The ripples we cause.

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Yesterday my boys were arguing, which has become the new norm here. “Life would be much easier if everyone did things just the way I prefer” mentality has been running rampant in this house. Lecturing hasn’t worked and even discipline has been pretty ineffective.

So, I was desperate…

We were at a park and decided to walk by the water and then go on the trails. I thought maybe the water would have a calming effect on them like it does me. I glanced down and saw some gravel.  I had a silly idea and decided to go with it.

“Hey boys, pick up some rocks and let’s go by the water for a minute.”

They happily picked up as many as their hands could hold.  We knelt down by the water and I took a deep breath.  I explained to them how our words and our actions have the ability to impact others.  I told them to watch as I threw a rock in.  “See the ripples? Now take one rock and pretend it is a mean word or action.  Those ripples can impact a lot of people, can’t they?” Their eyes got big.  I was actually surprised it worked.  So I went on.

“Now, take another rock and pretend it is a nice word or action.  They cause ripples too!” Luke grabbed a rock and said, “This is an I love you rock.”  He watched the ripples.  Oliver did the same. They practiced other nice words and actions and we talked about the impact each could cause.

Today when they got into another argument, all I had to say was, “What kind of ripples are you causing?”

Next time we go to the park I’m sure they will want to throw more rocks in the water.  I pray it becomes a thing and they will be reminded each time they see water. Maybe even one day they will have the same moment with their own kids.  I can almost hear their grown up voices saying to their children, “What kind of ripples are you causing?”

Conflict

For someone such as myself who usually avoids conflict, I have to admit (at the present time) how grateful I am for it.  Through conflict I am forced to examine where I stand and why.  For without it, my comfort would thicken and thus my growth would lag…

Conflict. One side is right, the other is wrong. Both sides are right, both sides are wrong.  Sometimes it doesn’t matter. Regardless of who is right and who is wrong, there is always something for all to learn.  If you go through conflict and do not, I would suggest you are wrong even if you are right. You don’t need to be the wrong one to be the one to learn a lesson. Maybe it is that God wants you to draw nearer to Him because of what He has planned for your next step.

I struggled with this recently.  I wanted clarity from the other side, the side I feel was/is wrong. I always strive to find clarity to the point it is a strength and a weakness. Sometimes it is not mine to have. Sometimes handing it to God and allowing Him to do His job is what I should be striving for. When I reminded myself of this, I saw why things sometimes linger.

God’s timing is not my timing. I feel as though I need to repeat. God’s timing is not my timing! Some have thicker walls built up around their hearts.  It takes longer for them to see the lesson and sometimes it just isn’t their time. Maybe all that was meant for them was to chip away one more layer so that the next conflict or the one after can knock down the rest of the wall.