Today is my oldest’s seventh birthday! As per tradition we hid his presents for him to go on a fun present hunt. Last year we kicked it up a notch by using harder hiding places and writing him clues to find the next one. This year we went a step further. Each clue was written in code that he would need to find certain books around the house to help break, then follow the somewhat cryptic clue to find the present.
My husband and I painstakingly worked these codes and clues out asking each other’s opinions on whether it would be too hard or too easy. We enjoyed doing it and wrapped each present with care and stayed up after sending the kids to bed to hide them in their respective places. Then left all 10 clues in an envelope with “Colton” written in bright green somewhere where it would be one of the first things he’d see when he woke up.
This morning he found the envelope, and excitedly proclaimed “Wow!! Maybe its 10 dollars!” He was slightly confused when he flipped through the clues and couldn’t understand what they said. With as much encouragement that I could muster at 7 am, I pointed out the steps he’d need to follow to figure out what the clue said. Off he went to get started. Over the next two and a half hours I watched as he rode the roller coaster of emotions working through riddles and clues and searches.
Some of the presents were met with a “Cool!!” And some were opened with a less enthused, “Another Hot Wheel.” As I watched and struggled to keep my own emotions at bay, I couldn’t help but think about how often I do the same thing walking through life. God has painstakingly designed a road for us to walk and enjoy. Is it always easy, and everything we need is handed to us or in plain sight? NO!! But He wants us to relax and enjoy it still, even when it gets a little tougher.
Several times, Colton came to me frustrated because of a certain clue. And I had to remind him, “This is meant to be fun, Bug! Don’t freak out when you can’t figure something out, just relax!”
God must feel that way, when we come to him complaining about things that are hard in our life. I’m not talking exactly about the really tough trials, though we can have joy and relax through those, too. I’m talking about the everyday struggles.
“My kids woke up at 5:30 am!! Again!!”
“My husband missed the laundry basket, again.”
“When is this kid going to get the hang of potty training?!”
Are these things tough and hard and frustrating? Yeah!! I’m not downplaying that. I’m simply pointing out that someday we can look back and laugh at these tough times. And, like most empty nesting moms or women whose husbands have passed away before them, we’ll have a tear in our eye.
There’s a country song that repeats over and over:
“You’re gonna miss this
You’re gonna want this time back.”
And, even though, I’m right in the thick of it, too, I strongly believe it to be true! Don’t waste the time wishing away the tough things. Lean in, Relax, and stay loose.