Allow me to introduce you to my new friend & my kids’ enemy: “The Crank Bank“.
It ain’t pretty. And no, I didn’t get all crafty with it, but it is what it is and it serves its purpose. I love my kids. They are beautiful, they are smart, they are fun-loving and love each other….75% of the time. And then, like all of us, they have their moments. Some more than others, some moments waaaaay longer than others. Frankly, as I mentioned before, “I don’t got time for dat!” So, when we hear anybody talking in a non-loving, disrespectful or just down right “fussy for too long” kinda way, they just might have to toss some dough from their piggy bank right here in the ol’ crank bank. May sound a bit much to some of ya, but for us, it works. A quarter here, a quarter there, and before we know it,
Mama may have a new pair of shoes we may have a decent trip to Disney! Or, it may just be where we draw upon as reward when they’re caught doing something above and beyond (ie: extra chores around the house)? Who knows. But, it’s there and to tell ya the truth, it’s pretty symbolic for us these days.
I grew up as quite the tom boy with two big brothers who toughened me up pretty good. I lived bare foot, outside, building forts and climbing trees and wanted nothing more than to be rough, tumble and strong like my bros. (Not quite the girly girl my mom had waited for, yet a chip off the ol’ block from what I hear of her as a wee one) I was tough as nails. My whole family was, we had to be. We had a lot of ups and downs, but we were strong. We’re also very real and very honest. We stuck together like glue, our faith was our fortress, and we’ve always known that God had a sense of humor and so did we. Our quirky sense of humor, paired with a whole lot of prayer, got us through everything. We laughed and we cried, but we didn’t cry over spilled milk either. At least not for long. If ya did, someone would show your their pantomime of “the world’s smallest violin playing my heart cries for you.” Move it along, sister, we have bigger fish to fry.
Ya see, I know my kids are on a roller coaster ride now. We all are. We’re gonna have up days and down days. But much like a roller coaster, there’s no chance to enjoy the ride if the cart just stops at the bottom and never goes back up again. I love roller coasters! I love the way they keep on movin’! I even enjoy when I’m upside down. I love heights. I love thrill seeking. I love adventure. I love a good time, but I’m not afraid of tough times because I know God is with me and I know that if I let Him, He will lock me in like a seatbelt on this ride and carry me through the loopty-loops and hold me at the bottom, in the quiet as well. My kids know that too. They’re confident that they are loved, not just by us, but by God all the more.
People have mentioned to me to make sure I let myself be real and let myself cry if I have to. No worries! I have those moments. I can “ugly cry” with the best of ’em, but I don’t stay there for long. I know my upbringing plays a HUGE part. Not just because my brothers made me tough, not just because I could jump, tuck and roll out of tree bare foot with the best of ’em, and not just because I’m the first to laugh out loud at myself if I was to trip on my face in front of a crowd. The faith that I learned from my Mama and through all the many people that have crossed our paths is what will carry us.
So my kids may be casting their coins in the ol’ “crank bank” from time to time, but our entire family is casting our cares, our worries, and our tears to the Big Guy upstairs. Yeah, we’ll all get a little fussy sometimes. It’s to be expected. For Pete’s sake, my kids are all age 10 and under, we’re not what you could call stable. Who is? But no need to stay there. Why dwell in despair? I recently received an anonymous card with only the following verse in it:
We’re casting all of our cares and worries at the foot of the cross and the grace and peace that we’re feeling is right there in that verse. It’s beyond understanding. I can’t explain why I’m still so happy. I can’t tell ya why I’m still smiling even at my lows, except to say that God’s pumping me with this unearthly grace. It’s a very cool feeling, I gotta tell ya.