Monday, July 11, 2011

"You're Welcome, Mom"

Selah has always been "old" for her age.

She is currently convinced the colors black and white are "big girl-ish". She's been wanting to wear them more lately. As I was helping her find something to wear for an outing she commented casually "I prefer not to wear that Mom, it seems too little girl-ish to me."

Her limbs are long and lean now, her shoe size a grown up 1.

I can't really remember her baby-dimpled hands, and I can't remember her toddler voice, and I can't hold onto the little girl that once couldn't read "said" but now asks me about words like "sophisticated".

I was acutely aware of the last days I could call her "my five year old" because six, somehow, seems so much older to me.

So even though I smiled when at her birthday breakfast she said: "No thanks, Mom, I can cut my own pancake, " adding excitedly "I'm six years old now, you know." I wanted to scream: "just let me cut it for you!"

That surprised me because that is "not like me" at all. I am all about growing her into the lady God has created her to be. I am training her in godly independence everyday.

So what is this bursting cry in my mother's heart sparked from seeing some of the independence I so encourage?

I remember recently reading it in this verse-and it startled me and shook me back into God's holy-standard reality because I am so used to unintentionally putting sin on a scale from "not great" to "heinous"- I read:

"And do not grumble, as some of them did-and were killed by the destroying angel."
~1 Corinthians 10:10

This grumbling was in the same group of things as "being an idolater" and "committing sexual immorality" and "testing the LORD" that the Israelites who died in the desert did... things that left God "not pleased with them. "

How many times have I grumbled in my heart and mind and sometimes even brazenly aloud about such simple things as mealtimes and cleaning up from them taking the majority of my day?

Haven't I grumbled in heart about having to do every-single-little-thing over and over again for my children?

And He pierced my momentarily extra-tender heart with His pointed Alexa-arrow from His quiver when on Selah's birthday, not too long after the "I can cut my own pancake" incident, my quickly growing 21 month old toddler asked me to bring her some "more food, please Mom" and when I set it before her instead of saying "thank you" she said with her adorable lisp: "you're welcome, Mom."

And this is the cry in my aching mother's heart: why do I grumble away the beauty of the gifts at the time, usually only truly appreciating them in hindsight? Why do I throw away enjoyment of gifts because they have to be unwrapped to be seen for what they are?

How can I learn to see them, savor them, appreciate them now?

Immediately following "do not grumble" in 1st Corinthians is this:

"These things happened to them as examples and were written down as warnings for us, on whom the fulfillment of the ages has come. So, if you think you are standing firm, be careful that you don't fall! No temptation has seized you except what is common to man. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can stand up under it." ~ 1 Corinthians 10:11-13

And maybe a way out is this? This learning to put on the habit of thankfulness and shed the old garment of grumbling? Both cannot be worn at the same time.

So I've been here, nearly every Monday(or as early in the week as I can post), growing into my black-and-white big girl habit of giving thanks in. all. things.

And maybe it's not a bad idea to teach my toddler to keep saying "you're welcome, Mom" for ways that I am temporarily blessed to serve and express love for her... to train myself to keep saying "thank you".

Thank You, thank You God, for the gifts that are beautifully wrapped up in service, babyhood, childhood, motherhood. Thank You for gift that the opportunities to practice gratefulness instead of grumbling are to me...

So thankful that Selah is still little enough to:
request smiley face pancakes for breakfast
want me to hold her hand
want me to check on her at nighttime
begs me to read to her
need me to buckle her in sometimes
get things down for her off of high shelves
ask me a thousand questions about life, and trust that I know the answer, or that I can direct her to the One Who does
laugh just for the joy of it
make lots of joyful noise
physically look up to me
dance without getting embarrassed
be completely honest about her emotions and her motives behind her actions
come sit in my lap anytime, doesn't have any sense of personal space yet
says "I love you, Mom" often, at random times
understand that nothing is impossible with God
understand that not doing what God says is best is bad for you
forgive and reconcile quickly
So thankful that Alexa is still little enough to:
need me to feed her 10 times a day
cut up her food
give her something to drink
bathe her
keep her bottom clean
dress her
brush her teeth
wipe her face
wash her hands
be comforted by being picked up and being told "it's okay"
love to learn by repetition
love to play
keep being persistent
need me to keep her from eating cat food
obviously study people's expressions, emotions, actions, reactions-remind those being watched that we are all surrounded by a great cloud of witnesses-and The Pure Witness
openly adore people
Also grateful this week for:
new opportunities to trust God with that situation too...
endings that are also new beginnings
grace from friends
new books
forgiveness accepted


Anonymous said...

Dude, I love you. I never knew that looking back on grumbling could be so humbling. I just spent the last hour grumbling about things that annoy me in the workplace, how I don't make enough money, and how PEOPLE don't appreciate the things I do for them. Maybe, just maybe (okay, more than maybe), I should look to God to bestow His crown of beauty, rather than seek a crown of ashes.

Elise said...

I completely understand! How often have I told God that I want to serve Him well and hear "well done, My good and faithful servant..." but then I grumble about what and how and who and when He has called me to serve. And I do all these things but then "have not love" so they really do end up amounting to nothing, profiting me nothing... and then I am frustrated and grumble because I feel that my "service" was even wasted! I am so convicted by this verse: A man's own folly ruins his life, yet his heart rages against the LORD. ~Proverbs 19:3

Nicole said...

Your children are adorable , my own 6 yr old is growing way too fast for this momma. I have two teens as well so the thought of her getting older makes me sad some days. I was blessed to read all you 'still' do for your girls no higher calling than to mother the young. Have a blessed day.

Teresa said...

You are right to treasure those days, even when they seem mundane! I laughed when I read that Alexa needs you "to keep her from eating cat food".

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