Tonight Sister thought she should ignore my instructions and my warnings about taking her money out of the house and keeping it in her pocket. That $70 was her birthday money she received over the last 3 days. She took it to church in a yellow plastic bag with her name on it. That makes it safe, right? Unfortunately it fell out of her pocket and it is gone.
I'm glad she lost her money.
No, I'm not being vindictive. I'm not wishing her heartache or sadness. I'm not trying to be punitive or harsh.
Because she lost her money, I saw a side of my child I had not seen before. If she hadn't lost her money I wouldn't have seen this in her.
For starters she didn't freak out like I expected that she would. She calmly (or at least when I saw her) alerted the adults around her that the plastic bag with money was gone. She walked around looking for it everywhere for about a half hour. Sister didn't cry obnoxiously. She didn't blame anyone. She simply accepted that most likely it was gone and it was a result of a choice she had made. When I asked her if we learned a lesson, she said, "I already learned this lesson, I just forgot."
Sure, she cried a few tears, but I never saw them. She didn't pout, she didn't whine, and she didn't throw a fit. The Hubs and I were so impressed with how well she behaved, how mature she acted, and the way she accepted full responsibility that the anger (or maybe frustration) we had at her at church quickly melted away. When we got home we decided that while she needed to feel the sting of consequences of not listening to me about taking her money out like that, we wanted to reward her for her mature choices and actions. And hey, it IS her birthday money. We told her that we would give her half the money she lost. Again she accepted full responsibility and told me that it was her fault, we didn't need to give her money.
How my heart melted at what happened next.
I told Sister that we should pray about it. That sweet soul bowed her head and said, "Dear God, thank you for this day. Even though I lost my money, it was still a good day. If the person who has my money needs it more than me, I ask that you bless that money for them. If they don't need it more than me, please let them return it. Amen."
I can't even.
Do I wish she hadn't lost her birthday money? Yes. Am I glad I got to witness this test? Absolutely. She already is a precious, sweet girl; full of compassion and mercy.
She is going to be an AMAZING woman of God.