When I was a little girl my dad, who was a pastor, loved to tell the story about my interpretation of the “Golden Rule”. When asked what I thought it meant I would say:
You be mean to me, I be mean to you.
Obviously, my parents had to correct me on my thinking but from a 5-year-old’s perspective, I thought “doing unto others as you would have them do unto you” meant you had free reign to reciprocate ugly actions and words to the perpetrator.
My 5-year-old thinking came flooding in yesterday when I watched my own kids struggle through this kindness thing. My oldest daughter, Ellie, wanted to record a workout for kids that had a character trait for the workout. She wrote this workout last week.
Being a proud momma, I said yes and got them all set-up to lead the workout. Her younger siblings were going to be in the workout, they each had a job(Ellie leading, Zeke as DJ and Olivia on the timer). The problem was that when they started the workout both of the younger siblings decided to do their own thing. They didn’t listen to older sisters cues, they argued when she told them how to do things, brother hit big sis at one point and he pouted instead of squatting.
After they were done Ellie was quite frustrated with them. She had worked so hard on this workout only to have siblings not cooperate the way she wanted them to. She was upset and said we couldn’t publish the video.
I was also upset with the situation but instead of yelling at everyone(which believe me I wanted to) I prayed. I prayed that the Lord would speak to my kids individually to help them practice what they preached on kindness in this workout they just recorded for other kids.
As we were driving to soccer practice later the same day my middle child tells me “Mommy, I feel bad for ruining Ellie’s workout video. I’m going to ask if she wants to re-do it”. These are the “winning” moments all of us moms dream of and rejoice over when they occur. The Lord had convicted my daughter that it wasn’t right to not support the dreams of her sister or show kindness in the process.
When we got home my kids offered to re-record the workout but after thinking about it, Ellie said “You know, I’m ok with us posting the video we recorded. Other kids need to see that we aren’t perfect. I want them to know you can still go on even when someone is not kind to you”. Another WIN in my books!
I agree with my daughter. Life is messy. Things don’t go as planned. People let us down. In those moments we can either give up or press on. Ellie chose to press on and she prays this workout and story blesses you and your kids today.
My sister likes to play workouts for her kids while she cooks dinner so they can get their wiggles out and she gets to cook in peace. Give it a try!
Rachael, Ellie, Olivie & Zeke