At one and a half – Liam is at such a fun stage. I’m still trying to hold off pegging his personality because so much of what he does is developmental BUT I’m fairly certain that I don’t have an introvert on my hands. He’s always right by side. If I leave the room – within seconds he toddles/runs as fast as his legs will take him to find me. All the while calling “Mommy, Mommy, Mommy, Mommy, Mommy, Mommy, Mommy,” and on and on from there. We work on independent play time :).
Along with just wanting to be my side – he’s hit the stage where He is hyper-aware of what I’m doing and whether or not he can do either the exact same thing or something like it. If I’m pushing a button – where’s his button to push? If I’m stirring on the stove – where’s his spoon to stir with? If I’m grinding coffee beans – get him up in my arms asap to push the button himself.
Oh what a dynamic of life my little shadow is! Now you and I both know that there are moments with the shadow that are enough to make you want to pull a hair or two out. Like when I just want one bite of chocolate to get me through the next hour. And I want it alone and I want it to myself. Or when I just want to escape to bathroom to put on my make-up at super-charged speed for five minutes so that little hands aren’t ‘helping.’ Or when I’d like to brush my teeth in the dark so that little eyes won’t also want to take the brush straight from my mouth to his mouth. 🙂
But this morning – my shadow did something that brought it all into perspective. We were together in worship and I had him on my hip. The Lord was stirring my heart so deeply and my eyes were closed and my free hand was stretched up in love. And then I remembered the boy on my hip and glanced down only to see his eyes intently on me with his precious arm and chubby little hand stretched high in the air just like mine. What a high honor and a true calling.
You know, as life becomes more and more adult, it’s so easy to lose the innocence of joy and child-like enjoyment of God. Because frankly – we’ve experienced the pain of life and the reality that God’s love doesn’t mean we walk without nitty-gritty-face-in-the-dirt at times moments. You and I both know what it feels like and often times – those experiences bring with them something we don’t talk about very openly – disappointment in God. Sometimes we don’t even realize that feeling is there until years later. Or it’s so subconscious that it affects us in indirect ways. But have you ever noticed that the words ‘on fire’ are generally applied to teenagers and young adults? The easy path of adulthood is to put the disappointment in a box – pack it away – and live with as much peace with God as you can muster. Still loving God, just a tad removed, a bit further away where emotional safety is easier to come by. Less naive, more familiar with reality.
Oh my friend. The Big D. Disappointment is the silent killer of our wild love and precious intimacy with the true God of the universe Who created us with acute intention.
And now – there are little shadows watching our every move and even the attitudes of our hearts.
I don’t know about you, but I am determined that my children will not lead me in wildness towards God. They will not remind me of years gone by when my heart was trusting, loving and passionate towards the God of life. I WILL stir in them their destinies in the Lord and they will learn passion from me. Lord, give me grace to live with such love and give me divine help to deal with disappointments so that they are cut off from standing between me and You.
My friend Miranda posted this picture on Facebook tonight. She and her daughter went to Haiti last summer on missions. This picture was taken without Miranda knowing it. Until she saw it she did not know that Brelee was a few feet behind her standing just like her mama imitating the exact stance of worship she saw before her.
Obviously, getting our babies to physically worship just as we worship is not the goal. But it so beautifully illustrates that their little hearts are watching.
My blog-friend Megan once wrote this and it comes back to me again and again:
“We’ve chosen this life of changing diapers, watching your waistline expand to accommodate a growing nugget, and being on the never ending rotation of meals and baths. Because the truth is we’ve been entrusted with royalty, every parent has been. We’ve got babies to raise up so that when their little feet hit the ground, the enemy’s heart trembles with fear.”
Yes and amen mama-friends, future-mamas, and just anyone else! Our calling is high, it’s important, and their destinies are worthy of our determined pursuit of receiving as much love from Him as we can possibly contain. These little shadows are precious gifts. The good news is that He does not come to condemn us! He has the perfect path to walk you through any disappointments that may lurk in your heart. He already has the solution ready – just ask. And then ask again because sometimes it’s a process. But be encouraged because you and I were both made for this!