Monday, April 07, 2008

April 7, 2008

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I thank God for His faithful watch care over us. Although it seemed like a long journey, it was only a few months ago that the new baby room was just a hole on the side of our house. This past Saturday, with the sacrificial help of 2 friends, DearHubby was able to complete the flooring in the hallway and baby room. When it was all done, it was very odd walking down the finished hardwood bamboo flooring.

In addition, after 2+ years, DearHubby finally installed the transition between the hallway and kitchen. What a difference a little detail makes!

While DearHubby and the gang worked on the flooring, the girls and I enjoyed the company of Little R, DearDaughter1's best friend. It was her Daddy that was over to help and Little R's Mommy was away on our women's retreat.

I learned a lot through Little R, especially about the expectations I have of DearDaughter1. I discovered that Little R is not that different from DearDaughter1. She wants to be quite independant and says "no" often, but she is not mature enough to direct her ways and requires much direction from an adult. As I made this observation of Little R, I realized that I probably expect way too much from DearDaughter1. It was this revelation that made me proud of DearDaughter1 and the place she has arrived at in such a short time in life.

DearDaughter1 is only 2 years old, not even 2 1/2 years old yet, and in such a short time, I believe she has learned great self-control. She is able to follow my directions most of the time and she is able to play and keep herself occupied for a good span of time.

Yet, she still has that desire to be independant, which is where her seemingly defiance comes from and if I had not had the opportunity to really observe Little R, I don't think I would have realized my high expectations. From my childhood, I just remember being required to be obedient 100% of the time. Disobedience was not tolerated at all and I was treating DearDaughter1 in the same manner.

It is true that the Bible commands children to obey their parents, but parents are also commanded not to exasperate their children. DearDaughter1 does not have the full capacity to be fully obedient yet. She needs time to mature and grow. Therefore, as a parent, I am to guide DearDaughter1 towards understanding what the Bible commands children to do and when she does not fully obey, I am to correct the misbehavior accordingly, but to do it with much grace and forgiveness, understanding the place of maturity she is in.

This is such a reflection of God's sanctification of His own children. When we first become Christians, it is true that our faith causes us to repent from our sins. Yet, we often find ourselves still falling into our sins. As the Holy Spirit works in our lives, our hearts and minds become more and more transformed into Christ's likeness, and we find ourselves turning more and more from our sins and running more and more towards righteousness. And through all that time of growing, God always extends His grace, always forgives us our sins, and always reminds us, by His Word and even by the love and encouragement of the church body, that He loves us.

Children are such a blessing as they give us such a wonderful picture of our relationship with God, our Father!

Well, the girls and I were able to enjoy this blessed property! We flew a kite, watched our neighbor's animals, and enjoyed all the spring flowers in bloom. It was a blessed day!

Lastly, on the way home from church yesterday, we passed this sign in the front of a church that said, "Bloom where you are planted." It made me think about plants and how they bloom when they are given sufficient light and food. They really don't have a choice about the matter. It's not like they can say, "I am not going to bloom this season." That really convicted my heart because I often complain about my hard life and I am often discontent with life. As a result of my discontentment, I often hide God's light. God has planted me in this particular place in life and He gives me the sufficient light and food I need by His grace and in His Word, so why do I think I have a choice to not bloom? This is where I am planted and God wants me to bloom where He planted me.


Bren said...

I learn so much from you. I love the revelation you got. I have had the same experience with my daughter. After raising 2 sons, girls were something I knew nothing of. It took a wise mom with 2 grown daughters, who turned out GREAT, to tell me, "my girls did all the same things." Yeesh! Sometimes I feel very hardheaded!!!
Love the comparison to us as Christians...I have been a Christian for 28 years and I still act like a baby sometimes!

Trish D said...

Thanks for such a wonderful post. It's so easy to get frustrated with our children - that's actually one reason I enjoy volunteering with our children's ministry (as I'm assured that other children are going through the same issues). Also a wonderful reminder that God provides all we need for the here and now - I know I've recently caught myself thinking stuff along the lines of "Well, when X happens I'll be able to minister in YZ way." Know what? That's really not important - the critical thing is whether I'm in the Lord's will right now and doing what I'm supposed to with what I've been given.

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