Lent 31: the Rocking Chair

18 03 2013

Rocking chairs have always held a certain appeal for me. Even the ones that are too high for me to rock in comfortably. When we bought this rocking chair at a garage sale many years ago, I expected many nights of rocking Kajsa to sleep.  Lent 31: the Rocking ChairWhat I didn’t expect was how much she and I would both long for the rocking chair at other times.

It started a couple of years ago when, after a particularly hard day, I carried her to the rocking chair, and simply rocked. I think she was still a little frustrated with me at that point, and wasn’t eager to be rocked. But before long she calmed down. I sang one of our favorite songs (Skidda-ma-rink-a-dink-a-dink, skidda-ma-rink-a-do), and pretty soon she was asleep. The story repeated itself a few times.

Then the story changed. She began asking if I would rock her. And so we rocked. And rocked. We have rocked ourselves calm (that sounds strange) too many times to count. When my five year old or I are having a difficult day, she is often the one to ask to be rocked. The rocking chair has become one of the many methods we use to quiet ourselves, to hug each other, to adjust attitudes and frustrations, and to move on. I love this time.

Reflecting back to last week (!) and the Prodigal Son story, I imagine that God loves the times with us, when we have quieted down, when we allow God to hold and comfort us, and to welcome us back into God’s arms.

Lent 16: steadfast parenting

28 02 2013

On the winding road of parenting, today almost got me carsick from all the turns. Nothing horrible happened–it was just one of those days. Thankfully, we also had some fun and laughter. But not enough, in my mind.   Lent 16: steadfast

As I peek in on my sleeping daughter, some parental guilt sets in, about the day. “Why didn’t I …. ” or “Ugh.. ! She’s five! It’s kind of her job to be an imp!” Regardless, I am incredibly thankful. Thankful to God. Thankful to her. Thankful for this gift that is our daughter.  And I whisper to her for about the 10th time tonight, and 25th time today (give or take one or two), “I love you SO much, Kajsa!” My love, though a bit carsick today, is steadfast. It is fixed and unmovable–except to grow bigger.  I am reminded of the love God must feel for each one of us–even after we try God’s patience.

I also appreciate how tired and relieved God might feel when we humans finally stop whining, and simply fall asleep.

parenting tactics–and the result

29 09 2011

Kajsa’s four. Enough said.

At some point in the past couple weeks, I was having an especially frustrating day in the parenting department. It seemed like one of those days when a four-year-old wakes up and decides to make it her goal to do everything Mommy and Daddy don’t want her to do, and then throw in a bit more for kicks. Finally, I turned to her and tried a different tactic.

“Kajsa,” I said..”what IF… YOU were the Mommy and Daddy. And Daddy and I were the four-year-olds..” Her eyes got big. “And what IF we kept getting into trouble, we didn’t cooperate, we did all these things that annoyed you especially when you asked us to please not do them… And what if we kept saying, ‘I will cooperate, I promise. I will…’ What would you do to help us learn to cooperate a little more?”

She put her index finger on her chin and tapped it. Then about 20 seconds later she said, “I know! Follow me” and she took off. Uh-oh. I followed. She ran to the hallway, stopped, and with her fingers in the air she “drew” a large rectangle box. She talked to herself, whispering, “Ok.. and there’s a door. And you open the door and there are buttons.” And she made a sound as she pressed two buttons. “There!” she exclaimed, looking at me proudly.

“Great…. what is it?” I asked.

“A cooperation machine!” she said.

“A what?”

“A cooperation machine. See? You open the door, step inside… and you press a button. She “opened the door and stepped inside”, pressed a button, and then said, ”cooperate!” in an alien-like voice.