Thursday, June 25, 2015

She Is Not Me

Sometimes I don’t know what she’s thinking. My heart just doesn’t understand the fuss her tiny three year-old mind creates over something so seemingly insignificant. No, you can’t wear socks on your hands at the dinner table. No, you can’t wear the same nightgown all week because it’s filthy. No you can’t paint your own nails on my couch. No you can’t put make up on the dog.

Cue tears. Cue clutched fists and red-faced fits. Cue ALL THE FEELINGS.

She has so many for such a small person! And so many days I feel we are much too different and much too similar to get along.
Truth be told, I expect too much of her because she is so bright; all sunshine and sugar and imagination. And if I’m honest, I must admit I loathe princess play and all things pink. When she’s disagreeable, I’m so quick to be offended- to write it off as disobedience. But as she sits in her bed upstairs, squeals and heaves and yelps escaping her little chest because I’m forcing her to have Rest Time (as we’ve done every day for the past three years…), I’m reminded that she’s allowed to have opinions.

She’s a person. She views the world around her and develops likes and dislikes, opinions, she infers things, she understands more than I think… and her opinions may differ from mine because she’s not me.

She is not me.

No matter how similar we are, she is not me. She doesn’t like the color blue, or wearing jeans, or being in the heat. She doesn’t like tomatoes or bacon. She prefers mustard over mayonnaise. She likes Luke Bryan for goodness sake. (I know. She’s only three, so don’t hold that against her.)

She may never want to pick up a camera or watch musicals or listen to bluegrass music and watch the rain. She may never share my love of V8 or Brussel sprouts. She might always want to wear the color pink from head to toe… and that’s okay.

She’s not me, but she’s mine. She’s a part of me. One of the best parts… the pinkest part.

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

The Day That I Said Yes

Our world has been a bit stifling lately. Sheets of rain blocking our exit or suffocating humidity sucking the life out of us. We’ve sought shelter inside, but two toddlers can only watch from the sidelines for so long. So this time, as we scurried from the car to the house, shielding our heads with hands held high, when the boy said, “Splashin!” I stopped. And when everything in me wanted to say no- no, there’s not enough time. No, there’s work to be done. No, it’s RAINING, child!- I said yes…

And what do you know, the rain stopped long enough for us to play.
(click to enlarge images)

Friday, June 19, 2015

God Is Not Your Dad

I know what you’re thinking. It’s bearing down on you hard, isn’t it? This upcoming holiday for celebrating dads. You’re desperately trying to avoid thinking about it. Maybe you never had one. Maybe the one you had wasn’t around. And maybe when he was, you were worse off than when he was gone. Maybe your dad did awful, unspeakable things to you. Maybe he lied to you over and over and hurt you physically and mentally. And maybe he never provided for you the basic things a child needs: Safety. Comfort. Peace. Provision.

If you’ve ever lived in a house full of anger or abuse or neglect- built on a wobbly axis, threatening to tip at any moment, scared to even speak lest you disturb the balance of one person, spinning out of control- you know. You know how the actions of the one to whom you are supposed to look for guidance can completely mold you- harden you, or leave you shattered and destroyed. Leave your heart hurting. Leave your hands trembling, reaching upward, wanting. Leave your eyes darting, waiting for the next attack, potential assailants lurking in every corner of your life. When will the bottom drop out? When will the sky fall?
Some of us respond in anger. Some of us responded by plunging headlong into romance after romance, seeking to fill the void. Some of us responded by participating in destructive behaviors- drugs, alcohol, food- in order to numb the pain. And some of us have tried over and over to pull ourselves out of the void and use it to create our own way. Always the burden remains. Always rooted in fear.

How can you trust when the one who was meant to call you his own left you trembling, gasping, flailing?

Listen to me, friend:

There is one who calls you daughter. He calls you beloved. He fights for your heart daily. He longs to hear you call him ‘Father.’

He never tells you he’ll be there, and then leaves you waiting.

He never promises provision without providing.

He never leaves you in the middle of the night.

He never hurts you.

His love is not dependent upon your actions or deeds.

You can never make Him love you less.

You cannot earn his love. You don’t need to.

He never chooses another over you.

He never lies to you.

He is not your dad.

He is not your dad.

He is not your dad.

Take heart, friend. Look up. Don’t hide your face. Your father is not absent. He is with you always. He has loved you always, and loves you still. Rest in Him this Father’s Day.