Kathryn (on the right) is almost three, and a little obstinate lately. Not terrible – she is an eager to please child, funny, and beautiful (biased mom that I am). However, lately she has taken to obeying when and if she good and well feels like it. She has also entered the “MINE!” stage…including every variation thereof (It’s MY turn!; It’s MINE!; No! MINE!)
Well, today, I was packing us up for a vacation we will be taking, and on her bed was a new package of diapers for her baby sister, Stephanie. Kathryn picked them up and brought them out to the kitchen, and stood on top of them and said “I’m surfing!” (I honestly don’t know where she picked that up — we don’t surf, read about surfing, watch surfing or talk about surfing.) So I laughed and then told her to bring the diapers back to the bedroom.
They suddenly became too heavy to carry. “It’s too heabby, mom.” And she grabbed her stuffed horse and made for the den to play. I wavered for a moment. Do I just let it go and take the diapers into the room myself? They were a little bit heavy for a little girl to carry. Then I realized that she carried those “heabby” diapers all the way to the kitchen, she surely was strong enough to carry them back. So I called her and told her again – “Take the diapers back to the bedroom, Kathryn.”
After the third command, she finally realized I was serious (a blow to my “immediate obedience” philosophy). But by that time, her little sister Stephanie crawled into the kitchen and immediately went for the stuffed horse, which opened the floodgates for Kathryn’s fierce protection of her toy. “No! It’s MINE! MY TURN!” Meanwhile, I was still looking at Kathryn expecting her to obey the diaper request. So she looked at me, glared at Stephanie, and tried to pick up the diapers along with her big stuffed horse so Stephie couldn’t get to it.
Now that was too much for her to handle. She struggled for a few seconds more before putting everything down, and then bringing the horse to me for protection from her invading sibling. Then she, with relief, quickly took the diapers back to the bedroom.
I shook my head and tried to remember what I was doing before that episode. My ABBA tapped me on the shoulder and asked “Do you have a stuffed horse preventing you from obeying ME immediately?”
Hm. There are many assets that I try to protect when God asks for my obedience. I can’t do both – I have to give my assets to Him to hold for me, while I go do what He asks. I risk a spanking if I struggle to do both for too long.
A good example is my struggle not to go back to work. I love being a stay at home mom. It is something I have always said I would do if the Lord ever let me have children. But now we are always so close to broke! So periodically I think – If I would just go back to work, things would be ok. I have worked for the last 15 plus years, and it has always been a source of comfort and control for me. Protecting my stuffed horse. (Lest there be any misunderstanding, let me state here, that I believe that the Lord has NO direct commandments in Scripture about whether or not mothers should or should not work outside the home. This is simply my own agreement with Him).
If I allow myself to dwell there too long, I end up doing a poorer job mothering my children and caring for my husband, which for now is my full time job. So, I have to give my assets (financial in this case) to the Lord for him to hold while I obey. It is really interesting the relief that I feel once I realize that His capable hands are holding the things that I care about, allowing me to obey with freedom and abandon.
I don’t think I ever did finish what I was working on, but somehow it doesn’t really matter right now.