Talk about setting myself up for defeat. Basically, I was giving my kids candy so that over the next week I can spend most of my time saying, “No, honey, not until after lunch;” and “No sweetie, you’ve had enough candy today;” and “Please stop asking me for candy!” and “What are you chewing? Did you ask Mommy if you could eat candy?” Yeah, brilliant parenting.
I’ve heard some people say they let their children spend one day gorging themselves on candy and then they throw the rest away. Sounds great in theory until they’re throwing up all over the white carpet. Then I’ve heard parents say they give one candy a day until it’s all gone. That’s a noble goal, but my kids are sneaky! One ain’t gonna cut it.
I’m thankful that God is better at parenting than I am. I’m thankful that He didn’t fill my proverbial Easter basket with too much candy. At times I think I might actually have too much candy in my life – candy I take for granted. You know what I mean? Five wonderful children, a lovely home, food on the table, a comfy bed, a cell phone, a computer, time to write a silly blog or two, warm bubble baths, pretty clothes, a car that runs, friends who love me, family who loves me, Chickfila every once in a while, great neighbors, wonderful church family, coffee dates with friends, a hot cup of tea and a thousand other little things. I’m blessed by a lot of good jelly beans in my life.
Then there is the candy I like to sneak…the nasty stuff I should stay away from, but I just have to have a nibble. I think the world offers us a lot of nasty candy. It’s junk, in fact, it’s poisonous. It makes us sick at heart and sick in the head. It makes us forget the beauty of all God’s blessings – His good and perfect gifts.
Too often I forget how blessed I really am. I think if I understood the sacrifice of Christ and what it truly means for me, I would be so grateful that I’d want nothing more. It would be enough. I wish I understood it that deeply. I don’t think it’s wrong to want good gifts from God. Unfortunately, it’s when those desires are all about me and based in discontent that they rob me of my joy. Like my kids who are so used to getting candy that it’s no longer considered something special…just another “good” thing they expect. They’re so busy wanting the next candy; they aren’t enjoying the one they’re currently chewing.
I can get so focused on what’s lacking in my life, I miss the joy of what I have. God’s gifts are described as good and perfect. Sometimes God’s definition of good is a bit different from mine. And His perfect is long-range perfect and mine tends to be perfect for this second. “But that would be so yummy right now!! I know I’ll feel dreadful later but it’s worth it.” It never is though. God’s perfect is always perfect. God’s good is very good. Just like my candy issues with my children – they would eat them any time of day, ruin meals and end up with tummy aches. It’s my job to make sure that the candy stays a good thing. That it’s appreciated, enjoyed and has no ill-effects.
So I gave my hooligans candy and we’ve already had way too many battles of begging and sneaky snacks. Even had one complain several times of tummy aches, although it doesn’t seem to slow down her desire to eat chocolate. Golly, I see so much of myself in my children.
This Easter (and every day), I’m thankful for the reminder that I am truly blessed beyond measure. And I’m praising God that I can never have too much of Jesus, the sweetest Easter candy ever.