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Ten Tiny Fingers
By Karen L. Fasig

Children are not my favorite things in this world. They are messy, noisy and, above all else, demanding. Everything is about "them" from the moment they are born. Your life must revolve around their needs Ė as soon as they open their eyes, until they close them to go to sleep, you are theirs.

I know what I say is true, because I have three of them.

Now, three would be controllable, except that they bring umpteen friends into the house and then these friends are all about "them" also. They walk into a room and it seems as if an earthquake has struck. Shoes, books, coats, clothes and noise invade without consideration of other occupants.

Whatever you are doing must cease to meet their incessant wants. "Iím hungry," one whines. "Iím thirsty," says another. "You know I have soccer practice and if you donít hurry Iím going to be late."

When they are finished whining to you, they begin to bicker back and forth amongst themselves.

I remember watching a Bill Cosby special, more years ago than I care to remember, that brought my husband and I to our knees in laughter.

"Donít touch me! Mom, heís touching me!" Mr. Cosby related as he slid into one character after another.

"Am not."

"Are too."

"Now look I told you to stop touching your sister."

The words you just spoke havenít even died in the air when the refrain starts again.

"Donít touch me! Mom, heís touching me again."

What made the segment so hilarious was the truth in it. I saw my children in every word he spoke. These little gifts from God drive me insane at times. When they are home, chaos reigns. They should all get Max Lucadoís book "Itís Not About Me."

In I Corinthians 14:40, God tells us, "Let all things be done decently and in order." Where is the order in children? I still havenít figured out how children fit into Godís plan for order.

It must be one of those things that Deuteronomy 29:29 is talking about, "The secret things belong unto the LORD our GodÖ" because order among children is a complete secret to me.

But you try to comfort yourself with the fact that soon theyíll be grown and move out on their own. Fat chance! They get older, but they seem to remain attached at your hip and the chaos expands as they bring their "adult friends" home.

Finally they marry, and when they visit all of a sudden the chaos is gone. Quiet reigns and conversations of important matters can be discussed, but when they go to their new homes a void forms in your heart and the quiet you so longed for becomes deafening.

A longing for chaos to return begins to escalate into a need, and God, who knows everything, decides to fill that need. The next thing you know youíre in a delivery room standing beside this now adult child of yours as she brings a part of you into this world.

When that new life screams its first demands, there is no chaos for you. All you see are the perfect ten little fingers and toes, and even if in the worldís eyes they arenít perfect, to you nothing could be more orderly than the birth of that grandchild and the life that will follow.

Understand, children still are not my favorite things, but when these new ones arrive at the front door I welcome the chaos they bring into my living room. I long for the laughter that peels from their hearts and the pride they show when they think they have spoken like a grown-up.

God gave us the gift of children and the chaos they bring into our lives fits perfectly into His plan in I Corinthians 14:40 Ė just because I canít figure it out yet doesnít mean it isnít so. When I arrive in heaven the Lord will give me the answers to all my questions.

Until then, Iíll just have to enjoy the laughter and tears these chaotic creatures bring into my life. Iíll just have to rest in Deuteronomy 29:29 because I wouldnít want to live in this world without one of them.

Karen is the 54-year-old grandmother of seven and mother of three. She has authored many articles, two plays, "Memories" and "Basket of Cheer", and the book, "Over the Edge". Karen writes, edits and publishes her churchís newsletter. You can contact Karen via the Letters page of FaithWritersí Magazine.
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