Five Minute Friday – Choose

Here we are, back at Five Minute Friday!  Today is the day I write for the sake of writing.  I love this day.

Last time the word was SMALL.

Today’s writing prompt is… CHOOSE.

five minute friday choose

Five Minute Friday

Before they were two, it was clear that I was blessed to be raising strong willed boys.  Not one, but TWO of them.  Sixteen months apart… worlds different from each other… but both as strong willed as any example James Dobson could cite.

I had to choose my battles.

I had to choose them carefully.  They got away with mismatched shoes, outrageous outfits, crazy hair, and even potato chips for breakfast.  I saved up my strength for the important stuff.  Like…

… Sunday morning attire (the one day a week you dress for God and Momma)

… swallowing medicine

… parking lots, street crossings, and strangers

… making good choices on television, going outside to play, not hurting others, and saying “I’m sorry” when needed

Before they were three, it was clear that I wasn’t the only one who needed to learn to pick their battles.  Both boys had to learn the same hard lesson.

As we stood locked in combat one Sunday morning because I absolutely refused to allow anyone to wear a dirty Superman shirt (complete with cape) to church, I looked my defiant child in the eyes and told him

You have a choice to make.  You can do this the easy way or the hard way, but you WILL change your shirt.

He asked me what the easy way was.  That was simple.  Just take off the shirt and let mommy pop another one on.

do you chose the easy way or the hard way

He asked what the hard way was.  I painted a picture of mommy and daddy forcibly removing his beloved Superman shirt… possibly ripping it in the process.  I helped him imagine the feeling of it as it pulled past his ears.

He decided to choose the easy way.  I rewarded his choice by swiftly popping his second favorite super hero shirt over his head.

From that day forward, I frequently reminded my boys that they could choose the easy way or the hard way, but that in the end they would do what I asked.

I’m happy to report that with increasing frequency, they choose the easy way.

I’ve often wondered if God feels the same way.  Does he ever whisper to me that I can choose the easy way or the hard way… but that in the end I’ll end up where he desired me to be all along?  When I pick the easy way, do I get the equivalent of my second favorite super hero shirt as my reward?  When I pick the hard way, does it disappoint Him as much as it disappoints me as a mom?

I do my best to choose the easy way.

STOP.

Five Minute Friday  is hosted by Lisa-Jo Baker on her blog. Five minutes of free writing flash mob goodness.

Other voices on the same writing prompt can be found on Lisa’s blog in her post on How to Choose What’s Important Today.

If you aren’t familiar, the rules are simple.  Lisa-Jo gives a single word writing prompt every Friday.  Each of us have five minutes to write and post.  No editing, no second guessing, no fancy stuff.  Just plain writing – straight from the heart. (click HERE for the official rules and details).  Then we go visit other participants and shower them with comment love

Five Minute Friday

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Susan Baker
I have a passion for encouraging weary worn out mothers to find joy in everyday motherhood and peace in unlikely places. I have two elementary school boys, one nerdy husband, and two cats. I have a strange fascination for bad puns, the color pink, socks, and books. I worry about running out of toilet paper, wine, and chocolate.. I serve an amazing God. I live an ordinary life filled with wonder.
Susan Baker
Susan Baker

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Comments

  1. Jolene Rose says:

    Yes, I have to pick my battles with both of my strong-willed daughters. (My son is easy going. He needs to be with both of his sisters being opinionated.) My eldest daughter did several things "the hard way" this week. I can relate to this post. Thank you for sharing.

    • I spent much of the weekend living with “the hard way.” I just had to keep reminding myself that I preferred learning my lessons the hard way when I was their age. It’s hard to admit, but true.

  2. I have one of those stubborn little people too! A girl. I have had to learn the hard way that I need to choose my battles carefully and not make everything a battle or else life is hard. Choosing what to battle and what not to is the wisdom all of us as parents need.

    • I learned about picking my battles the hard way. I picked a few that weren’t worth fighting for. I’ve picked a few that I wasn’t sure I could win. Best advice I can give is to always find a way to win. Ideally, both you and your daughter win. The moment she thinks she can outlast you for the win… it’s over.

  3. Oh, SO TRUE. I don’t think I put things in these terms often enough. There generally is an easy way and a hard way…it’s being done either way, just pick your method. I love that you do this and it is paying off!! I’m going to remember this tool in my parenting bag! –Lisa

    • I used the phrase yesterday morning as I once again battled over what clothes were being worn to church. Sorry kid, but torn warm up pants aren’t church attire.

  4. I still choose my battles with my youngest son every single day. I think anyone with a strong-willed child could relate to this post. By the way, do you ever wonder where those strong-willed children get it? I have noooo idea….certainly not their parents.

    • Mine must get it from their dad! I’m certainly not strong willed. No… never. Not me. I um… never threw vegetables behind the refrigerator rather than eating them. I’ve always been such a mild-mannered and compliant person.

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