|Kyla, my smiling beauty, mid-tickle-fight.|
Lately, I have been trying to perfect my ability to tickle-fight.
If you have kids, or just even an annoying or immature co-worker, then you understand that sometimes leading people can wreck your good attitude.
Even though I have four little blessings, sometimes amid whining and making lunch and messes and dirty diapers and noise, I sometimes forget that they are in fact little blessings instead of little terrors. Can't relate? I know I am not alone.
So, in an attempt to war against the bad attitude (mine) that is just waiting to creep out from under my peaceful exterior, I have tried to make my kids' smiles come out instead.
I read once in To Train Up a Child about "Tying Strings (click for a short video)." The basic idea is to tie "strings" of fellowship, joy, smiles, laughter, great memories and great love, with your kids (or anyone else, really). You can do this by creating experiences and emotions that draw your heart and your child's heart together; as if they were tied to each other. Because we all know that there are times when the strings we tie are then cut apart.
Strings are cut with angry words, a roll of the eyes, too many "no's", sarcasm, and not enough time to look them in the eyes and engage with them.
I can list all of the above so easily not because I just see it in others, but because I see it in myself. So, I can choose to re-tie the strings I have cut with smiles, loving touches, turning off my iPad and making eye-contact, listening to the rambling stories and about a million things more. I am sure you can think of a few to add to the list.
And, every day, I have committed to tie more strings than I cut. To keep them close. To keep their heart connected with mine. When they grow up, what is going to keep them from breaking free just as soon as they're able? ...The strings that I tie today.
So, bring on the tickle fights. They are an instant attitude-breaker and a joy-bringer. Try it! Or, tie some different strings of your own (and share some of your ideas in the comments below).