Tonight was so surreal! I was standing holding my now 9 month old daughter praying with her and encouraging her that I knew weening from night nursing wasn’t easy for her but that God could bring her through this challenge. That He wanted to grow her up a bit and that it was time for her to let go of this outgrown comfort. I whispered in her ear “Your a big girl now!” It took me back a little because here I was holding my little baby in my arms yet saying to her that she was a big girl. Then I felt as people have time to time told me I would feel. I was suddenly sadden not wanting my sweet little Elise to not be my little baby anymore! After all I had just received her! I had just finished carrying her! I had just given birth to her! Was it that time already?! I quickly had to remind myself that it is never my job to hold Elise back because of my selfish desires but to always push her forward into the baby, girl, teenager and yes one day the woman that God wants her to be.
As parents we fear our children growing up because we fear that one day they will out grow us. That they will no longer want to cling to us, hugs us, kiss us or even want to hang out with us. We don’t want them to feel as many teenagers feel they are to cool for us. As I type these words I cringe at the thought that my baby who never wants to be out of my sight will one day want me to be out of sight! However that shouldn’t allow me to smother her but to pray that our relationship will never go out of style. I believe that to be possible and God has given me a great example that it can one day be a reality. That Elise and I can consistently be thick as thieves. I had an Aunt, her name was Shelia. Late last year she passed on Dec. 30, 2012. She won her battle with cancer and went home to be with The Lord. Broke my heart although I was extremely happy for her because she truly deserved the rest from suffering. Now Auntie Shelia was my best friend and she was my best friend since birth. I can never remember a time that she wasn’t around. I couldn’t even remember a time that I even once outgrew my friendship with her. In fact wherever God took me I took her friendship with me. I am not saying that being younger than Auntie Shelia that I never felt embarrassment by things that she would do from time to time. However that embarrassment never outweighed her place in my life. Never! I never ditched her to be around my friends. Never! I loved Auntie Shelia so much and the relationship that we shared that I graphed her into my everyday life! If I was hanging with friends she was there, if I went on a trip I kept I contact with her 100 times daily over the phone, if I went through a new experience I shared that experience with her by way of stories. From my first breath of life until her very last she was my best friend and we were consistently thick as thieves. Didn’t mean we didn’t argue or get frustrated with one another from time to time because we did. Our relationship was just so strong that no matter what we endured it was always strong enough to be preserved. Never once did she try to hold me back or fear my growth she just forever and always cheered me on from the front row. She was my biggest cheerleader and my biggest fan. Oh how I deeply miss my best friend! My dear sweet Auntie Shelia!
So I have evidence that I can cheer Elise on and push her where God will have her to go because if I always give her my full support and love our bond will not be lost but grow stronger everyday. God works in mysterious ways because The same year that God gave me my greatest gift Elise He took my best friend. Yet one thing I do understand is that He gave me Elise to not only be my daughter but my new best friend. And the many adventures that Auntie Shelia and I embarked upon are adventures that I can and will continue with Elise. Auntie Shelia left me an excellent blueprint to follow! As her niece I was never on her level, the respect I owed her always had to be there, yet despite all of the logistics we were closer than close and the best of friends. People fear being best friends with their children because they fear that the respect will become lost but Auntie Shelia and My relationship was living proof that the respect of a Mother or Aunt doesn’t have to become lost. In fact it should grow!
Because of Auntie Shelia’s love, support, cheer leading, laughter, goofiness, humor, fun spirit, childlikeness, listening ear, great advice and most importantly her time invested in me I know how to 100% be there for Elise as a mom and great friend without getting in God’s way. And right now because I encouraged her to fear not tonight she is sweetly sound asleep in her own crib. Thank you Auntie Shelia for the great legacy! I love you Bestie!
There is a special tradition that my daughter and I share daily. One that started from the very first week that she came home. It involves reading a book that I purchased for her before she was even conceived. I purchased it because I wanted her to be strengthened and educated every time she read it. To be encouraged by it’s words every time she picked it up. Most importantly i wanted her to crave reading it. Well mission accomplished!
