My daughter is a spit-fire little girl. She is passionate, stubborn, logical, and sweet all rolled into one big girly princess. When she was a little baby, she thrived on a schedule. Rigidity was her friend. She slept well and was cheerful if I was strict with her feedings and sleep. But she fought it sometimes. Nap time was the hardest usually. I mean, what kid fights food? ;)
As a toddler now, she is the same way…a little more flexible in her daily routine, but still super logical and stubborn. But also one of the sweetest, kindest, and funniest kids I know. I LOVE HER!
As you could imagine, during any developmental milestones that required action on my part [not milestones like crawling, milestones like giving up bottles, paci, diapers, etc.], I have always been super nervous. Every time there is a need for me to shape her little life/day/schedule/etc., I get knots in my stomach and try to delay.
“She can give up her pacis when she turns two. We can make it a party where she gives up her pacis for her coming little brother.”
“I don’t want to listen to her cry! I can’t sleep train!”
“I don’t want to potty train over vacation! We’ll wait until we return.”
The list of excuses could go on. And it was all about me. My nerves. My sensitivity. And yet, here is the weird part:
She has always surprised me.
Not a single one of those events [sleep training, ditching bottles, ditching pacis, potty training, switching to a big girl bed] went how I expected it to. Sure, there were a few tears here and there, but nothing like the catastrophic meltdowns that I had envisioned in my head. During sleep training, they advise you to let them fuss for 10 minutes and then check on them. My mommy heart broke just thinking about it. But…surprise! Jael only fussed for like 4 minutes and had the falling-asleep-on-your-own skill mastered after only three nights. Getting rid of the bottles was one day of tears, and then she was fine. Ditching the paci was cake. No tears, not even a single word about it. Just stopped cold turkey one day and she’s never looked back. Potty training took two days. And she’s been sleeping in her big girl bed for the past two nights — all through the night and not waking until 7:30/8:00 am — with JOY.
And yet, every time I think of the next milestone [don’t really know of many after this point], I get all clammy and nervous. I get worried that its going to be hard. That its going to break me.
One of the parenting lessons that the Lord is continuing to gently teach me is that worry does you nothing. Sure, there are going to be difficult nights ahead still. Difficult days for sure. But does it do me any good to go worrying about it?
And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life?If then you are not able to do as small a thing as that, why are you anxious about the rest?Consider the lilies, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin, yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these.But if God so clothes the grass, which is alive in the field today, and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, how much more will he clothe you, O you of little faith!And do not seek what you are to eat and what you are to drink, nor be worried.For all the nations of the world seek after these things, and your Father knows that you need them.Instead, seek his kingdom, and these things will be added to you. -Luke 12:25-31
This is a big challenge for me. Is it for you? I have a hard time asking for God to allow my parenting to be easier, for my baby’s teething pain to go away, for my daughter to just listen to me…I feel like those things are things that you just have to go through when you’re a parent. That praying for those things is trivial. Petty. Unnecessary. Boy, isn’t that a lie from the enemy?! God wants to hear everything in our hearts. He wants us to call to Him.
“Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.” -1 Peter 5:7
Those days where we feel like we are begging Him for mercy every two seconds, those days are small victories. Why? Because in your praying, you are admitting you can’t do it…and that you know Who can. Its the hard days that we try to do on our own. Those days are days we fail.
So lets have a victorious day today, friends. Shall we? :) Whether its a big victory like no potty accidents all day or a small victory like feeling His presence even though the day has gone far South. Lets call on Him in our joy and in our pain and trust that He will meet us there. Oh, God, will you meet us today??