Boom! Another clap of thunder rang out. This time it was closer.
"C'mon. Hurry up. Everybody to my room." Big sister Laura made sure her sister and brother heard her announcement. Her mom was already headed to the usual meeting place.
Flash! Lightning lit up the hallway just as Mom got to the doorway. She flinched and hurried into the room. The three children came in right behind Mom, each carrying a pot and spoon.
Laura's mom was terrified of thunder and lightning. So years ago, she made a conscious and, for her, difficult decision: thunderstorms at the Johnson house would be fun!
Whenever the skies darkened and the faintest rumbling of thunder could be heard, Laura's mom sent one child to the kitchen to get pots and spoons, one to pull down the thick, room-darkening shade, and one to make sure someone cleared space in the middle of Laura's room for everyone to sit on the floor.
Again, flash! "Is everyone ready? It's time!"
With each lightning bolt the family beat their pots as hard as they could and sang at the top of their lungs. The object of the game was to be so loud that they could not hear the thunder at all. Between claps of thunder they tried to guess what God was doing up in heaven to make so much noise. Mom never let Laura, Tad, and Chia forget that whatever His activity, God knew exactly what He was doing and would take care of them in the meantime.
Laura's mom's fear of thunderstorms developed early in life. When she was a little girl, her grandmother (Laura's great-grandmother) lived with them. Grandma was not usually a very nervous person, but at the first darkening of the sky, Grandma would begin to shake, and then she would lock herself in a closet. Laura's mom always went with Grandma. In the beginning, she may have gone in the closet to keep Grandma company. But after years of this weather-triggered ritual, Laura's mom began to fear thunderstorms every bit as much as Grandma.
Laura's mom knew that choices we make often affect those around us too, and she chose not to pass on her fear to her children. What a great choice she made!
Message for Mommy: When I am afraid, I will trust in you. --Psalm 56:3
Pick-me-up: Fear does not come from God. But sometimes, in our humanity, we forget that. We must remember to reach out for God's hand whenever we feel fear creeping into our lives:
Lord, whatever it is that I fear today, help me to handle it. Keep me so close to You that fear does not even have a place in my life. Amen.
Creative Parenting: Take a minute to think about the things that you really fear. Are you passing that fear on to the next generation? Take steps right now to find a positive way to deal with your fear so your children will not have to.
*Being entered in the drawing to win a copy of Mommy Pick-Me-Ups is easy. All you have to do is e-mail me and tell me what picks YOU up as a Mommy. I'm sure you've got some wonderful answers! And for each pick-me-up you send me at email@example.com, you'll be entered in the book drawing, which will be on Friday, July 30th. Then look for a post next week that will list everyone's favorite pick-me-ups!