Post by Faith Reboot’s Tanisha Henderson
As a homeschooling mom, these are all things that my three children do all day long, non-stop.
Just two weeks after my youngest child was born, I felt myself feeling overwhelmed with how much she needed me. She would nurse, I would change her diaper & she would cry, she would sleep & she would cry again because she wanted to sleep on me and repeat every two hours. In my frustration, I remember thinking, “Can’t she just lay here and sleep by herself?!” Never mind that she’s been sleeping inside of me her whole life, why should she all of a sudden desire to sleep alone?
John 15:4-5 “Abide in Me and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in me. I am the vine (JESUS) and you are the branches. Whoever abides in Me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from Me, you can do nothing.”
Then it hit me. Babies & children naturally do what Jesus has instructed all believers to do. They nag their parents… They acknowledge their need for their parents non-stop, for everything, for nothing, ALL. THE. TIME.
That is what I am called to do with my Heavenly Father. He never thinks, “Oh, here goes Tanisha trying to get close to me again, asking me another question, following so closely behind me, all up in my personal space.” He desires that I cling close to Him ALWAYS, not that I learn to be independent.
Whining = Lamenting. Begging = Supplication. Crying = Mourning. Seeking = Bible reading. Pleading = A deep desire to feel His presence. Grabbing = Worship. Pulling = Confession. Following = Obedience.
First, some good news…
A Parenting Highlight
When the conversation with my two-year-old starts with a firm “come here” and is followed by a gentle lecture about why we do not throw toys which is met with eyes of remorse & understanding only to end with the question, “Now do you need to go pee-pee in the potty?” as he smiles and happily skips to the bathroom, it can be confirmed that I have the best job ever. And on the days when this job is overwhelming, and I am relying more on my self, than my God, and I am longing for the days when they will be grown & gone, I hope to remember that there is so much more joy to be had when I react to perpetual disobedience the same way that the Holy Spirit does with me…kindly, firmly, patiently, & always ready to greet repeat offenses with a wiped-clean slate of unlimited second chances.
Then, the bad news…
A Parenting Lowlight
Could it be that being two-years-old is one of the hardest parenting stages ever? Seems that way in my house these days. I’ve dealt with lying. Oh, I get so mad like I haven’t ever lied. I’ve dealt with wet and dirty underwear when last week, he stayed completely dry and clean. I get so mad like I haven’t ever messed up when I knew better, too.
Could it be that being any age is one of the hardest parenting stages for our heavenly Father?
And unlike me with my own kids, God sees everything I’ve done and He hears everything I’ve said, and He has access to everything I think and He knows the intention of my heart for every action I do.
See, I can watch one son hit the other son and think maybe he didn’t mean to do it. God doesn’t have the luxury of giving me the benefit of the doubt. What must He think as He watches me day in and day out? But contrary to how I would think, God thinks otherwise. Instead God promises me in Romans 8:1 that those who belong to Christ will not suffer the punishment of sin.
Could it be that I will never understand God’s great love for me and that is what will keep me chasing after Him, screaming, “Help me to love my husband, my children, neighbors, fellow Christians, lost loved ones and lost loved strangers with the kind of love that You show to me.” Could it be that being a wife, a mother, a friend, a Jesus follower in word and deed forces me to constantly see myself as sinner first, sinned against second? Seeing myself as sinner first overshadows being sinned against and I remember King Jesus and His “unpaybackable” gift of forgiveness to me and I am moved, by His Spirit only, to live a life that shows gratitude.
And so the battle rages on & on until I die and sin in me has to die, but until then I know who has the final say in telling me what to do.