It's no secret around here that I'm a little stuck in my ways. Maybe more than a little. Alright maybe a whole lot.
I'm sure I'm the only one with this problem. I bet all the rest of you have this issue wrapped up.
When a new one comes this issue gets a little out of control all over again.
I like to do things a certain way.
There. I've said it. I'm particular.
I try not to overwhelm others with my particularness, but for those who live in my house, well, I'm working on it.
When Hannah first moved in I was completely caught off guard with this.
More than one way to do something? Could this be true?
Yes, it was. There was a lot I needed to teach her, but there was also a lot she could teach me. I just didn't see it at first.
You know what I did see? Inconvenience. Lost time. Change.
And I may have had a slight panic attack.
In the beginning I tried to get her to do things the way I wanted them done. It didn't matter what it was, the goal was to do it my way.
That was a bad goal.
The goal should have been just to get it done.
Do I really need her to fold her socks a certain way? Does it really matter if she hangs her coat up by the hood? Is it really that important that she put the silverware in the dishwasher spoon-side up?
Um....no. None of that really mattered.
But it didn't keep all of those things from making me a mess in the beginning.
You know what did matter? Honesty. Effort. Consideration for others.
Makes you wonder why those spoons became so important doesn't it?
I'll tell you why. Because it was something I could control when my world was full of so much I couldn't.
Try as I might, honesty was going to take years to instill. Effort was going to be the death of me and I was pretty certain consideration was never going to show its face in our house.
But loading the silverware right? I could take care of that right now.
Those quick-fix issues, that really weren't even issues at all, became my focus. Yes, I still battled the lies and selfishness, but those little external things with no value consumed most of my time. Thankfully, only for a little while.
I don't remember exactly how God got my attention, but He did. One day I woke up to the fact that I was focusing on things that had no eternal value. Here I had this beautiful gift and I was more concerned with her sock drawer than I was with her heart. I needed to change.
Change is hard, but it's also necessary. It was for me.
I started filtering my corrections through this question, "Is it wrong or is it just not my way?"
The answer to that question mattered. I wanted to focus on the important stuff. I wanted to impact her heart, not just her behavior.
So I let go of the stuff that didn't matter. It was hard and it didn't happen overnight. The question between wrong and my way was constantly on my mind. I gritted my teeth through things that had no value, through things that were just preferences. I gave freedom for her to do things her way when I could. It took some time, but the day came when I no longer had to keep the question on the forefront of my mind, because the day came when this struggle was less of a struggle and more of a way of life.
It was a hard change, but it was a necessary one.
My dishwasher is still pretty much a mess, but thankfully, I'm less of one. I guess that's more important anyway.