Part of it was intentional. Sometimes we need to purposefully take the time to just be. To listen to what God and those around us have to say.
Part of it was very much unintentional, but good all the same :) Take this little one for instance. Boy does she keep me on my toes!
Baby K isn't such a baby anymore! I have learned so much from this little one. She really has made me appreciate children. Of course I did before, but she has helped me learn that it is okay to let kids be kids, and not expect so much from them.
This truly is how God is with me. He is very patient with me, His child. It is taking me a long time to get some of the basic things of this life. Yet He still loves me. He still carries me. He still gently feeds me, and doesn't require anything more than He, well, requires of me.
Micah 6:8 says, "He has showed you, O man, what is good. And what does the LORD require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God."
I can provide you a list a mile long of everything I THINK God requires of me. But often, I would even say mostly, it is just legalism. As I get older, I'm realizing that what God requires of me is pretty simple. Just like what I require of my kids, is pretty simple and basic.
Leave it to me to make it more difficult than it has to be! This reminds me of my oldest son.
So often, I will give Little O a simple assignment. As he begins, I can see him getting weary, frustrated, or angry. Take writing for example. Nearly every school day, I ask him to write a few sentences or paragraphs. As he begins, I can see him giving up before he even writes a few words! As he talks to me, I can see he is frustrated because he is worrying about the fact he can't write a book, never mind a few sentences. But if he stopped, and really paid attention to what I required, it wasn't to write a book. It was to write a few sentences.
This is how I am with God. He asks me to do things not requiring me to do it alone, or to do it perfectly. Yet as a perfectionist, that is what I concentrate on. Not trying to do the simple things, but trying to be perfect on the whole. Like my son, I get weary, frustrated and angry.
Its not very often that I give Little O or my other kids hard tasks. They may think so, but I know what they can handle! I'm their Mama, and know them better than they know them self. Remind you of anything God's Word says about us?
On Sunday, our Pastor gave a great sermon from Hebrews, where it talks about believers who have been feeding on the "milk" of the Word.
The verse that stuck out to me the most was the following:
Hebrews 5:12 "In fact, though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you the elementary truths of God's word all over again. You need milk, not solid food!"
There have been many times in my life, where I realize I have gone so far off track, that I need to return to the elementary truths of God's Word again.
It hit me this spring, that we had to do that with our son C with bike riding. We decided to be bold, and just start this year with the training wheels off. He became so fearful, and didn't remember the elementary concept of PEDALING when it comes to biking, that he just froze and didn't go anywhere.
I realized that for him, the best thing would be to put the training wheels back on. Go back to the basics of bike riding, and let him get strong in that before moving on to the next step.
I just love how our simple, every day life that we take for granted, really can be life pictures for us of truths in God's Word. For me, it really helps me understand better.
I read a wonderful quote somewhere, and I wish I wrote who said this, so I could give proper credit. All I can do is make sure everyone knows, it wasn't me :)
"My children are not a distraction from my work.
My children ARE my work."
Often I get so task oriented that I bulldoze over my kids. I want them to hurry up and get their homeschooling done; hurry up and eat; hurry up and get to bed. I want to move on to what I want to do.
I'm so far from getting this to a point where it is comfortable, natural, and just part of who I am. So please don't look to learn from me, but learn along with me. I realize each day how important it is to teach my little ones and go about my day with them by my side. Having a perfectly clean and organized house, having a well-planned menu, etc. is all for nought if I am pushing my dear children to the side in the process. If I can go about these things with the above in mind, that they are my life's work-it may not be easy-but it is what I know God has called me to do.
She loves being a princess. In her mind, she doesn't pretend to be a princess. She is a princess. M got a boo-boo on her face, and all she did for two days was talk about how "weird" and "yucky" she looked :(
I thought I had been so careful to not let her hear what my mind thinks every day - "I'm so fat" or "I'm so ugly." I know it can influence my daughters (and sons for that matter), and have been very intentional about not letting those thoughts become words.
Yet, apparently my mind wasn't so hidden after all. I know my daughter hasn't watched any TV that would lead her to think this; we homeschool, so I know she isn't being overly influenced by others (I don't think - although we homeschool, we are not the hermit type).
I think its just a bit of me being carried down to her. It made me so sad. It also made me realize that while it is important to intentionally not let these things come out of my mouth, it is equally important to be intentional about believing that I too, am fearfully and wonderfully made, as I made sure my little princess knew that day.
Again, I like to look at the real life application for me:
....And so are you :)