When I was little, my mom had me doing dishes from the time I was in third grade (if not before, and I think it was before). She used to say she hated doing dishes with a purple passion. I guess she figured, now that she had a daughter who was old enough to stand at the sink, she didn’t have to do dishes, anymore. I had to do them correctly, too. If my water wasn’t hot enough or if I got too much soap in my rinse water or if she found a dirty dish, she would make me do them all over again. Once she even pulled out a drawer of silverware onto the floor and I had to do all those, also.
In my young mind I alternated between thinking, “When I grow up I’ll never make MY daughter do dishes!” and “When I grow up I’m never doing dishes again!”
Sadly, thoughts like that don’t really work in the real world.
Do you remember when you were a child and you wanted a piece of cake or pie or some ice cream or maybe a second popsicle before dinner? Probably your mom (or dad) would say, “Not before dinner” or “You’ll spoil your supper” or some variation of this. Right? Now, was it because your mom (or dad) hated you and wanted to suck every ounce of joy and happiness out of your childhood? No, of course not! They wanted to keep you from filling up your tummy with garbage so that you would have room for the more nutritious food that was soon to come!
They didn’t let you have a cupcake before dinner because they LOVED you. Yes, cupcakes taste wonderful, but are they? Really? No, they are not. They fuel a sugar and flour addiction that most of us have. Actually, that’s kind of how we ended up in the state we’re in (and I’m not talking about Missouri. wink emoticon My grandpa used to say, “I ate so much I’m in Missouri” [misery], get it?).
In our young minds we may have thought, “When I grow up, if I want to eat a whole family-size bag of M&Ms, I’m going to” or “If I want a second or third brownie I’m going to have it!”
It’s time to stop that kind of thinking, and, yes, even if we’re adults, sometimes we still think like children!
Somebody has to be the adult. Tag. We’re it.
My parents are both in heaven now. They’re not here to love me. They’re not here to pray that I make good choices with my life. Now it’s ME who has to be the responsible one (or at least I’m supposed to be, right?).
It became MY turn to tell my children that they couldn’t eat cake and ice cream before dinner, but as far as restricting cupcakes or brownies to just one (whether it was my kids or me) I’m ashamed to say I’ve been a bit lax. Okay, let’s tell it like it is: I’ve been NEGLIGENT.
Somebody has to be the adult, but that doesn’t mean we have to be militant about it. On our THM journeys, what are we saying to ourselves?
Do we bark to ourselves “No, you can’t have that!” or do we lovingly remind ourselves “No, sweetie, that’s not the best choice. You’ve worked so hard, and I don’t want you to undo all the hard work you’ve already done. Why don’t you fix THIS instead? It’s still yummy and a much healthier choice.”
That was a little over-the-top, I know, but my point is this: I’m a rebel at heart. The Bible says we all are. We need to bring our minds and bodies into submission, and the way to do that is not to be a harsh, militant voice that we play in our heads.
When I’m walking down the cookie aisle in Piggly Wiggly if my adult voice screams, “No, you can’t have that!”, my inner child says, “I’ll show you! I want it, and I’m an adult now so I’m buying it! So nyah!”
Be the kind, loving adult who is in charge of taking care of you. It’s easier to respond to that kind mental tape player with sensible submission. If you talk to yourself harshly it’s easier to play the rebel. (Remember that it’s the GOODNESS of God that leads us to repentance. Romans 2:4).
I hope you don’t think now that I’m some kind of schizophrenic, talking about all these voices! I hope you know what I’m talking about. I hope it all makes sense, and I hope it helps you. I hope it helps ME, too. wink emoticon
Here’s to finishing our week on plan! Drink up, ladies! Good Girl Moonshine all around! Or Shrinkers! Or water! Hydrate!