Intentional Living Week Thirty-Six: Whose Journey Is It?

Posted: 10 years ago | By: Christine Somers | In: Intentional Living Series | Read Time: 4 minutes, 18 seconds

"If there is not struggle, there is not progress. Those who profess to favor freedom, and yet depreciate agitation, are men who want crops without plowing up the ground. They want rain without thunder and lightning. They want the ocean without the awful roar of its many waters. This struggle may be a moral one; or it may be a physical one; or it may be both moral and physical; but it must be a struggle." ~Frederick Douglas

Week 35 was all about how a period of creativity can follow a crisis. This week I am looking at how teachable moments craft the journey of others. 

I have been caring for my grandchildren this past week. Organizing, feeding and listening to four children, ages 5 through 11 is rewarding and exhausting. I love sitting around the kitchen table after school helping them with their homework and listening to the stories of their day. ("Mayor, did you know there is a planet named Uranus...get it Ur-anus?" From generation-to-generation that joke never gets old.) And cooking family style meals once again is just plain fun. Boy, do kids tell it like it is! My grandsons praise my "killer mac & cheese" while eating mounds of the hot, cheesy pasta.  My granddaughter on the other hand said it tasted like dirt and had peanut butter toast for dinner instead. The boys were horrified but I was amused. I did make a mental note: work on Charlotte's verbal filter.

This is just a two-week gig but I take it as seriously as I did when I was raising their father and aunt. Life at home and at school is about teachable moments. I prepare balanced meals, make sure they clean up after themselves, treat others respectfully and get them to bed on time to make sure they are rested the next day. I do all this because I love them and want them to be healthy and happy. I am intentional about how I care for my grandchildren.

Yesterday, #2 grand boy was on his Gameboy before breakfast. I called everyone for breakfast and GB2 insisted that he "HAD TO FINISH THE GAME". I said, "Nope, it is breakfast time and put the game away". I will the save you the drama that ensued but once at the table he refused to eat. GB2 is the best eater in the family and I knew he was going to be sorry that he didn't eat breakfast. After offering him breakfast three times, I decided not to force the issue. This was his choice; this was his statement; this was his journey.

So many times we want to save people from themselves particularly our children and grandchildren. We steal the teachable moments in life from them. We don't allow them to see the cause and effect of their actions. I am not talking about allowing an inebriated friend to get behind the wheel of a car but we shouldn't cover for him or her the next day at work.  Neither am I suggesting you allow a child to come to physical harm because her or she needs to learn a lesson; that's just wrong. As you live your life intentionally, the struggle is how-to allow others to craft their own journey, mistakes and all. Yes, you may see the train wreck ahead, metaphorically speaking but maybe there is nothing you can or should do.

When my grandson returned from school, he sheepishly said, "I ate half of my lunch for morning snack". I knew I had packed enough in his lunch for him to get though the day and it all turned out well in the end. But this was his journey and he needed to walk it. At times it may be difficult but as you ask others to respect the journey you are on, remember to do the same for them. 

Week 36 Assignment: Who are the people in your life that you want to "save"? How can you support them in their effort to craft their own journey?

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