From my FB page – notes section on Sunday.
This has come up a few times recently, so here is a funny story about Ali when she was little girl.
When I was growing up, my dad and I butted heads quite often. I was a sassy little girl. I had a decent vocabulary, so I often said what I wanted to. One day when I was about three, I noticed the bird feeder outside the window was empty. I thought crackers would be a decent substitute so I sat on the floor next to the end table in front of the window with a sleeve of saltine crackers. Every three year old knows saltines are too big for sparrows to eat! So I smashed them on the table one after the other. Took one out, smashed in with my chubby lil fist, scootched to over to make room for the next one. I was about halfway done with the sleeve of crackers before I sensed my endeavor would soon be interrupted. I was single minded in my focus, my eyes and hands keeping busy when I heard my dad ask me “What do you think you are doing?”
I didn’t even look up from what I was doing. I remember how my thinking worked through this particular problem. I had a mission, and my parents saw a mess. I figured if I could only finish up the sleeve of crackers before I was removed form the situation, I could show them the purpose…that never happened. I am pretty sure I got smacked for sassing my dad. Although I like to think he was a tiny bit proud of me because of my determination. I can’t even remember what happened after that.
Over the following years I happened to be the child who, for better or worse,asked about stuff, read stuff, questioned stuff, and listened when others talked. I would hang out around the adults and absent mindedly playing with some quiet toy and I would be listening. Didn’t you ever read Ma Ingalls tell Pa – Little pitchers have big ears? Just another way of saying be careful what you say around them because you will be filling their head with something, good or bad. I believe many adults don’t realize that and many children don’t bother listening to grown up talk much anymore.
My dad – Papa John – is really great. When we were young kids my siblings never wanted to ask our dad for anything, they were always afraid to ask. Maybe the answer would be no! Maybe he would get mad about the question! Maybe there would be a condition on his agreement!! The horror!
Meh – I just asked – if it was a yes okay if it was a no okay too. He is dad. He knows what he is doing.
I could usually get a yes out of him. How was that possible? Because I paid attention to his answers, I saw how he thought about things. I lined my thinking up with his. I didn’t ask for the crazy and stupid. I asked for what I knew he would like to say yes to. Not always, sometimes I got stubborn and rebelled against him, and guess what? I found out when I was grown he was usually right.
I would often make requests on behalf of my siblings growing up. But I never asked my dad about what my friends could do. That is just silly. Sometimes we would have friends that would hang out a long time around our house and become a part of the family, they could ask for favors and were often granted. But the relationship needed to come first.
If I ask for something of my dad on behalf on a friend and it turns out badly, my judgment loses a bit of credibility – see how that goes?
I very rarely ask for favors on behalf of another.
Now here is the part that didn’t make it to FB. I DO pray for others. I pray all day if I can. I am constantly chatting it up with Abba. But they are my spiritual siblings and I love them fiercely. But when I see prayer requests…blech. no thank you.