerings, and since I could not see the boxes that the ice cream bars come in, I had to nix all novelty ice creams. Soft serve is usually ok and she has an EpiPen in case there is an emergency. So out of like 100 options, she had 2. Ice cream cone or milkshake. She did not like her options. I thought she was lucky to have those.

It's hard when your kid is disappointed about something, let's just be honest. It breaks my heart when she says something like "Why did God make me this way?" to which I've always responded "God makes each of us different. I don't know why He made it so that you are allergic to nuts. But He knows what He's doing."

I loved the book that we read tonight. This is the first time that I've read it. I highly recommend it to anyone, but especially those whose child has ever felt left out for whatever reason.

In case you haven't read it, here's the basic idea: little Joshua the lamb was born with a crippled leg so he could not walk well and couldn't play like the other lambs. He frequently felt left out and made friends with a sweet, old cow who encouraged him "Don't be sad, little Joshua. God has a special place for those who feel left out." The story continues on as Joshua cannot join the other lambs as they go to a new meadow, so he has to go back to the stable where he ends up having a special encounter with the Baby Jesus. It is then that he realizes that God made him the way he was for this exact moment.

I don't know why my sweet daughter has a nut allergy, it makes me sad. I know that she is going to miss out on things like peanut butter and banana sandwiches, peanut butter cups, or ants on a log. But I also know that God has allowed this to happen for a reason, we just get to wait and see.

I think that I'll add to my arsenal of sayings the quote about God having a "special place for those who feel left out." I think that putting those words to it really acknowledges the feelings of being left out and being sad. At the same time, though I want to focus on what she does have. She did have 2 very good choices (she picked a milkshake). Other times, she has gotten to sit with someone new because her friend had a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. Trying to find the positive in these really tough circumstances I think has helped in the past.

What do you do or say when your child feels left out?



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