Over the past year or two the Lord has been trying to teach me a lesson on pain, struggle, hardship. He's been trying to teach me to embrace it gracefully and thankfully and not run and hide. It has been a challenging past couple of years but they have been some of the most rewarding of my life, Henrik's birth being the crowning event. Now that I am starting to catch on to this principle a little easier it seems the Lord has added a fresh new twist.....letting my children struggle.
This is so much harder than letting myself struggle. It is so hard for me to listen to my baby cry or watch Freddy really struggle with something. I always tell myself, "oh he's just a baby" or "can he really be expected to do that? He's only 3?" I have been too helpful to my children and it is not helping them at all.
This afternoon Freddy asked me if he could please have some snacks. He ate his entire breakfast with out a fuss AND ate a great lunch without me asking him to eat one bite, he's been cheerful and helpful to me all day and to his brother so I thought snacks would be OK. I told him there was a box of goldfish on the table and that he could have some. He found the box just fine but when it came time to opening said box he just looked at it and said, "Mama, can you open it please." Something immediately stopped me and told me to let him figure out how to open the box on his own. I told him that he was very smart and very strong and so I was going to let him open the box all by himself and went back to the dishes. He barely tried to open the box for half a second and came back and said he couldn't do it and would I please help him. We did this back and forth thing for about half and hour, I was always supportive and cheerful and he was getting more and more frustrated. I finally asked him if he thought it would be a good idea to pray and ask Heavenly Father to help him know how to open the box all by himself. He sat there for a few minutes just quiet and looking at me like I have lost my mind. I finally sat with him and explained that whenever I need help and don't know what to do I just pray and ask Heavenly Father for help and He always hears me and that we can do ANYTHING when Heavenly Father is helping us. He folded his arms and said, "Dear Heavenly Father, thank thee for this day (of course) please help Freddy, I can open this box all by myself." Then he took the box and with one finger tried to open it and to my SHOCK the box practically sprang open! He said, "Oh thank you Heavenly Father!" and promptly dug right into those cheddar crackers.
I'm so grateful that Heavenly Father heard his prayers and helped him. I'm grateful for the prompting to let him have this struggle so that he could learn and his faith could grow. Now I think I should go and pray to know how to let my children struggle a little more often.