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Making Bracelets

My daughter and I sat down to make bracelets together. After awhile, she started to get frustrated. Her beads kept slipping off the string when she neared the end of the bracelet. A couple of times the string actually broke when she tried to tie the ends together. Each time, the beads went flying, and she started crying. Over and over, again and again. It was heartbreaking to watch. I told her that I knew a better way. I told her I had a different kind of string that would make it much easier. (The glass beads were too heavy, and the string was too fragile.) She didn’t want my help, though. She said she could do it herself. She was determined to do it on her own. And so I watched. But she kept crying and my heart kept breaking because I knew it was never going to work out. She was going to grow more and more disappointed and frustrated with each and every try. She then started getting down on herself. “Why can’t I do anything right?” She cried. Eventually she gave up. She quit trying. She sat defeated in tears. I tried to console her, but it didn’t work. “This was the worst idea ever,” she said. That stung a little because I was actually looking forward to the girl time, just her and me. I thought it was the best idea ever. So while she sulked I secretly gathered up the beads and fixed the bracelet the way I was trying to tell her all along. Within 5 minutes the bracelet was complete. Her eyes widened in disbelief and happiness. As I thought about this later, God revealed to me a little something about myself. There are certain things I’ve been attempting to do lately (like Eva), and while I have attempted to do them “with God,” I haven’t been taking his direction very well. Like Eva, I’ve been talking to him and spending time with him. But I’ve been complaining to him and crying to him about my frustrations. I haven’t taken his advice or used His grace. I haven’t listened. Quite frankly, I’ve been trying to do it all MY way — which, as it turns out, is the hard way. I’m guessing our father has been just as heartbroken watching me struggle as I was watching Eva struggle. For some reason, I made God a spectator in our time together instead of a participant. I gave God the job of just keeping me company… when, in reality, He wanted to help. I wonder how many months and years I’ve wasted trying to string together big victories on a little grace. I wonder how quickly and easily these things would have come together had I truly put them in His hands… had I let Him yoke my moments to His power. I guess I’ll never know. But from now on I’ll be less apt to whine about my frustrations, and more inclined to listen for his guidance. And if I forget (which I know I will), at least now I have a little beaded bracelet to remind me to sit back and hand it over.

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