Saturday, February 19, 2011

God help us all!

Ellie is growing up so fast. She is ready to be a big girl, and she is only 20 months old -- not even 2! We've started pottie training; it's coming along slow. She tries to dress herself, though she's better at undressing. And just this week she has begun a new effort at independence: stair-climbing!

She likes to get out of the car by herself and walk to our apartment by herself -- only problem is that we live on the second floor! Now, I do try to meet her halfway. I will let her climb out of the car, hold my hand as we walk to the mailbox and then back towards the apartment, but once we hit the stairs that's it! Independence lost! Like it or not, fit or no fit, she's getting mommie's help!

Once again, God has used this instance to illustrate to me how we, his children, act when it comes to thinking we can do things all by ourselves.

So many times we will try to handle situations without prayer or without seeking him, or worse, when we do accomplish something we forget to give him the glory. Let's remind ourselves yet again: We can do nothing without him! We are nothing without him! For "In him we live and move and have our being; as even some of your own poets have said, 'For we are indeed his offspring.'" (Acts 17:28 ESV)

See, I know that it is most likely Ellie will hurt herself on those stairs. For one they are concrete, but mainly there are at least 10-15 steps to the top (I've never actually counted them). She wants so bad to walk up those steps without my help, yet everyday for the past week she has screamed her head off that I pick her up and disallow it. She doesn't know what I know. She doesn't know that I am only trying to protect her from harm.

This just speaks volumes to me! Moments of my own frustration with God for not giving me what I want when I want it flood my memory. God is so good not to let us hurt ourselves.

The world tells us that independence is a good thing and encourages it, but spiritually speaking, independence of God is prideful. We are in constant need of his assistance. To live outside of his help is to live outside of his covering and blessing, and to live outside of his blessing is not really living at all is it?

So thank you God for once again speaking to me through my child's behavior, and make this instance a memorial so that the next time I feel like kicking and screaming at you I might refrain.

Amen!

Friday, February 4, 2011

God hears ...

So for the past two days I have stayed home with Ellie; we both are sick with ear infections. Needless to say I've had plenty of thinking time on my hands.

Ya know ... my ear hurts. It rings and pops and just hurts. And I can't hear very well right now. It's been a long time since I've had an ear infection. I forgot how bad they can be. It's no picnic. So my heart goes out to Ellie. I can fully appreciate my child's cries, her whines of not feeling good and her whimpers for mama to pick her up and hold her close. Sharing in this experience has brought to light yet another way I am able to see God in my role as a parent. (I love it when he does this.)

Last night Robert, my wonderful husband, suggested that I go to bed early and that he would put Ellie to bed for me. He didn't have to tell me twice. I have been so exhausted the past few days. Taking care of a sick baby is work enough, but when you are sick yourself it's daunting!

The next thing I remember Robert is crawling into bed and whispering to me that he can't find Ellie's baby monitor. (She threw it behind the couch in one of her fits the day before.) I responded with, "That's ok. She'll be ok."

The next thing I remember after that is a faint cry jolting me awake. I barely heard it because of my ear and because even though Ellie is just in the next room, she's at the end of the hall so hearing her isn't always easy. (Our apartment must be well insulated because we have had to keep a monitor on at night since we moved in.)

Anyway ... I go to her bed room, scoop her from her bed and bring her back to bed with me where I cradle her back to peaceful sleep. As I'm doing so Robert whispers to me, "I never even heard her cry."

This morning I was reminded of a verse from one of my favorite Psalms:
Psalm 34: 17-19
The Lord hears his people when they call to him for help. He rescues them from all their troubles. The Lord is close to the brokenhearted; he rescues those whose spirits are crushed ... the Lord comes to the rescue each time.

I am amazed at how I was able to hear Ellie crying. I am the woman who God has appointed to be her mother, her guardian, her protector and caretaker, and even with a practically deaf ear, I was unable to keep myself from coming to her rescue. I was compelled by her pitiful cries to come to her aid. Surely this is how God hears our cries for help. Our tears must compel his response. 

He never turns a deaf ear to us. Better yet, he *never sleeps but is always attentive and listening for our voice — waiting for it! He longs for us to need him and in turn to meet our need. He is always "just in the next room." He rescues us and restores our peace ... when we allow him to that is. Ellie could have continued to whine and cry, but she didn't. She knew I was there to help and instead of resisting she allowed me to sooth her back to sleep. (This is another blog in and of itself.)

It never ceases to amaze me how being a mother makes me feel all the more closer to God and his character. Not that I could ever be as wonderful as he is, but that every time he shares little nuggets like this it makes me want to be more like him.

Anyway ... just food for thought.

* Psalm 121:2-4 
 My help cometh from the LORD, which made heaven and earth. He will not suffer thy foot to be moved: he that keepeth thee will not slumber. Behold, he that keepeth Israel shall neither slumber nor sleep.