Friday, February 18, 2011

strength and bravery, 2/2011

jane and I have been spending a lot of time at chuck e. cheese lately. they got all new games, and in the daytime, the place is clean, quiet, and a super-cheap way to have some kid fun. at the one closest to our house, there is a little air-hockey table that she loves to play on. I consider myself to be a fairly good air-hockey player, but I always let her win. lately, its been getting easier to let her win! she’s got quite an accurate shot!
a few weeks ago, I scored a goal on jane and she pulled the puck out of the side, placed it on top of the table and said, “wait a minute, dad.” and with her most serious face, she made a heart shape with her hands, pointed it to the ceiling, and then grabbed the puck with a determined look on her face.

“what was that?!” I said. with a straight face she said, “that’s my strength and bravery.” “WHAT?! where did THAT come from?!” “oh- I just made it up.” and she continued her game with fierceness and resolve.

strength and bravery shows up all the time these days. during yatzee games, uno games, anytime jane needs to gear up, she gets those heart-hands out and her strength and bravery comes out.

yesterday we went to the jungle and I told jane that I would get her a toy if she rode the orange slide. jane has been avoiding the orange slide for years. it has a dark section to it, it involves a wobbly net-bridge, and its been intimidating her ever since we have been going there. she responded to my offer by saying, “I have enough toys.” I offered two toys. a lunch at burger king. I appealed to her age- after all- she’s six now, she’s not 3 anymore. nothing worked. I brought her flashlight with me and told her she could use it in the dark section, and she was not interested. finally, I said, “what if you got your strength and bravery. I bet that would help you do it.”

she took a deep breath. her lip kind of quivered, and those heart-hands went up to the ceiling. she gave me that serious look and simply said, “flashlight?” I handed it to her and off she went. she was strong and she was brave. she slid down that slide so fast that she flew out and landed on her bottom. she had tears in her eyes, but she did it. she faced her fears with strength and bravery. I was so proud. she slid down that slide 20 more times, and we got the last one captured with the cell phone.

 we drove to burger king, and the preacher in me was thinking about all of the spiritual applications from what we just experienced- about trusting your Father, about the passage in psalms that calls the bible a light for our feet and a lamp for our paths- and i was thinking about strength and bravery- and who it ultimately comes from.

“this is my command—be strong and courageous! do not be afraid or discouraged. for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.” -joshua 1:9 (new living translation)

I’ve taught jane much- and she is teaching me much too. imagine what we could accomplish if we could remind ourselves to be strong and brave whenever we are afraid, intimidated or overwhelmed?

God is love.