Sometimes, we feel as if we are coasting through the days and everything falls neatly into place. Other times, we feel as if we are trudging through thick mud against a strong wind. I’ve had a few “mud and wind” experiences over the past few days, and I’ve found that if I don’t step back and re-group quickly, it is so easy to sink deeper and deeper, and start wondering if it’s always going to be muddy and windy.
One day, I was holding my little girl on my lap. She had fallen asleep after a big meltdown, the cause of which isn’t totally clear or relevant at this point. It was her first big tantrum in a while, so I was feeling particularly frustrated, having thought we had moved past those events. I opened the Bible app on my phone as I sat there watching her sleep, and here was the verse of the day: “…he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.” These are the words of the apostle Paul, in his letter to the Philippian church, to encourage them. How quickly I had forgotten the timing of God–namely, it is not my own timing! God is at work in my heart and in those of my family. None of us change and grow instantly and permanently. I must remember this for my children, myself, and everyone!
Another day, my mind was spinning because in the span of an afternoon, my dear little girl had travelled the whole spectrum of development: at one point, she was convinced that she was an 8-year old and that I should let her attempt a forwards flip in our living room, with an exercise mat and sofa cushions to catch her. I’ve already told her that she needs to learn skills like this at her gymnastics class, from her teachers, and that I couldn’t and wouldn’t let her try it at home. After we had moved on from that discussion, she started asking for a diaper even though she has been comfortable using the bathroom long enough for her request to truly surprise me. Instead of trying to be 8, or 2, couldn’t she just be an almost-4-year-old? I did my best to keep my cool during both of these standoffs, but I know I could have done better. I need to always be her “safe place to land”. She is still trying to figure out who she is, how she’s supposed to act, and what’s important in life. I can’t let these hiccups get me so anxious. Not surprisingly, Little A fell asleep in the car on the way to pick up her brother from school. As we sat in the parking lot, I let her have a few more minutes to snooze, and I again opened my Bible. That day’s verse was this, from the Gospel of John: “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.” Amen.
I definitely needed a change of outlook on both of those days. I was letting myself get stuck in those moments instead of seeing the bigger picture. I know I can trust God to grow my daughter’s heart–and mine!
I am so glad that I have learned to see the Bible as alive and able to instruct in every situation. It is healing, wise, loving, convicting, truth-filled, and life-giving. I didn’t always understand it could be all those things, but I’m glad I do now. I can’t imagine life without those words.