God reminded me

We try not to make after school plans. You never know what her mood will be like. One day I open the door to miss sunshine, the next day it is the blues… Just like us in fact, but it becomes more ‘acted out’ with little ones.

Today I heard her crying from the staircase. She was upset that her teacher forgot to put henna on her hands (apparently yesterday her teacher had real henna from a recent wedding party and when the girls asked for it, she drew flowers on their hands with washable markers). She was REALLY upset.

She began telling me the story while sobbing with a red face:

“I got in the car and she forgot… The teacher forgot to put henna on my hands! Then I got in the car, and God reminded me, that I forgot to tell the teacher to put henna on my hands… but I was in the car. I am so sorry. I am so so sorry. I don’t feel well because I am so sorry…”

As you can see, she is highly expressive of her emotions (which actually makes life easier on her and us). But what struck me was that in the middle of that ‘tragic’ event and the tragic way she was relating what happened to me, she said:

“God reminded me…”    instead of     “I remembered.”

It makes me so thankful to see that our children learn/take in what we do and say like a sponge. We don’t have to lecture them. Even the little things that you do, don’t go unnoticed.

It is not us who remembers:  if it was us who remembers, we would not have forgotten in the first place!

And even in daily language, when we are reminded of things that we forgot, it lightens up my heart to say: thank God, He reminded me…of such and such thing…

It is a simple remembrance (zikr) of God. And as God tell us in the Qur’an, hearts find solace/peace only in the remembrance of God…

Saying “thank God, He reminded me to pick up my umbrella at the last-minute” is being honest with myself. It is not from me. I am incapable of thinking, remembering things = I do not even know how my brain functions. If He did not create me, my atoms, their functions, my thoughts….etc. at that very moment, I would not be able to think or remember… It is as simple as that.

It might seem like we are splitting hairs by saying “God reminded me”   instead of   “I remembered”  but the difference is as stark as black and white. One claims ownership wrongfully, and the other re-affirms the truth. It is important because our ego/nafs sneaks in at every opportunity to claim ownership (and therefore Godhead) to itself.

So by this seemingly minor phrase, I jab my ego and say: no no no! it is not from you. He is the source of everything! Don’t you claim what is not yours and cover up the truth….

I am so thankful that our 4 year old picked up this phrase and she fully understands what it means. Everytime she uses it, she is thanking the Giver and this makes her happy/peaceful….



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