The name of the book is The ABC Bible Verse Book. It is a collection of scriptures from God’s Holy Word. As you read the book it not only teaches scriptures but the ABC’s hence the ABC in the title. However my daughter loves this book! No matter what is going on in her world and she could be having the worst day with the biggest frown that one could imagine when this book is popped out that frown turns upside down into the biggest smile that one has ever seen! I mean she could be angry screaming her head off and if she saw this book she would immediately stop and her mood would become pleasant. When I begin to read it to her in excitement she is trying to get her hands all over it! She wants to hold it herself, see it for herself, turn the pages herself. When I am done reading it to her and I hand it to her, it engages her longer than some of the coolest toys that I have thought would engage her for awhile. Why? Because this book takes precedence over everything going on in her little world. Wow!
When I saw this today it really clicked in my head. I began to ask myself what would it take for me the one who claims to love God’s word to crave it to this degree. Sure I read God’s word but to be honest it’s not everyday and when I do succeed at reading it daily I am performing it more as a checklist. Getting it done because I know I am suppose to or because I am trying to complete the reading my bible in a year program with my church members. But the key statement is trying to complete it. Yet I wouldn’t have to be trying to succeed at this goal if I was craving the Word like I should. To Crave is to feel a powerful desire for something. Now when you have a powerful or strong desire for something, like my daughter you can’t help but get your hands on it and once you’ve gotten it in your hands you can’t put it down!
God desires for us to be like this about Him and his Word. He took the time to write it just for us because He loves us. He wanted it to strengthen, educate and encourage us. He wanted us to feel strongly connected to Him because of it. Our flesh is literally annoyed by it and tries to find every reason for us not to pick it up. However our spirit should crave God’s Word more than our flesh hates it and if our spirit doesn’t crave it more than we need to get to the bottom of it.
Seeing my 9 month old daughter’s reaction to the Word caused me to ponder on this thought. It provoked a change in me. Realizing I needed to take lessons from a kid I am now recommitting to craving God and His Word. I am even gonna start right now. What about you?
The fear from our self induced storms can often cause us to cry out so desperatly to God for change, that it causes Him to subject us to go thru a purifying process. We have no say so as to what process He chooses to bring about this change and once it’s in motion nothing and noone can stop it from going forth! This can be a very scary thing experiencing something you consider uncomfortable, even dreadful and not knowing when it will end. You either trust and submit to His will or complain, doubt and get dragged along for the ride anyway making it even more painful.
Ouch! Who needs more pain when your already going thru so much? Besides most of the time it was our crying out to God in the first place that caused Him to throw out His life preserver in the first place. We couldn’t pull ourselves from the deep end of the pool of life that we swam to regardless of the fact that we knew we couldn’t handle it, that it was definitely dangerous; not to meantion the loving warning He gave us before hand not to go down there in the first place! Let’s admit it we needed Him to save us and I mean that in more ways than just one.
He is definitely our Life Guard always standing near ready to save us from the danger that surrounds us. Even though we only think of Life Guards in this way, we often forget that this is just one aspect of their jobs. The part of their job that they are equipped to do yet they’d rather not see someone life in danger because of a careless mistake. The most rewarding part of their job is to train others to be equipped to handle the water no matter how deep they end up being in it. This is why when we would go to our local community pools as children and we were very eager to cross over to the deep in with our friends who could handle that end the of the pool the Life Guards wouldn’t let us cross without passing a test. They needed to see what level we were at. If we couldn’t pass the test we didn’t need to be over there. The Life Guards would suggest we would sign up for their swimming lessons! Much like God, He really rather not have to rescue us in distress though he would. He’d rather prepare us ahead of time: that’s why He constantly calls us to pray, fast and read our Word.
When we are open to allowing Him to prepare us it allows Him to really mold us into who he is desiring us to be. When we allow Him to do His works the purifying process is easier on us because we know that He is working on us for the better. However we must remember that this does in no way mean that the process is easy.