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My third son, the Little Middle, likes to lock his bedroom door. Santa brought him this lock two years ago to help keep the youngest brother out of his room and out of his stuff – and he’s not afraid to use it. Daily.

The Youngest is a one man wrecking crew. Lego ships that were painstakingly assembled are redesigned or “accidentally” broken in seconds. Little Middle’s toy cow herd is mixed in with the Youngest’s, which of course, is a violation of plastic farm property laws and pretend branding rights. Pirates are playing on trains. Darth Vader’s mask is paired with a Batman cape, which is decidedly NOT ok for the Little Middle who has been a control freak ever since the Youngest was born.

Deep down, I think Little Middle is still mad that the Youngest came along seven years ago and demanded shared snuggle time with Mama.

Little Middle and the Youngest constantly justify picking on each other and seek revenge nearly every waking moment. “He did this.” “He did that.” “He said this.” “But but but but but but but but …. He started it!”

Dear Lord, please help them like each other just a little bit. Just once in a while. Amen.

Then, to my horror, behind Little Middle’s locked bedroom door was the Youngest. The exact place where the Youngest should NOT be, and Little Middle was nowhere in sight.

“Mom….” he whispered with a grin. “He’s letting me play in his room!”

“Are you sure????” I whispered back. Because the Youngest lives in a universe that blurs the line between imagination and reality.

“Yes! We just … figured it out! We learned how to get along!”

Miracle of all miracles. And then I fainted, picked myself up off the floor, checked myself for a high fever, and pinched myself.

After regaining consciousness, I shared some advice. “Isn’t this fun? Now, don’t break his things! If you are nice to him, he’ll be nice to you.”

This went on for mostly six whole entire blessed days in row. Should I worry that this calling a cease fire and joining of forces means they are plotting against me? (Does writing about it jinx it?) Am I just hallucinating? Daydreaming?

Thank you, Lord. For answering my silly prayer. If only for a little while. Amen.

I’m going to assume that this is only a short truce and temporary lesson for Little Middle and the Youngest. However, there’s a bigger lesson for me that lasts a little longer. We can impact our circumstances when we change our attitudes. Be nice, and others just might be nice right back. The big brothers of the house, the Tallest and the Big Middle, could take a page from this playbook too.

Nice matters.

And it doesn’t matter how long, short, or impossible the prayer, God wants us to talk to him. When the incessant silly little sibling squabbles drive me a little bat-crazy, I never feel like asking for brotherly love between them is a worthy prayer request. It feels too everyday and unimportant. The truth is that God is the master of miracles big and small. Seeing Little Middle and the Youngest to play together like best friends is like witnessing Mt. Everest in motion. He knows what we need, He knows the best plan, and He’s in charge of the timing – but he still wants our conversation.

Dear Jesus, Thank you for letting me raise your beautiful children, and especially for days when they are best friends. Help me to remember to bring everything to you – even when it seems small or silly. Amen.

Diane Karr

Diane Karr lives on a family farm in south central Nebraska with her husband and four sons. Besides chasing after her busy boys and the farm, she volunteers as a church organist. Diane graduated from UNL in 1996 as an agribusiness major, shares stories about farm life at RealFarmWifeOnTheCountyLine.com, and is a volunteer for CommonGround Nebraska. She also enjoys Husker football, hazelnut lattes, cooking and baking, boating, photography, and spending time with family and friends.

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