Sunday, May 13, 2012

learning life lessons... from your kids

The story of Thomas.

Ive wanted to write this blog post since it happened but as I mulled it over in my head, it sounded kinda dumb. But this blog isnt just for you... its also for the three beautiful people I helped to create that make this blog what it is. SO! Im writing this for Jumeirah today, but also to show you just how incredible those lessons from your kids can be.

A few blog posts ago I wrote how Jumeirahs beloved bird flew from my shoulder and went missing.
I had to tell her straight after school. I watched in absolute gut wrenching pain as she crumpled to the floor and wailed.

I prayed with her... that God would bring him back. But I also prayed that God would keep him safe, knowing that sometimes God doesnt answer prayer like we would want Him to. Its a tough lesson, one Im still struggling with. Its not a lesson I wanted to have to teach my 7 yr old just yet. She seemed ok with all of what was going on once she had passed that initial shock.

She came to me and told me it wasnt my fault, and that she forgave me. Even though it was my fault and I didnt forgive myself. She had no anger, no blame, no anger to me or to what had happened.
If it was me, I would have gotten cranky, ranted because of something that could have been avoided so easily. She didnt. Not once.

On Wednesday, he'd been missing for a whole day and two whole nights ( one of which rained) but I told her he could still be ok, not holding  out any hope of him being ok. In the afternoon, I had made her some posters to put up around our streets, showing who he was and that he was missed.
The last poster I put up was slightly further than I was going to post but I have one left.
A man came out of his house and asked what we were doing ( I thought he was going to be cranky cos you arent supposed to post up flyers) and I told him we had lost a bird. He went to get his wife who came out to talk to us.
She claimed to have seen Thomas that morning ( 8 hours earlier) in an adjcent street on the lawn. And so we raced around the street, up and down and in everybodys garden looking for him. If he had been there this morning, he was long gone now. I knocked on two houses, both had seen no sign of him.

At this point, Im sorry to say, I got incredibly cranky at God. Frustrated that, as we had finally begun the process of realising Thomas was gone and moving on from that, we were given impossible hope. So so mad as I watched my beautiful girl cry all over again thinking he would still be there and wasnt. And hurt because again I went through that horrible pain of totally hurting her.

An hour later we went home and waited for daddy. He went and did another lap of the street he was seen in without any luck.

Later that evening as I was preparing dinner, I "felt" I should go do one more lap. It was dark and pointless but the feeling wouldnt let up. So I left the gang and jumped in the car for one final fruitless lap.
I ranted at God, telling Him that I understood He had lessons to teach but to give hope when it wasnt going to happen was just plain mean. I couldnt find the bird anywhere in the street and turned to drive home.
Leaving the street, I was stopped. I again felt I should knock on one more door. Annoyed,  I got out and knocked. And older man anwered and I apologised for annoying him but had he seen a small cockatiel, possible anytime between monday afternoon and wednesday night?

His response: " Yes"

Shocked I asked him "really?" and still he replied "yes".

He told me he has found a little bird on his driveway that afternoon and found him very tame and amde for him a makeshift cage from an overturned washing basket and went to ring the radio station to say they'd found an obviously pet bird.
Once he had made the call ( not a station I listen to) he came out to find butcher birds had ripped apart the basket, and Thomas trying to escape their attack. He flew down the street and into a tree.
The man and his wife ran down to see if they could help him, and pulling a branch away from a tree, Thomas fell into his wifes arms.

They took him home, made another cage in their garage and closed the door. The time this happened was 4.30pm, right when we were posting up signs.

I thanked him profusely, all the while meekly looking heavenward and apologising my heart out.

I got home with this little bird to a child who just fell on him in absolute wonder and joy.

The following day, I was thinking again about what I would have said to her if she'd been the one that lost him.... things like " Dont take him outside again" , or " be more careful"... not terribly harsh things but warnings of things that could happen again.

AS I dropped her at school, she turned to me and said " Mum would you mind not taking Thomas outside today? I think he'll need a rest" and I  was again rendered speechless. How does this incredible child at only 7 give me that kind of Grace? From the start the the happy finish she showed me what it was like to be completely forgiven, to be loved when she was hurting, and true humbling grace given without any motive or hesitation.

I was completely floored by her and the lessons she taught, most of which she will never really understand.
And I learnt that God does sometimes answer prayer the way we think and to never let go of that faith in Him.

I know if seems a fairly simple, not that exciting story but thats ok :) I learnt so much from it I really cant put it into words. I hope that you have moments like this too ( well hopefully not quite like this) where you can see just how amazing kids can be, and how God can teach you the biggest lessons from the hardest of challenges. And the lessons continue... over the weekend we went and took down all the posters, with each one thanking God for his awesomeness.We came to one poster and found a note written by a child at Jumeirahs school ( an old kindy friend, not one she currently playes with).
And it says: Im watching your bird Jumeirah. I will try to find it. Dont worry! By rachel.

Kids just know exactly what to say, from the deepest pure parts of a heart, to totally help someone in need.


  1. I love this story. I love how you articulate the feelings and emotions. You say it's simple and not exciting...I disagree. The fact that he was found is incredible!

    I pray that you have respite from such challenging life lessons and that you finally forgive yourself and chalk it up to...oops I messed up - won't do that again.

    Hugs for a wonderful mummy and an incredible little girl :)

  2. I am glad you wrote this down for the kids to be able to read. I think it helps us soak things in better too. It is funny how our children teach us so much and even more about our own relationship with God. :)