Monday, October 1, 2007

"Falling into God's love"

Such a simple statement by my 5-year-old daughter this morning..."falling into God's love". She was sitting at the breakfast table, having finished her morning meal, and she was idly playing with a small doll. She dropped the doll onto her VeggieTales placemat, which reads, "God made you special and He loves you very much!" She then commented as she picked up her doll...."falling into God's love." Wow. I sat in stupor thinking about what she had just said and how profound a statement it was. As I began to ponder, I stated to my child, "well, if I'm going to fall I'd want it to be into God's love, wouldn't you?" She smiled and agreed with me.

For the month of September, our church has been having a sermon series on Healing & Wholeness and all that implies. We've talked about valuing self, valuing others, managing conflict, and forgiveness. I guess since that is so fresh on my mind, the falling into God's love comment had deeper implications for me than what my child had intended. I began thinking about all of the times that we have struggles in our lives, and how many times this can turn into a big, deep, hole of depression. Well, what if we envisioned falling into God's open arms and loving embrace instead? I'm so thankful to my daughter for giving me this visual image today!

I had a great opportunity to keep it "true and real" again today...and here it is only noon. (Wow, what a day so far..) Anyway, I took my 2-year-old son to his Mommy & Me gymnastics class this morning, and afterward I had planned on going to Target to get some things. Since it was lunchtime, I decided that we'd grab a bite to eat first to ward off any whiny-ness in Target. Boy was I wrong! From the moment we got into line at Wendy's until the moment we left, I had a whining, crying, running away, hitting, stubborn 2 year old child. It was quite embarrasing to say the least. While a few people glanced our way and noted how "cute" my son is, I couldn't help but think..."yeah, right, what do they REALLY mean???" As we were packing up to go, the lady sitting at a table behind us said to her companion, "I'm sorry, do you want to move to another table?" She had been sitting behind us for 5 minutes and likely witnessed my child whining, hitting, and generally refusing to do anything I asked of him. As I was driving home, however, I thought about what was true and real. Ok, so none of those people know me or my son, so they can't know that he really doesn't behave like that 24/7. They also don't know that I'm a fairly consistent parent. I generally follow through with what I say to my kids. Sure, there are occasions where I slip, but I kept my cool at Wendy's and followed through with everything I said to my son about his behavior and the consequences thereof. So, based on that I decided that it was nothing to be embarrased about or to become offended by. I can't assume what their thoughts are behind what they say because I cannot read minds. I can now let that piece of my day go and move forward. I also decided that the best plan of action was to come straight home and put my child to bed for a nap, rather than take him to Target and place him in yet another situation to continue behaving that way, when what he really needed was rest. I could use some, too!

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