As I sit here, wondering what God wants to teach me during this time at home and trying to figure out a schedule where I can have some alone time with him, He reminds me of a story I shared with my friend about a situation that happened with Kinsley a while ago. I didn’t get it then, but I do now.
You see, I took Kinsley to a splash pad over the summer. She absolutely loves water but will not run through a sprinkler or splash pad. She will run to it but not through it (there’s no message there though right? lol). I received a text from a neighbor asking if we wanted to come over so our kids can swim and hang out. I’m thinking “why not?” This will give me an opportunity to learn more about this person and wear my baby out so she will go down easy for nap time. As of late, her favorite phrase is “ I don’t want it”. Makes me laugh but sometimes it’s hard to deal with. Anyway, I tell her we are about to leave because she isn’t playing in the water and that we are going to go swimming. And there it was…”No, I don’t want it!” Now my child loves the pool, she just hasn’t grasped the concept yet that swimming and pool go together or that pool is that small body of contained water that she loves to be so independent in (mind you she doesn’t even know how to swim). As I tell her it’s time to go, a full on tantrum ensues. Not just that, she slaps my leg and puts her head on me in what she deems agressive. Now…my child is disciplined, but she’s also TWO. We’ve been teaching her emotional regulation and the proper way to respond to frustration or not getting her way.
I pick her up still kicking and crying, explain to her she will get “pop pop” (yes we spank when necessary- Proverbs 23:13) for hitting mommy, and that the behavior she is exemplifying is not Christlike and is disrespectful. (SN: For those that think children don’t understand certain things at such a young age, I encourage you to try. They are more impressionable and teachable at the younger ages than when they are older and if you start early, you would be surprised what life lessons, principles, values and behaviors they will lock into with your consistency. I’m a believer in Christ and His word, I also understand boundaries and when, where, and how to discipline my children. We’re not raising someone that won’t know how to act towards authority and will act a fool in our society when she gets older, period. She WILL know how to respond properly, and with respect, to those in authority.)
We get to the car and have a talk where I explain why we are leaving and why she lost her privileges, and that acting out that way and not being nice to mommy is not ok. I also explain that she’s a child of God and that I know she is an obedient child and has good listening ears, but that she didn’t show it in that moment. She responds with “Sorry Mommy”, we hug and kiss and move right along to our neighbor’s.
So….what is the lesson you might ask? As a mother, I know what’s best for my child and what she likes to do most. It’s my job to guide and protect her, but also put her in situations where she can have fun and thrive. What God shared with me was that so often we, as His children, kick and scream when He tells us to move or shifts us towards something else that we can’t quite see right away. In the discomfort of leaving our present comfort, we become defiant or disobedient and do things our way (because we think we know it all) and we suffer the consequences. He showed me that with a repentant heart, the reward (the unknown reward) He has for us is still there. He knows what’s best for us (Jeremiah 29:11), and he knows what’s in our best interest (Romans 8:28). It’s all about trust. In that moment, Kinsley was having fun not getting wet and didn’t trust that I was taking her to a place she would prefer. Yet after her repentance and our reconciliation, she had more fun holding the water hose, spraying our neighbor’s son, and jumping around in the pool than she did at the splash pad.
If you find yourself in an uncomfortable situation because God told you to move and you resisted, let go and follow what He is telling you to do. He knows where you’re going and He’s a good Father. Trust Him.
I am learning so much from my sweet girls, He is showing me how He loves me as I parent her! And He is teaching me what it looks like to have a relationship with my child that falls into the original design of His plan for family. It’s beautiful and I’m so grateful my eyes and ears are open to receive what He is pouring out.
What are you learning from this season of life or from your children, if you have them? I’d love to hear about it. Drop a line in the comments!