i have started to realize that dave and i parent through bribes. if i was honest, i'm sure i swore i would never say things like, "if you are good, i will give you something special", like my own parents did on occasion, which drove me crazy. and yet there we were last night running errands all over town, passed bed time and before dinner (we did have mc d's around 9:45pm), asking our kids to be good so they could get "a special treat". dave, in all his wisdom, announced in the car what the special treat would be as the kids screeched a squirmed in the back seats, "we are going to meijers and you each can pick out your own cereal". the screeching increased as the kids enthusiasm and excitement escalated with thoughts of marshmallows, chocolate and funny shaped cereals.
once in the aisle, i realized what we had done. we had opened flood gates. as i looked down that aisle and squatted down to my kids perspective i thought, we are going to be here forever - how are any of them going to be able to make a choice, let alone a "good" one. granted, i went into this knowing full well none of my kids were going to choose Raisin Bran or Cherrios, but there was a little bit of me that hoped that one my many lessons on good eating habits would ring between their ears. watching my kids run up and down the aisle, grabbing a box, giggling, holding onto it for a minute until finding another intriguing box to switch it with reminded me of the crazy world we live where the healthy and good things for us are overshadowed by the dramatically bold and bright which typically have little to no nutritional value.
life is hard and full of choices and consequences. i'm so thankful i walk with a God who is there to help me make better choices and in turn experience good and healthy consequences. i sit here this morning overwhelmed and broken hearted for my family - knowing that i am unable to make any decision for them, that they must make it on their own. i hate that i am unable to scoop them up and rescue the innocent ones caught up in this mess. i hate that all i can do is pray, because it doesn't seem like enough. i hate that my faith doesn't seem big enough to believe God can restore this family. my heart is broken and yet i know i must persevere, for the sake of my beautiful husband and kids.