When Things Go Wrong: Rule of Three +1Suzanne Broadhurst
I love Art Deco’s Rule of Three, not only for the art, jewelry, and architecture it inspires, but also for its application to planning that makes for a saner life. But what happens when three (or more) things go wrong? Did your mom ever say, “Trouble comes in threes?” What happens when the trouble comes in three plus one?
Rule of Three Plus One: Love
My big brother, who is 13 years older than I, used to count together with me. No matter how large a number I came up with, he would add, “Plus one.”
I would tell him I love him a bazillion and he would reply, “I love you, plus one.”
Infinity Plus One
We often debated the concept of infinity plus one. Can you add one to infinity?
It was a sad day when I said my final “plus one” to him at his memorial service in 2008. I didn’t know if it was right, but I did what little sisters have been trying to do — figuratively speaking – for time memorial minus one: get the last word.
Although, I ended my memory sharing with, “I love you, Daviepoo, plus one,” I wonder if he didn’t whisper from heaven, “Plus one, Cookie Cruncher.”
Rule of Three Plus One: Trouble
2008 was a rough year in the middle of many rough years. I’ve often been so way beyond the overwhelm point that I’ve lost count of the troubles. And through it all, I homeschooled in a totally-tweaked version of my expectations.
Somehow, God’s grace brought our family step by step, moment by moment, out of many dark days. It took years. In some areas it’s still in process since as our challenges have many times been struggles for life and for living.
Our Neediness is God’s Love Note
We like to handle things ourselves, but rarely does life steer us to a sustained, soothing scene of self-sufficiency.
- I can handle it when one thing goes wrong.
- I typically start praying at two things.
- I start praying and hoping that this is it at three things.
- Three things +1 is my breaking point. Over the top, numerically speaking, I’m overwhelmed.
Instead of beating ourselves up when we are at our weakest or when we feel ourselves heading in that general direction, think of that neediness as God’s love note, wooing us to Himself.
He made the card, and He’s signing His name: Be mine. I am Yours. Love, God.
What If We Had No Weakness?
Just think of what our lives would be like if we had no weakness, no neediness, no empty places to be filled.
- Would we seek our Creator?
- Would we see our need for a Savior?
- Would our children see us seeking Him?
- Would they seek Him?
Lead Your Children: Walking, Stomping, or Crawling
When we or our children are overwhelmed with trouble, let’s get to the waters of the gentle Shepherd, to the Savior, who is waiting for us to (recognize we) need Him.
Sometimes we will walk alone to Him. Other times we will walk in company, but we always we have the opportunity – the freedom, the time – to walk toward Him. Or stomp. Or crawl. Or peek behind bushes to be sure it’s safe. But always, we can head in His direction, leading our little ones to follow our example.