Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Great Expectations

(pie designs selected by "The Kids")

Today was a Good Day!

Not simply because I thought everything went my way (if you saw my hair you'd know that wasn't true), but after reflecting over the day's activities it was a day filled with love, laughter and peace. Let me explain.

A good friend of mine is going through some house renovation pains. To make a long story short, they are a family of 6 living in an RV in -22C while their new 'fixer upper' is being converted into a warm and cozy home. If you think about that statement you realize that it's likely that there's no running water at -22C and I'd have to say, "You're absolutely right."

My heart goes out to them. And while there's not a lot I can do about their predicament, I have found my niche in trying to be a blessing. On Wednesdays I have offered to host my friend's four children at our home. It's a place they're very familiar with and they can run and jump, relax and spread out for a couple of hours. My friend usually drops them off right after their lunch and then my husband and I bring them with us to our midweek church service where they're reunited with their parents. It's a win-win for everyone. My friend gets a little 'me' time and I get to spoil someone else's children (which just so happens to be one of my favourite activities).

But what does this have to do with 'Great Expectations'? Well, each time the kids visit we make a big deal about the supper meal and today was no different. The menu calls for homemade chicken pot pie with fresh garden salad and cream cheese brownies for dessert. So, after an afternoon of funtime we head to the kitchen. I have the dessert all made the day before. The youngest boy offers up, "I can make the coffee and then may I make the salad?" (he's 6 years old). "Sure," I reply. The oldest girl begins to use her decorator talents by uniquely wrapping the napkins tightly around the forks on the table (she's 8 years old). That's when I "overheard" some of their "small talk." Like...

"Everything you make is deee-licious!"

"I can't wait until it's time to eat."

"You always have great food."

"I love your meatballs!"

"Before we arrived today, we were talking about what we might have for supper...."

I was beginning to feel a little pressure. I was beginning to realize that this meal was a little more important than I had supposed. I was beginning to see that these young people had developed Expectations. As an official "non-parent" I was suddenly wondering, what if....something goes wrong and it tastes yucky?

Then the thought came to me...Parents often have Great Expectations from their children. Be nice. Share your toys. Don't throw a temper tantrum. (Which basically boil down to learning self-restraint.) But how often have moms and dads considered the child's Expectations of the parents?

Love. Laughter. Peace.

These are Great Expectations that parents should be cultivating in their children.

Charity suffereth long, [and] is kind;
charity envieth not;
charity vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up,
Doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own,
is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil;

Rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth;

1 Corinthians 13:4-6

I hope you're doing your best to cultivate the best in others.

Have a Good Day!


Carla said...

What a message! God bless you for sharing, with this mom, with these kids, and with us bloggers, and mainly with me. I pray to give EVERYONE I encounter (especially my family) Love.Laughter.Peace.
Thank you!!

Kim Allen said...

Thanks for sharing this was a wonderful post.