Last night was crazy here in Central Wisconsin! Out of no where the temperature went up to over 80 degrees and brought with it a lot of severe storms. Joseph took “his girls” out for ice cream and all 3 of us were wearing sun dresses that no longer fit! Mine a bit too taught around the middle due to the large belly and Tessa and Anna’s dresses from last year have become far too short! It was too hot for this mama to care, so out for ice cream we went.
We knew severe storms were called for, so we needed to get out and pick up some batteries for the flashlight. We made it home just in time for the tornado sirens to go off. We don’t have a basement, so we collected our newly working flashlight, the computer, some candles and the girls’ blankies and had a family party in the bathroom!
I was surprised to learn that Tessa was really afraid of all the thunder and lightening. The lightening really seemed to get her. Before we made our way into the bathroom I assured her there was no need to be scared, but that if she hears that siren she always needs to find mommy, daddy or a grown up to go with – just like when the smoke detector goes off. She could not be settled (and neither could her curly hair I may add, her mop top could seriously be used by the national weather service!).
Once in the bathroom so continued to tell everyone to relax. It became very apparent to mommy and daddy that she kept repeating this because she was really having a hard time. I reminded her that sometimes when we are scared we can always ask Jesus, Mary or God to please help us not to be scared anymore. She listened, was quite for a few minutes and then the questions I thought I wouldn’t get as a parent for another 10 years started pouring out of my 3 year old.
TESSA: “Mama, why ask Jesus and Mary and God to make me not scared of the lightening when they could just make the storm stop?”
MAMA: “Well, God is so big that we can’t always understand Him, but even when we don’t understand we know one thing for sure; He loves us more than anything, so we can ALWAYS ask Him to help us,”
TESSA: “Yeah, but if he loves me he’ll take the storm away so I don’t have to be scared anymore?”
MAMA: “Well, no,” I said. God doesn’t always do what we ask of Him, He loves us so much and knows better than we do what is the best thing for us. He is even smarter than mommy and daddy.”
TESSA: “But why does he want me to be scared? That’s not very nice of Him, that’s not loving.”
While Tessa sat on a bathroom stool asking all the questions of faith and life, Joseph and I made eyes of desperation and shock at each other through the bathroom mirror. I was literally saved by the bell when the siren stopped and I excused myself to go into the living room and check the TV to see if the storm had passed.
The all clear was given and our family theology session in the bathroom ended. Later, during night time prayer Tessa thanked Jesus for keeping us safe during the storm. As I was mentally patting myself on the back for my awesome parenting she interrupted my prideful moment:
TESSA: “See mama, God will take the storm away when I ask him to. So I don’t have to be scared. Because He DOES love me.”
MAMA: “Umm, well, that’s not really…ummmm..not every time…. He didn’t…ummmm. Goodnight! I love you!”
Apparently I was chocking on all my pride!
So God won’t ALWAYS clear Tessa’s path of storms. I know I’ll have to teach her about redemptive suffering someday.
But really, cut me a break, I’ve got a 3 year old theologian on my hands here and I was sitting crossed legged on a cold title bathroom floor, nine months pregnant in a tornado warning. I can only do so much.
Clearly I need to start asking for God to guide me in my parenting of my very intuitive and inquisitive daughter!