A Tale of Sinkholes, Snow Peas and Ugly Good Books

The date: Monday night.

The situation: Hattie was crying. Again.

The location: Her bed, where she had to stay until she could get it together.

The scenario: Illogical tears. Again.

The conversation:

Me: “Hattie, you’ve got to get control of your emotions. You are getting far too upset over the smallest things tonight.”

(And every night. If anyone has any advice on dealing with a child who cries for 15 minutes over a situation like, say, this: “Edy said I didn’t have a crayon, but I did!” I’m all ears.)

Hattie: Sniffle, cry. Sniffle, cry.

Me: “Darling, you can’t control what other people say, but you can control how you respond. Edy and Christian were not being kind, but we have to learn to forgive people when…” (I’ll spare you the rest, but imagine eloquent words of wisdom to follow.)

Hattie, listening intently: Sniffle, cry. Sniffle. “Mommy?”

Me: “Yes?”

Hattie: “Do you have any foods you don’t like?”

Me, caught off-guard: “Umm…not really, sweetie. Do you?”

Hattie, completely calm: “Yes. Those peas with that sauce you made tonight.”

~

I’m beginning to suspect she staged the whole thing, just to voice a complaint about my cooking. Edy and Christian may have even been in on it.

Well played, Children. Well played.

~

We’ve had some dinner time battles around here lately. You know the type, right?

Mom spends (what feels like) hours cooking a delicious and healthy meal because she is a wonderful and considerate human being, and the kids complain. Mom explains that children around the world eat far less and far worse than this on a daily basis, and no one living under this roof has any right to complain. Kids complain. Mom warns that complaining Kids will eat the meal or get nothing else tonight. Kids still do not eat, and Mom breathes fire. Mom gives up and retreats to the pantry. Leftover Valentine’s candy and Starburst Jellybeans console her. (This is all hypothetical, of course.) 

But Mom will try again tomorrow because she is fabulous.

Tomorrow she gets a note like this:

A thank-you note from Edy, written on a Christmas card for added sweetness. Translation: Thank you Mommy for delicious pancakes.

A thank-you note from Edy, written on a Christmas card for added sweetness.
Translation: Thank you Mommy for delicious pancakes.

Mom wins, and all’s well again. Until dinner, that is.

Years ago, someone gave me a devotion book for mothers. I can’t remember whom. The cover is ugly and because I am vain and childish that meant it earned itself a spot on my bookshelf for several months. When I finally pulled it down and read a few lines, I was amazed. The ugly book was actually full of wisdom. Who’d a thunk it?

There’s a particular passage inside that has stuck with me over the years. It says, “A soul, who made rapid progress in her understanding of the Lord, was once asked the secret of her easy advancement. She replied, “Mind the checks.”

Yeah, it’s a little old-English-y, but the point is good. Pay attention to the little warnings God gives. That small, quiet voice can be trusted, and those gentle checks are meant to spare us much deeper pain later.

If only we’ll listen.

~

So I heard God these last few weeks. Or, at least, I noticed where he was checking me. 

Four times, on four separate occasions, from four different women, I heard references to the story of Korah in the Old Testament.

Yeah, this could be coincidence. Or maybe not…

If you’re not familiar, Korah is the fellow who led a rebellion of priests against Moses and his brother, Aaron. Korah was a wee bit of a complainer and didn’t like the job God had given Moses, a seeming “more holy” position than his own. So after some whining here and complaining there, the ground opened up beneath him and swallowed Korah, his household and all his stuff.  And that was the end of that.

Moral of the story: God does not like complainers.

Mind the checks.

The book. I checked Amazon. You can buy it for $.01. Proof that price does not determine value.

The book. I checked Amazon. You can buy it for $.01. Proof that price does not determine value.

I am tempted to whine about the weather today. (Spring is such a tease, isn’t it?)  Or about the industrial-strength heartburn that keeps me up at night, and how no one likes my food. Or maybe about how my allergies are acting up and I’m about to have a baby and I don’t have time for sinus pressure, God. 

I am tempted, but then there are those checks. 

Where I am quick to be frustrated with my kids and their complaints, God cautions me through them. “See what ungratefulness looks like? You don’t appreciate it either, do you?”  Where my mood tends to spiral as quickly as the clouds collect, God says, “Is this not still the day I have made?” When I am overly busy and brought low by sickness, God says, “Just a reminder, dear, you can’t handle this life even when you’re well. Let me be in charge, eh?”

God is exceptionally patient.

His checks are gentle.

His warnings are good. 

His nature is kind.

Mind the checks, friends. (Because the ground does occasionally open up.)

