Saturday, September 18, 2010

The Spoiled Bike.

"But godliness with contentment is great gain."   I Timothy 6:6

This is Violet's bike.  Notice how tiny the tires are.  She has been riding this bike since she learned to ride on two wheels. This picture is from when Violet was 5.  She just turned 8.  It is comical to watch her, legs making countless rotations just to get a few feet away.  It is well beyond time for her to have a new bike. 

But first, I have a confession to make.

 This is hard.

 My sister will be reading this and it is something we banter about quite often.  Now I have to go on with it.

I am spoiled. 

There.  I said it.  We often accuse each other of being spoiled in youth.  But I think I need to clarify that my parents did an excellent job getting us to adulthood and I cannot blame them for this flaw.  I think I was just born with it.  It all has to do with patience.  If "patience is a virtue" and "good things come to those who wait," then I'm wondering if it counts if you have no choice in the matter:  "Patience is a virtue even if you scream and kick all the way to getting it"?

I had in my mind that my life would run as follows:
1. Happy childhood     =    completed.
2. Happy, productive teenage years with few regrets    =    accomplished.
3. Happy, productive college years getting a full education    =    mostly accomplished with a few misgivings.
4. Happy marriage to a happy Christian husband, happy babies added to a happy home, attending a happy church with happy friends and happy family nearby, living happily ever after    =     here is where things stalled. 

I seemed to have difficulty finding a man that I could either trust or love or would return these things to me.  I didn't understand why God wasn't giving me what I wanted.  So I got annoyed, then angry and then finally gave up and resigned myself to happy singlehood.  I couldn't fight God forever.

It was then that I met him.... 

Yes, "Ooo-la-la."  I agree.

Then when I was ready for babies, I had to wait. I HATE waiting.  Lots of prayers later, when I'd finally reconciled myself to not having any of my own babies, I discovered that we were going to have a baby:

Sweetness, double the sugar, with lots of delicate heavenly scents:
My baby girl.

My husband and I lived tight.  We'd have made the "Tightwad Gazette" look extravagant.  We'd worked and saved and wanted a farm, and then, at the right time, we put our home on the market to see what we could do, and it was under contract in a week.  But where was our farm?  We had a good amount of money saved and from our house, but the place we loved fell through and now there was nothing for us.  The waiting was killing me, or so I thought and felt.  Waiting is not my thing.

And then just at the EXACT moment when we had to find something, the farm God had planned for us basically plopped into our lap.  Just like that.

Our little piece of heaven (with a lot of pieces of work attached).
But it was OUR farm.

And yet I still struggle with waiting.  And it rubs off on my kids.  I want to give them everything they need and want and the things I felt I didn't get or the things I did get and want them to enjoy, too.  Yes, that amounts to everything. 

My husband is wise.  He thinks things and stuff and not having to wait and work makes kids spoiled. 

In the springtime, I told my Farmer that Violet needed a bike and I was fixin' on getting her one. 
"No, your not."  He's always so careful about his wording.  Needless to say, we didn't agree, and my hatred of waiting made me angry when he said she could get one for her birthday, if she worked hard and deserved it.  Her birthday is in September, miles and miles away from springtime.

I have to admit, I felt so sorry for my kid; but she didn't seem to notice at all.  She rode that mite-sized piece of junk everywhere. 

Yes, the child is pretty nearly always happy as a lark.
(Except when I don't agree to the kind of boots she thinks I need to wear.
Or when Grandma tells her the boots she likes are too high-heeled.
Or when her aunt gets married and moves across the country.
Or when her 8 boy cousins tease her.
But, otherwise, always happy.)

Violet and I enjoyed our treks to town where we'd look at the bikes in the store and I'd let her pick out which was her favorite.  My girl was going to get a new bike for her birthday. 

Then news came.  My whole family had made plans to go to Knoebels, the fun amusement park; my kids have never been to an amusement park.  What a fun thing for us all to do. 

My "our kids will not be spoiled" husband said we were not going AND getting a new bike: one or the other.  I wanted to spit nails at him.  But I thought about what he said and told Violet.  I was surprised that she had no tears, no kicking fit as I wanted to.  She just non-chalantly said, "Ooo, I want to go to an amusement park!"  What?  And ride that knee-sized bike until your eighteen?!  But my Farmer said we could look out for a used bike.

So, I told her that...and waited...and waited.  Craig's List wasn't helping me out. 
Then I prayed. 

And I remembered the verse:  "godliness with contentment..."  I wasn't practicing either very well; I was trying to go along with my husband, although I wasn't having the best of attitudes about it; but I noticed that godliness doesn't have contentment attached.  It's extra.  It has to be added in, worked on, fused.  My daughter was content.  Even if her birthday came and we hadn't found "her" bike yet, I knew she'd still be content.  Because that's what her father was teaching her.

But God smiles on little kids who are content and teaching their mothers valuable lessons about how spoiled they can act sometimes...
too many times, I'm afraid.

Happy Birthday, kid!

Don't catch your fancy boots up in those big wheels...

...and don't forget the thank your father who surprised us both with that fancy basket (which just happened to cost 3 times as much as the bike,)
because underneath it all, that's the kind of man he is.

And I love him for it.


  1. Great post! Isn't it funny, that's some of the same stuff I'm struggling with right now. I hate waiting. Tough lesson to learn, that's for sure!

  2. Thanks, Jackie!
    I enjoy reading your blog,too!


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