Being ok with "no"

I threw candy at my 6 year old last week. It wasn't one of my finest parenting moments. Let me back up and start from the beginning. I was feeling generous at Costco and bought our family one of those huge bags of assorted candy. Maybe it was my subconscious going over board because it knew Lent was around the corner and my husband and I were toying with the idea of giving up sweets. If we had the huge bag of candy, we couldn't possibly give all of that up for Lent. Right? I digress... Meanwhile back at the house while I was cleaning out the fridge the kids were organizing the candy into brown paper bags. Skittles in one, Laffy Taffy in another, Twizzlers in it's own rightful bag. The kids each chose their allotted amount for the day and said nothing more. It was the next day that my six year old son couldn't quite get enough candy. (I get it, I bought a huge bag of candy and was teasing my kids with it, but let's only focus on the bad parenting moment I'm trying to get to, not the one I've just told you about). He kept asking for candy. He had his fill and he was having a hard time taking "no more candy" as an answer. This all transpired while my three year old was napping, while she was not eating any candy. When she woke up she almost immediately asked for candy. I said yes to her and that is when my son melted down. "It's not fair! Why does she get candy and I don't?! You never let me have candy. It's just not fair!"  He lost all perspective. That's when I threw the candy. "Fine! Have candy! But you need to understand that life isn't fair. You will not always get what you want. Life doesn't work that way. You need to learn to accept no as an answer." Like I said, not one of my finest parenting moment. Not a moment I'm proud all.

I think was lecturing myself at that moment, not so much my son. I think it all stemmed from the fact that this last week has been a really tough week for me. This last week I was supposed to be due with my 3rd child. After learning of the miscarriage I applied to go to Africa on a media missions trip. I did not get accepted and it is this week that the team is gathering in Africa. Seeing pictures on Facebook of babies being born and the team hugging those sweet orphans in Uganda definitely stings. I found myself wondering if God had said no to those things because he had something else in store for me. I kept looking for it. Over the last 7 months I found myself having the same attitude my six year old had about not getting his candy. I want to shout to God. "It's not fair! Why does she get to go to Africa and I don't? Why does she get to have a third child and I don't? You never let me have what I want. It's just not fair." But I realized what an attitude of entitlement that is. I feel as though I deserve something in replace of what has been taken away. I find myself thinking I deserve to get what I want. Yuck!

I'm so thankful God doesn't react like I did. Throwing things at me just because I complain. I'm thankful He doesn't lecture me. I'm thankful that He takes away. I'm learning to be thankful for the "no's" in my life. Even if that means there is nothing in return, because maybe the "no" is the gift He is giving. What if God tells us no with nothing in return? What if he takes away, but does not give back? Surprisingly it is a relief to not expect anything from God. It has taken away the anxiousness of waiting. It has allowed me to stop, look around and be thankful for all that is around me here and now. To love on all He has already given me and to stop looking for more.

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