From pastry to poodle – parables pour forth

(Hey, I’ve been sick – I’m allowed pathetic humor…more than normal, I mean…if we can call that humor.)

(Please forgive me for all that I may offend with this story.  What I say I’m thinking, I would never do. These creatures have not endeared themselves to me, however – biting at my children, snapping at whatever food my children might be eating and getting up to walk on my dining table.  Four legged things that crawl on my dining table generally end up squashed – they are still alive. This is grace.)

Not too long ago, at a Clark family gathering, one of my sister-in-law’s poodles began to yap.  He was jumping around her feet and yapping, yapping, yapping at her.  This went on for some time, with her telling him, “I know.  I know.”  Her gentle responses did not seem to soothe his agitated state.  He continued to jump at her and yap. As I was watching this, the Holy Spirit quickened in my heart that this is how I am in prayer.

I confess, this idea caused fear to course through my veins.  You see, as I’m looking at this yapping fur ball (grant me grace, please!) the only outcome that is going through my mind involves a long dowel rod, whatever orifice is available and some Endust and the therefore immediate removal of dust bunnies from under our beds.  Thinking that the Lord might have that in my near future was daunting at best.

However, my sister-in-law loves her poodles.  Like a mother of an infant, she believes she knows what each bark means.  She gathers them close and tells them of their best qualities – she celebrates their birthdays and other momentous events in their lives and she has all three of their names embossed on her Christmas cards.  She takes them out to breakfast at least once a week and she carries their professionally taken photos in her wallet. (I tried to talk her into letting them do some paw painting for her frig, but she didn’t bite.)  (Oh – sorry, that really was an unintended pun…if you can even call it that!)  They sleep in her bed and they each have their own Lazy Boy and blanket in the family room.  They are truly beloved dogs.

I realized as I was watching, my sis-in-law wasn’t tempted to drop kick them, use them as a dust mop or any other horrid thing that might be going through MY mind – she was looking on them and commiserating with them.  She was acknowledging their pain.  She even went and got them doggie treats to help comfort them.  It was their constant yapping that held her attention and caused her to respond to them. When all the yapping was over, she drew all three of them up on her lap and assured them that she would take good care of them.  “Mommy” would always take good care of them and make sure they had every thing that they needed, so they needn’t worry.

What a picture for me – my yapping at God, “Helpus” (jump) “Hearourcry” (jump) over and over. I am frequently “yapping” at God.  At first I thought this meant I was to stop, as all I could think of was the heathen that did nothing more than repeat the same prayer again and again vainly.  But, as I have pondered on it further, I think really, this is more a case of the neighbor knocking again and again on the door or the old woman going again and again to the judge’s door.  (May I say, I’d MUCH rather be considered a neighbor than an old woman or a poodle?!!)

So, what is the parable in this?  I believe that it is the pleasure of Father to have us constantly at His feet.  Not just begging, but constantly talking to Him.  Telling Him of all that is on our heart – sharing our fears, our concerns, our needs, the ways that He is wonderful and how He cares for us.  Then, we can jump into His lap and hear Him tell us that He will take care of everything we ever need.  We needn’t worry.

I share this with you now, because I believe it is my dependency on Father in prayer – my yapping – that sustained me and led me to my understanding of grace based parenting.  I believe that leaning fully and totally on Father is the true key to all of it.  For much of my children’s lives we employed the “Uzza Imma” method of discipline.  (Uzza gonna do that?  Imma gonna do this.)  That does not allow for grace, nor does it allow for God to step in and make Himself known. It is the personification of the Law.

I believe a huge part of learning to parent with grace is understanding the need to take the time to make God great in the eyes of our children.  He who has been forgiven much, loves much.  It took me forever to feel that applied to me. I had NO concept of the fact that I needed to be forgiven much.  It is when we allow our children to see their sin in light of a Holy God and the fact that He extends grace despite their sin – it is THEN that we are gaining our ability to parent like He does.  I still don’t have it down. I doubt I ever will.  But, by His grace, I am improving…most of the time.

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I think I’d like to go yap at Daddy some more.  I still feel the need to share with Him some concerns on my heart and I’d like to go tell him how wonderful He is and hear again how I don’t need to worry.

Blessings ~

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Comments
2 Responses to “From pastry to poodle – parables pour forth”
  1. winkies6 says:

    ” I believe that it is the pleasure of Father to have us constantly at His feet. Not just begging, but constantly talking to Him. Telling Him of all that is on our heart – sharing our fears, our concerns, our needs, the ways that He is wonderful and how He cares for us. Then, we can jump into His lap and hear Him tell us that He will take care of everything we ever need. We needn’t worry.”

    Thank you. I need this reminder, if not revelation!

  2. Violet says:

    “I believe a huge part of learning to parent with grace is understanding the need to take the time to make God great in the eyes of our children.” In relation to that statment, this is what Elisabeth Elliot had to say this morning on my flip calendar for March 1 – “No one can make a child love anything, from spinach to sparrows to Scripture, but the parents’ love for things exerts a powerful thrust in that direction.”

    The best way we can “make God great in the eyes of our children” is by modeling before them how great He is in our eyes. Too often my kids have seen how small God appears to me by my attitudes and actions toward them. That’s where grace comes in and remembering “It is of the LORD’s mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not. They are new every morning: great is thy faithfulness.” Lam. 3:22-23.

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