Now, anyone want to come over for dinner? I have this delicious recipe for snow peas…

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8 Comments:


  1. Lindsey said:

    You are hilarious. I’ll send you some Starburst Jellybeans. My fave,too. Beautiful post and reminder though. I find myself complaining a lot lately. There might have been a hypothetical temper tantrum at the gas station in the rain on Friday because if I have to take Amelia to the dr in downtown Atl WHY DOES IT HAVE TO RAIN??? Mind the checks. Listening now.

    Reply

    1. Hannah Post author said:

      I have a suspicion that it’s probably the moms hiding in the pantries that keep the Starburst people in business. At least, this mom probably keeps the Starburst people in business. 🙂 And I’m glad I’m not the only one to have the occasional temper-tantrum. I can see why 2-year-olds do it. It just makes you feel better. 🙂

      Praying for you, your family and Amelia often, friend…

      Reply

  2. Megan said:

    Agreed Lindsey- the blog is wonderful and always hilarious!

    I too prepared a delicious meal of train and airplane shaped pasta with a homemade cheese sauce 2 nights ago; something Liam being almost 3 should’ve sang praises about. Instead he said, “Yucky Mommy”. Lol. Kids. So I ate the toddler shaped pasta myself. Another funny story about the checks God gives us- the diamond fell out of my engagement ring 2 weeks ago (I’m able to talk about it now without tears forming in my eyes), but the interesting thing is for weeks before it fell out, I would randomly think to myself that I needed to go and get that ring checked (something I hadn’t even considered since I had Sullivan in August) to make sure the prongs were still strong, then I continued and continued and continued to hear the annoying State Farm commercial about insuring your valuable property like jewelry and would think to myself how tired of that commercial I am. Then life continued to get away from me like it does, and I never made it a priority to get that ring checked. So it just seems to me now that God may have been trying to help me out- that even in something so tiny and simple and material as a wedding ring, he was trying to keep me from heartache. Oh if we would just mind those darn checks…..

    Reply

    1. Hannah Post author said:

      Oh, I’m so sorry about your ring. However, I wouldn’t consider it lost. We’ve had some amazing “finding” stories in my family. My brother lost his wedding ring while swimming around the coral reef in Fiji on his honeymoon. His lovely new wife walked out there in the ocean and found it. 🙂 That diamond may turn up yet. Just be sure to listen for any clangy sounds when you vacuum. 😉

      And hahahahahhaha! about the toddler-shaped pasta. What is wrong with our children?!? We loaded ours up, packed lunches, and paid their sweet-little ways into Gymnastics Joes just this morning. You know what they did? Complained they liked Boingo Bounce better. :/

      My kids are for sale, by the way.

      Reply

  3. Lydia said:

    Great post!! Those kiddos… precious, heartbreaking, confusing blessings. It’s not easy being a mom <3 It's really eye-opening when you're trying not to complain, how much everyone complains 🙂

    Reply

    1. Hannah Post author said:

      Absolutely, Lydia! Complaints are contagious. My kids catch mine as quickly as I catch theirs!!

      Reply

  4. Tara said:

    My kids are always excited about “snack” time and then start crying when I say we are just about to eat “breakfast,” “lunch,” or “dinner.” The hubs and I have tossed around just calling everything “food.” Never use the word casserole in my house, either-French toast casserole resulted in complete sobs from my 10-year-old?! We are having a real issue with the littles and being nice. I am trying to be the example of nice, but find myself just having total prego meltdowns over ridiculous things-my toddler refuses to nap or stay in her room at naptime and takes that time to pull every toy, pillow, and article of clothing out onto the floor. She also shucks her clothes and diaper multiple times during naptime. Every day. It makes me question my sanity! Two days in particular this week I just tried everything under the sun to calm down, but nothing worked. I was forgetting something-to pray. I’ve been praying ALOT-asking the Lord to help me do all this better. I realize most of the time I’m doing ok, but those unglued moments are hard to get over. I had actually just completed a mommy “moment” before I read this. Thank you for putting it out there and for being such an encouragement.

    Reply

    1. Hannah Post author said:

      Thank you for reading, Tara. I suspect you have major amounts of Mom-wisdom you could share about all this…especially since you’ve done it a few more times than me.

      I’m also finding that prayer is my lifeline these days. And yet, I often forget about it too. Why is that?? It’s so powerful. Even if it doesn’t change the situation, I find that praying for patience before bedtime (or nap time) makes my attitude COMPLETELY different…which helps all of us.

      Thanks for reading and sharing. And next time, bring me the french toast casserole. Sounds delicious!

      Reply

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