Saturday, July 29, 2006

life lessons and a wet sandal

so last night the kochs went to see the birds at canyon lake park. as we were walking across the bridge, the girls decided it would be much, much easier to see the birds in the water if they climbed the railing to look over the edge. we, halfway decent parents that we are, said no the first time they tried it, explaining in detail that they could get hurt, if you think falling off the COUCH hurts, this is way worse...etc... anyway, not too long later, patie just could not resist the temptation and up the railing she went, ignoring my telling her to get down.

and then it happened.

patie's shoe got stuck in the railing, slipped off her foot and landed in the murkey lake water below. instant grief set in as she watched in horror as her beloved shoe was swarmed by ducks thinking it was their next meal. patie screamed so loud people across the lake heard, laughed, and made faces like, "aww, that poor little girl's shoe fell in the water...". she screamed and screamed with tears streaming down her face, "my shoe!!! det it back! in the wa wa. det it back PLEEEAASSE!" this went on for a few minutes while jim and i figured out what to do (as the shoe drifted away, the sun went down and darkness set in). finally, we decided jim would go home and get his fishing pole and try to catch it that way. on the way home patie was so sad, and couldn't stop crying. she'd just start to calm down a little so we could talk to her about what happened and then grace, the excellent big sister she is, would chime in with something like," patie, your shoe is gone. it's in the water with the ducks and we cannot get it back." as if patie had forgotten...after about the fourth time i told grace to keep her thoughts to herself about the shoe because talking about it in front of patie just made her more upset, we were home and jim went back to go sandal fishing. i looked patie in the eye and told her daddy was going to go back and TRY to get her shoe. suddenly, she felt bold, no longer panicking, and said, "yeah, shoe. daddy det it please." she now, apparently, was confident knowing daddy would go get her shoe. she was still sad, of course, and when we got in the house i started putting our things away. i overheard grace and patie talking at the top of the stairs, "ok patie, daddy's going to go get your shoe. let's pray for your shoe. Jesus help daddy get patie's shoe. amen." patie said, "amen!" and that was it. they waited for daddy to return with the sandal, and patie mentioned several times, "shoe. wa wa. daddy det patie's shoe. put it on!" (she'd begun in hope to imagine the things she'd do with it once she got it back.)

and so, jim returned, their prayers were answered. in fact, the shoe floated just the right way and landed at the shore so all jim had to do was pluck it out of the water- easy! patie was elated and could sleep in peace knowing her shoe was safe, Jesus answered her prayer, and daddy was a hero.

i've heard this before, but the only time i remember who said it was when our pastor, brandon, was talking about sin- and that it always costs you more than you can afford, always takes you farther than you want to go. at the time, disobeying us seemed an easy decision-- the ducks look so much better when you're on TOP of the railing looking down! it's easy to sin when all we're thinking about is the instant gratification- but there can be so many things that happen as a result of our sin, many that we couldn't have anticipated. how could she have guessed that her shoe would fall off?? but the look of total saddness on her face showed she was not ready for her shoe to be the price she'd pay for disobedience!

i can't count how many times my own disobedience has done much, much more damage than i could have imagined. the worst thing it does, of course, is tear us away from God. sin destroys and tears our lives apart. praise God that He has complete power over it!

we love it when life gives our kids clear lessons that they can understand. it was good to be able to show the girls that we give them boundaries for a reason, and that when they obey it keeps them from having unnecessary bad experiences. most importantly i'm glad we had another opportunity to show them that even when they do disobey, God listens to their prayers and answers them and makes things right. sin has consequences. we don't always get our "shoe" back in the end, but sometimes we do and this time patie did- and she's very thankful.


Anonymous said...

Vicki Noble has sent you a link to a weblog:
> In an effort to encourage our fam to consider a blog, Erika shared yours. I LOVED it-laughed AND cried! So inspiring/ should be submitted to a mag. You're fam is beautiful! God continue to bless your efforts to live for Him EVERY DAY. ps. I was a paper girl too- Jasper, MN/ '66-'67? ")

katie said...

how perfectly true. the part that made me laugh the loudest was the helpful big sis giving her not so helpful reminders. :) we so love your girls!