I knock on the door... Was that a groan? ... I Knock again. "You up, honey?"
I hear another groan. Did she say she was getting up? I fiddle with the door knob. Locked as usual. "You are up, right?"
I thought I heard my daughter mumble something. She sounds awake. I'll let her be for now.
Thirty minutes later I'm back at the door, knocking harder.
"Come on, Chelsea, move it. Do you want to miss the bus!?"
A muffled jumble of words escapes her lips. Did she just ask the time or was she talking in her sleep? Five minutes pass. Still no sign of her. I do the only think I know to do: tromp downstairs and assault Bill as he heads out the front door. A brief case full of papers flies from his hand.
"Darn my socks! What'd you do that for?"
"I need your locksmith skills."
His papers take priority. "It's not my job."
He sighs, rolls his eyes, and screams loud enough to cause a minor earthquake.
"Chelsea, get up!"
Ten seconds later she tromps down the steps. "You didn't have to yell. I heard you the first time."
Bill slinks into his car and slams the door triumphantly. "There you are. Piece of cake. I showed you how. Next time you do it."
I burst into tears. "But you're ten times the alarm clock I am. Why can't you be the waker-upper?"
Bill sighs and eyes his watch. "It's like I said, it's not my job. It's yours."
"But, Bill, I'm not built like you. Besides, can't you at least give me credit for trying?"
"Credit's overrated. Just do what I told you to. Stretch your lungs, extend your voice, and expand your view of what you can do."
"I'd rather you removed the lock," I suggest as he roars off. "If you did that, it would expand my access to Chelsea's room as well as my muscle strength as I practice dragging her out of bed."
"No way, Mom."
Startled, I look over my shoulder and see Chelsea stretch a blue hair tie around a makeshift ponytail. It snaps in place like a crocodile's jaws.
"No way am I letting you invade my privacy."
"Well, it sure would beat shouting directives from afar," I reply. "Trying to break through that wooden sound barrier makes me feel like I've been locked inside a box."
"Well, I like the box. And by the way, could you drive me to school? Looks like I missed the bus."
I roll my eyes. Thanks a lot, Bill. Thanks a lot, for calling the expanse of my wellbeing "not your job." After all, why pinch pennies you'd much rather spend on lessons to expand my vocal chords, or on building a huge addition to our giant living room (to the tune of a hundred thousand dollars)!?
Grumbling, I start the car and wait for Chelsea to climb in. She fastens her seatbelt, which clicks like a handcuff. My cue to complain loud and long.
"Not your job? Why not, Bill? Unlike me, you've got a job that pays the bills. So why not expand your generosity to me? Take the tiny, mustard-seed sized faith hiding in your big, fat wallet, plant it in the soil of my choosing and watch it grow into a giant tree. I've got lots of bright ideas, if you'd only listen. Why won't you expand your faith, expand your hope, expand your love for me!?"
After listening to me rant for ten minutes, Chelsea breaks her silence.
"Hey, Mom, I know that you and Dad both need each other to expand, in ways that neither one of you is comfortable with, but I've got a better idea."
"And what's that?"
"I think you should expand your view of what the Lord can do. Trust Him to expand Dad's heart and to expand yours too."
My mouth drops open, stunned by the unexpected revelation. With one blow she's just exposed a hidden stronghold in my mind, a fortress of unbelief that I myself have placed around my faith. Why blame my husband for my own bitterness? In fact, why blame anyone at all? Why not just do as my daughter suggested?
"Expand your view of what the Lord can do."
I'll have to try that.
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