Marilyn was beyond upset! She wondered if Ashlee would ever grow up. “You would think that at 25 she would get it!!” she complained to Martin. She had already spouted to her husband several of the grievances that she had against her daughter. Marilyn continued to rant.
“She promised! Her younger sister called and asked for her assistance and she said yes! Tori called her three times and texted her as well. They agreed to meet at 3:00. I planned my entire weekend around the two of them meeting! Tori and I were planning to go shopping for school clothes and then get her hair cut. We changed our whole day’s schedule around Ashlee’s availability. Then Ashlee doesn’t even show up or call Tori to tell her she’s not coming! Martin, that is absolutely unacceptable.”
“I agree. But she did call me and explain what was going on.”
“Yeah, after the fact! She had an agreement with Tori, not you.”
“You’re right. I should have made sure she called Tori back.”
Just then Martin’s phone rang. It was Ashlee. “She’s on her way, but won’t have very long,” muttered Martin.
“It’s been hours since they were supposed to meet. Here we are now ready to walk out the door and she calls and says she is suddenly free? It’s like she expects us to just be available whenever she just happens to have time? I don’t get it!”
Marilyn was fired up! It was a good thing Ashlee wasn’t around at that moment. Marilyn knew she would give her a piece of her mind! She could tell that Martin was spinning up too. He was probably more angry than she was.
Later that evening, Marilyn was sitting in her favorite bedroom chair with her bible and journal. “Lord, help me to see truth in this situation with Ashlee. Help me to see what is lovely in my daughter. Help me to understand what is going on.”
As she spent time in prayer her thoughts became more focused on the situation. “Ashlee did have something really important that came up. She did call her dad and explain the reason she wasn’t there. So, Lord, why am I so upset about what happened. Is it because it ruined my day?”
The longer she sat there she knew the answer. “I want the girls to be close. I want them to always be there for each other. What I really wanted was for Ashlee to call her sister because I want the connection to always be there,” she thought. “Tori seemed really hurt by the lack of empathy from her sister.”
Because Tori hurt, Marilyn hurt for her.
Marilyn arranged a special lunch with Ashlee later in the week. As they sat there talking Marilyn chose not to dwell on what happened. She chose instead to emphasize her desires. “Ashlee, you know how much your sister idolizes you, don’t you? She is working really hard to connect with you. I know something came up last weekend and that you couldn’t meet with her like you two had planned, but can I encourage you to call her more often, even if it is just to check in with her?”
“Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think on such things.”
As parents, sometimes we want to step in and tell our 20-somethings what they did that was wrong. Depending on their personality and their level of independence, they may not be able to handle the “parenting” we want to give them. Instead of focusing on the negative behavior, try emphasizing the behavior you want to see more of and explain why you would like to see it. Whatever we pay attention to GROWS!
Dare you to try to take a difficult situation and try to address it in the positive.
“Let go…and let God”,