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And I know He's watching me...


I break half of a fresh snickerdoodle and hand it to him.  He nibbles carefully and looks up at me; in love.  "Mmm... warm!"

I point for him to go sit on the bottom step, that way the crumbs are isolated, and he plops down, swinging legs and seeming to munch thoughtfully on this unexpected treat.  Travis fusses from the blanket where he's surrounded by toys and I look up and over the kitchen counter and say, "Just a minute, bud.  Momma will get you some beans!"

Huh?

One gets a cookie coated in cinnamon and sugar... the other... pureed green beans?

Hardly seems fair.

And iTunes is playing me a version of, “His Eye is On the Sparrow” and I think how He gives what we need, over and over.  And how it’s always good until we compare.  Until we really look at the plate before us and go, “Wait a second... why have I been eating meat and potatoes?” We glance at the plates before someone else and our heart pounds, “Where’s my chocolate cake?  Where’s my apple pie?  I want donuts!!”

I give my children what I know they are capable of handling in the food department.  Travis, with his two bottom teeth, is hardly at the stage where he can nosh on a freshly baked cookie.  Joel, on the other hand, is a bigger boy and a cookie once in awhile isn’t going to break him.  And he’s got the teeth to handle the job.  They have different abilities, different needs, but as their mother, I know what I intend for them.  What I feel is best.

Sometimes it’s just gonna be a green bean kind of day.

I do for my kids what they need, regardless of if they agree or if it’s fun or if it doesn’t make sense.  I find it a little ironic that the decisions we make as adults, as spouses, as students, as parents, are all so justifiable.  We consider the options, weigh the outcome, and go forward.  We put on bibs when we know dinner will be especially messy.  We stick to bedtime even if the begging for “Five more minutes!” seems okay to give into - just this once.  My boys might not always like diaper changes or Tylenol or being forced to eat five more bites of carrots before they can have a treat... but tough.

I’m the Mom and what I say goes.  Period.

“Because I said so.”

“You will eat what you've been given."

“We don’t say 'yuck'.  Say thank you to Grandma for making that for us.”

Why is it that makes sense, but God having all the rights - to us and everything - seems unfair?  And somehow makes Him a mean God when we don't get what we wanted when we wanted it?  No one would call me an unloving mother simply because I don’t let my kid sit in a dirty diaper all day when that’s what he wants.  They know I have standards for my kids.  They know I care for them.  They know I love my babies.

I can make all the rules I want to for the boys.  If I don’t want them to have hotdogs ever again, then I simply stop buying them.  If I don’t want them to have sugar, then bye-bye snickerdoodle recipe (this won’t ever happen though, because Daddy trumps Mommy’s power and he’s kind of in love with the snickerdoodles.)  If I want them to eat spinach on their pizza, then by golly, I will put spinach on their pizza!  I know what is best!  In my limited ability as a mother - and seriously, I’m so new at this parenting business it’s not even funny - I have all the power.  Wise or not, I’m the Mom.  That’s just how getting pregnant works.

It kind of makes more sense to trust God and His reasoning.  I’m kind of a mess, really.

I waffle.  I’m painfully inconsistent.  And selfish.  And rude.  I’m impatient in the face of tantrums.  I yell while telling him not to yell!  I insist on Joel finishing the vegetables before having cookies, but how often am I reaching for anything but the bag of baby carrots?  I’m a poor example.  I’m flawed.  I have all this power, all this responsibility... and I can’t even eek out more than fifteen minutes on the elliptical before giving up and finding a Pepsi.

The God of everything made me the mother to these boys.  And yes, I realize there is more to parenting than dinner time.  And my job is weighty and it is tedious most days and I do wonder if  there will be a finish line or an awards banquet or something, anything, to where I can point and go, “What I did counted!  It made a difference!  Thank goodness I didn’t let him have too many cookies!  Look at those academic scores!  It’s all those carrot slivers I insisted he eat!”  

When I look at the whole of the parenting yard stick... when I think of my boys as middle schoolers or going off to college or coming home with someone they think is the prettiest ever and they’re 100% sure they could be happy for the next fifty years if she just said yes... it’s so... big.  When I was handed those little seven pound bundles, the enormous heft of love bore down on my shoulders.  This was always and forever.  I was taking this person home.  I’m their voice until they find their own and later, maybe still the voice in their head.  I hope I’m telling them more than to eat the good stuff.

I’m so, so thankful that God is God.  And that I’m not.  I don’t say that glibly.  I can’t see what He sees.  I can’t intend what He intends.  I can’t imagine the gifts He has prepared, the roads, the challenges, the blessings,... I’m just so thankful that even if I’m the earthly mother, He is the very real and present Father.  Heavenly and earthly.  To me.  To them.  To you.

And on the days when the plate slides towards me and it’s meatloaf and I really wanted Chinese... I hope I will accept it with grace and thankfulness.  Happy to have anything at all.  Gladly finding nourishment and grace in what is before me and not in what I was hoping for.  My dreams are vapor.  They have purpose and reality, but in the end it’s His will that trumps it all.  It’s His methods.  His rules.  His eye on me that knows the best seed to plant and when.  When to prune back.  When to uproot completely.

Maybe, subconsciously, that’s what I hope to teach when I shove forward one more veggie.  Just take a bite.  Just fill yourself with something healthy and smart and the Oreo cookie will come flying from the treat cabinet.  And on the days when there is no treat at all... that’s okay.  Because those carrots are really pretty yummy, especially when you're starved.  They'll fill you up even more and taste especially good with a side of gratitude.

Because we might have... we might have had none. 



Even though I walk
through the darkest valley,
I will fear no evil,
for You are with me;...
You prepare a table before me...
My cup overflows.
~   P s a l m    2 3 : 4 a ,  5 

Comments

  1. Lately I feel like I've been handed a pile of green beans while everyone else gets cookies, so this was timely. Thank you.

    ReplyDelete
  2. *hugs* Love you. And I firmly believe one day you're going to be handed the biggest plate of cookies ever. xoxo

    ReplyDelete

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