Put your shoes in your room.
Put your jacket where it goes.
These are two rules in my house. It has been the rules for several years. Despite this being a long-standing rule, it often goes forgotten or ignored. I often remind the boys when we get home, “If you take off your jacket or shoes be sure to put them where they go.” Yet inevitably one or both will take off their shoes in the living room and toss their jacket on the couch or, worse, the floor. “Finn, take your shoes to room.” “Caden, come get your shoes out of the living room.” These are near daily occurrences.
These rules are rules for a reason, the primary reason being so that when it is time to leave our house we can easily find shoes and coats to expedite leaving. Since we are often either right on time or running late it’s essential that shoes and jackets be easy and quick to locate and throw on.
These are rules so that mornings like the one that occurred today don’t happen.
So — at the appointed time to leave this morning, Caden couldn’t find his shoes. He looked for them to no avail. I exhausted the list of places where shoes usually are when they’re not in his room — in the living room next to the couch, under the kitchen table, in the back play room, in his brother’s room, in the bathroom, under the train table, in the car — and resorted to “You’ll just have to wear your old shoes.” I spent 15 minutes searching for them, and at some point the search had to stop and we had to go on with our day.
Note: Now I woke up early today — 5:45 — so I could exercise before work (which I did) and get Finn up early (which I did) so he would not be rushed for the bus (which he wasn’t) and so he could play a little on the computer before school (which he did) and have myself and Caden ready to leave as soon as the bus came (which we did) so I could make it to work by 8 and get off work at 4. This morning was going extremely well until now. The MIA shoes were throwing a serious cramp in my day. Oh, just wait. It gets better.
So, I place on Caden’s feet, while he is sitting in the car enjoying a warm Toaster Strudel and sipping on CapriSun, “old shoes” with the promise to resume the search for his shoes when we return home this evening.
I drive the 30 minutes to his preschool where we get out to go in and he starts crying and he kicks off a shoe. “It hurts my foot,” he whines. Sigh. “Well, Caden, I’m not sure what to tell you baby. We couldn’t find your shoes, these are the only shoes we have, you’re going to have to wear them.” He’s not buying it and I can tell this isn’t going to work. He’s not going to be able to wear these shoes today without complaining about them hurting and then taking them off constantly, and I realized that if I sent him to school in these shoes I WAS setting up some innocent preschool teacher and Caden for a horribly bad day.
So after getting mad and giving Caden an earful about how frustrating it is that he doesn’t keep his shoes in his room like I ask, I took a few deep breaths. I told myself he’s 5, he didn’t do it on purpose, yes he knows the rule and doesn’t follow it but we’ll just have to find a better way to get it through to him, etc.
And then I took him to Target and bought new shoes.
So now I want to know — what would you do if this happened to you? Would you buy new shoes? Would you make him wear the ones that hurt? Would you have made him go the day in socks only, leaving the preschool teacher to deal with all sorts of complaints but hoping that would make an impression and teach him not to lose his shoes again? Would you not have left the house in the first place until the shoes were found? How do all you moms out there keep up with your kids shoes??
Groupon offered a half-price skydiving deal on Friday, and skydiving is one of those things on David’s bucket list. He’s talked about wanting to skydive since last year, and in one of these conversations the question was posed about me, would I ever skydive, and my response was something like “with you I would.”
Well, Friday was the day to put my money where my mouth was. You can’t beat 1/2 off, and the certificate is good for up to a year so plenty of time to work up the courage to do it.
Is it something I would do on my own? Probably not. Is it something that would be a fun experience to share with each other? Yes. Am I terrified at the thought of standing on the edge of a plane 14,000 feet in the air and choosing to fall out? Yes. Will I regret not doing it when I’m standing on the ground while he does it and when he talks about it and I have no clue what he just experienced? Yes. Will I be glad, after, that we go skydiving, we shared that “first” together? Yes.
So I bit the bullet and bought the deal.
This should be interesting.
The thought process that lead to this tweet started with the Beth Moore book, So Long Insecurity that I’ve been reading off and on for months. She was talking about how it can be bad for us in our romantic relationships to know too much about each other’s past relationships. While some sharing is necessary and helpful, wanting to know too much is rooted in insecurity because you’re comparing yourself to the former person and seeing how you measure up vs. being confident about yourself. In the process of explaining that, Moore compared that quest to Eve’s original sin, the desire to know more, the desire to know things we weren’t intended to know or that we don’t need to know, “the knowledge of good and evil.” And just like Eve, we can’t handle it. But we don’t know that until it’s too late. God knows that we can’t handle that knowledge so he warns us not to go there.
That got me to thinking about the old adage, “God will never give you more than you can handle,” because if we have the ability to give ourselves too much knowledge than we can handle, then maybe we have the ability to give ourselves too much turmoil than we can handle too. There’s example after example after example of people in Scriptures who have more than they can handle going on. Best I can tell, that adage is an application of I Corinthians 10:13:
No temptation has seized you except what is common to man. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can stand up under it.
The way I read it, the verse has been taken out of context in that it isn’t talking about problems or stress like we apply it to, but specifically to temptation. God will not let us be tempted beyond what we can bear doesn’t mean we won’t have difficulties in life that are too hard to manage on our own. God may allow or inflict them on us, for reasons only He knows unless He chooses to reveal them to us. But we are also perfectly capable of — and do — bringing on our share of “more than we can bear” problems. Like Beth talked about with finding out too much about things we don’t need to know — we are capable of finding out information that is more than we can handle. I think we are also capable of getting ourselves into trouble all on our own. We don’t need help to cause problems. We create plenty all by ourselves. And sometimes those problems may actually be more than we can take, but that doesn’t necessarily mean God did it to us. Maybe we did it to ourselves.
Perhaps when we dismiss away some of the issues we face in life with “God will never give you more than you can handle” we are just trying to make ourselves feel better, and we end up robbing ourselves of taking responsibility for our own attitudes and actions that may have got us into a “more than I can handle” spot to begin with. Ultimately, I fear we may end up missing out on the blessing of valuable lesson, too.