My in-laws got me a Nike pullover for Christmas. I liked it, but it was too snug. So I exchanged it for a different size.
Last week I ordered some boots online but when they arrived, I didn’t like the color. I returned them to the store and got a refund.
I’m planning my daughters’ birthday parties right now, which means shopping for goodie bag treats and decorations. I’m not sure how many kids will end up coming, but no worries—I buy extra because I can always take back whatever’s left.
Isn’t American shopping convenient? You buy something you think you want and if it doesn’t work out, no problem—you return it, exchange it, or sell it on eBay. What a deal.
Do you ever wish you could do that with your family?
Whaaaat? Get outta here. That’s terrible, Becky. How could you say such a thing?
Oh come on, girls. I’m only putting words to the thoughts we’ve all had once or twice or twenty times before.
Like in the heat of an argument with the hubby man. Grrr, I can’t BELIEVE he just said that!! Why did I MARRY this guy?
Or when the third grader pulls such a dagger-eye attitude, you seriously wonder if military school is a viable option. I taught her to be kind and grateful, gosh dangit! What is WRONG with her??
Or, as was my case, when the baby refuses to shut her eyes for more than 20 minute stretches, or when she wails every night between 5 and 11 p.m. in inconsolable fits of colic.
God! What is the DEAL? Where is the easy, cooperative, nap-proficient child I imagined?? This is NOT what I ordered!!
Oh really. And since when is God our J.C. Penney catalog?
My girls’ preschool teacher had a saying: You get what you get and you don’t throw a fit. Hmmm. Four-year-olds understand this. Why can’t we?
“…In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world” (John 16:33b).
Most of us live according to an underlying assumption that we ought to get what we want and nothing we don’t. As if we’re entitled to pick and choose our experiences here on Earth. But God says that ill-fitting shirt, those ugly shoes, that unruly child or that painful marriage conflict—it’s all normal. We should expect it. Don’t run out and try to replace it with something more comfortable. Keep it. Wear it. Allow it to grow you and change you.
Oh, I know—that kind of self-improvement is never fun. It’s painful. Comfort and entitlement are so much easier than trials. Yet they hold nowhere near the same power to transform.
“For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all” (2 Corinthians 4:17).
So, then. Next time you’re tempted to return your loved ones to wherever they came from, consider this.
Maybe you got the right size after all.
The problem is in the person trying it on.
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