Hardened Hearts and Missed Opportunity

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What is your knee jerk reaction or answer to your children?  Do you take time to think outside the box or even consider their requests?

I'll be honest, because most of the time my go to answer is "no, not right now".  Let's face it I'm tired (exhausted, worn out) and my kids make some crazy requests.

But something really stuck with me all week from my bible study. It wasn't even the main point of the lesson but, the disciples missed out on the amazing magnitude of the miracles of the feeding of the 5000 and Jesus walking on water because their hearts were hardened.  How does this speak to me personally?  Wow I could be missing out on a whole lot!!! All week I've been pondering what I could be missing out on because of my attitude, my heart, my rushing about...

Near the end of the week we went for a walk in the forest with some friends.  At the beginning of our walk we passed the sink holes that my boys love to play in.  There was a discarded Christmas tree in one.  MJ immediately asked if he could take it home.  At first I didn't understand what he was going on about.  But then I saw the tree. A dried up mangy pine tree frozen into a snowy sink hole just past my neighbours' house.

Seriously! What would you say??

The tree at the top of the sink hole

I don't know if it was MJ's enthusiasm, or the fact that I was with my friend or what, but instead of jumping in with a usual "No" and lengthy reasons not to, stopped to think for a moment.

Really what would be the harm? Maybe he won't be able to get it out and move on. Is it illegal? Why not? Just because it was inconvenient for me doesn't mean I should say no.

So I said, "Sure you can try to get it out.  But we'll have to come back for it at the end of our walk or after our friends go home."

Our walk didn't go exactly as my friend and I had planned.  One child was cold and tired, one was obsessed with his plans to rescue a tree, and two wanted to go further into the woods. Anywho we finished out time in the forrest and said good bye to our friends. Immediately MJ grabbed a shovel and begged to go back for the tree.

I really wanted him to take the ownership on this one.  Frankly I wanted nothing to do with it. But I was going along with it.  We did talk about getting some extra gear and talked about a plan of action.  TJ had some good ideas too.  On our way back to the woods we were getting grumpy, tired and hungry.  By the time we arrived I was not in the mood at all for this adventure.  Then it hit me again.

What might I be missing out on with my hardened heart?  We have in front of us the potential for a grand adventure, or a grumbly miserable mess... So I prayed with the boys. Our spirits lifted again and we joined as a team.

My boys working together to drag the tree

MJ and TJ set to attaching ropes to the tree.  Baby JJ and I slide up and down the banks of the sink hole.  The boys pulled, I dug and pushed.  We hauled and tugged and overcame!!!

Those boys felt so proud and triumphant dragging that tree down our icy laneway.

"We did it! Look at my tree. It was worth it mommy wasn't it?" MJ inquired.
"It was darling." I replied

It was so worth it my darlings

When we got home they set to work sawing, and pruning the branches.  MJ made mini Christmas trees for us all.  TJ got the trunk to use for a fort.  MJ used some pine needles for a craft too. He had asked me to put all the mini trees away in the house for next Christmas.  OK I had to draw the line somewhere.  So I suggested he find a nice place to set them up outside to stay fresh and frozen.  Apparently out front porch is all ready for next Christmas already!

A mini tree for little JJ's next Christmas

I am truly thankful to have softened my heart to say YES this time.  It reminds me to slow down and think before answering.  Perhaps you might soften your heart too and discover some amazing moments that could have been easily missed.

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