The middle of last week was rough. While the snow was piling up in other areas of the country and people were praying for a “meltdown”; I was praying for the “meltdown” to freeze! My little boy all of five and the epitome of “snakes and snails and puppy dog tales” on this particular occasion, had lost his ability to choose the right course of action. A disagreement about a toy among his peer had led to instant anger and then the immediate “meltdown” effect. He lost it! Not only did he lose it but he could not get it back and it was intense. There I was a the end of the hall stooping down and trying to coax this now very powerful little boy back into my reality. Geesshh! We were literally going around the mulberry bush which in this setting was a large square hallway, and I prayed, “Lord, please help me.”
Have you ever been there?: embarrassed, humiliated, at your wit’s end, and just trying to figure out how to reach your child and make him/her understand: this is not necessary, this is only making it worse, stop already, just do it my way it’s easier! There I was and there he was: the standoff. I felt as if we were two cowboys in the old west and I wondered who was the fastest draw? Who could make the straightest shot? Who had more willpower? Amazingly I was able to withstand and stay patient. Although I had to swallow my pride and give up on forcing an apology or trying to gain any ground with my paternal authority or my awesome parenting skills I learned a lot that evening. During the lecture of lectures with the stern “No Mario for a week, and no Toy Story toys until you do better next Wednesday” came a lesson of large proportions. I told my little boy that he should not do this to me when I am alone with the three of you (my children). A small tearful voice said, “Mama, you are never alone. God is everywhere you look.” I cried. He cried. We talked about forgiveness, grace, good choices, self-control, kindness, love, and we prayed.
Raising little children is hard. It is the most difficult part of my life. Every single choice I make has eternal ramifications. These children are mine and my husbands charge to keep. One thing that I am learning from raising children is that: “I am not alone. God is everywhere I look.” Raising children continues to bring me to the throne of God. I am daily working on my own character and even when I am not trying to change my flaws they are clearer in the light of little children who imitate the best and worst of us. I also recognize on a daily basis that if my love for my children is a reflection of God’s love for me, I am overwhelmed by His awesome love and grace.
“Search me, O God, and know my heart: try me, and know my thoughts: And see if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.” (Psalm 139:23-24)
My prayer is that my character and integrity will be a reflection of Christ. I pray that my children will lean toward salvation and experience grace. I pray that they will make right decisions and seek the kingdom. I pray that as a family we can hide His word in our hearts and not sin against God. (“Psalm 119:11 Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee.“)
And the terrible thing is in the middle of those trying moments we do feel all alone. We question what in the world can we do to reach this little life. We are not alone! God is everywhere we look! (make sure to scroll down for a few more pictures of how creative little boys play)
Psalm 139 (New International Version, ©2010)
For the director of music. Of David. A psalm. 1 You have searched me, LORD,
and you know me.
2 You know when I sit and when I rise;
you perceive my thoughts from afar.
3 You discern my going out and my lying down;
you are familiar with all my ways.
4 Before a word is on my tongue
you, LORD, know it completely.
5 You hem me in behind and before,
and you lay your hand upon me.
6 Such knowledge is too wonderful for me,
too lofty for me to attain. 7 Where can I go from your Spirit?
Where can I flee from your presence?
8 If I go up to the heavens, you are there;
if I make my bed in the depths, you are there.
9 If I rise on the wings of the dawn,
if I settle on the far side of the sea,
10 even there your hand will guide me,
your right hand will hold me fast.
11 If I say, “Surely the darkness will hide me
and the light become night around me,”
12 even the darkness will not be dark to you;
the night will shine like the day,
for darkness is as light to you. 13 For you created my inmost being;
you knit me together in my mother’s womb.
14 I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
your works are wonderful,
I know that full well.
15 My frame was not hidden from you
when I was made in the secret place,
when I was woven together in the depths of the earth.
16 Your eyes saw my unformed body;
all the days ordained for me were written in your book
before one of them came to be.
17 How precious to me are your thoughts,[a] God!
How vast is the sum of them!
18 Were I to count them,
they would outnumber the grains of sand—
when I awake, I am still with you. 19 If only you, God, would slay the wicked!
Away from me, you who are bloodthirsty!
20 They speak of you with evil intent;
your adversaries misuse your name.
21 Do I not hate those who hate you, LORD,
and abhor those who are in rebellion against you?
22 I have nothing but hatred for them;
I count them my enemies.
23 Search me, God, and know my heart;
test me and know my anxious thoughts.
24 See if there is any offensive way in me,
and lead me in the way everlasting.