I’ve been thinking a lot lately about how my kids see the world. They are just so innocent…so in the moment…and have no perspective on how they fit into this crazy world. I am extremely jealous of this instinctual attitude most days.
But some days I find it a bit annoying. I want them to try to do things for themselves and not depend on me for every little thing. That’s the selfish side of me coming out…the mom who is overwhelmed by three kids 4 and under who NEED so much from me all at the SAME time.
I’ve been contemplating the passage in the Bible when Jesus talks about the little children. In Matthew 18:3 he says: “I tell you the truth, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.”
This confused me for a long time because I couldn’t pinpoint what it would mean to become like little children, but the other day, something just clicked. Besides having such a honest and unbiased lens through which they see the world, little kids are not afraid to ask for help. Sure they say, “No I do it” and huff and puff when you try to help. But they become quickly frustrated when they can’t do it themselves and ask for help almost immediately. And we as parents respond either because we love them so much and just want to teach them how to do it or more realistically just to make them stop screaming.
As adults, we are much more reluctant to ask for this same help for our peers, our partners, ours parents, God. We are too prideful, too embarrassed, too smart for our own good. So we try to figure it out all ourselves. And we wind up working really hard on something really simple.
God wants us to be like the little children because then we will be completely reliant on Him and not afraid to be fully confident that He will always provide for us.
It seems so simple yet so hard to adopt in our everyday lives.
In a training I attended for work today, the keynote speaker was addressing the idea of motivating people through praise for exhibiting character traits rather than just achievement. It was a fascinating talk, but one example she gave really it home. She was talking about the transformation of a caterpillar to a butterfly. She asked us what would happen if we were to help the caterpillar break out of the cocoon. I answered that the forming butterfly would probably die because it was too soon. Correct. And then she gave us this profoundly simple quote:
“It is in the struggle that the wings are strengthened so that we can fly.”
It really hit home for me as a parent. These little children I am raising are just like the caterpillars turning into butterflies. But I can’t take the cocoon off any sooner than God is ready for it to be off or the butterflies won’t be ready.
I may want my kids to be more self-sufficient and while I think teaching them ways to be accountable and helpful are good, I need to let them progress on their own time table. At the end of the day, they are only my little kids once. I need to slow down and enjoy this incredible journey. And keep in mind that these kids are helping provide more strength for my own wings that are still forming.
The “glass half full” side of me knows that my kids are a constant example of the mindset we need to keep throughout our lives in regards to Who is really in charge and Who is here to help us at all time.
But that darn “glass half empty” side of me keeps wondering when and how this parenting thing will get easier…oh and why oh why did Sean and I think we could possibly handle these 3 little munchkins.
Ironically, if I could only ask for help from above, I’d get my answer
I asked Bree tonight before bed what was the best part of her day and what was the hardest. She said that watching a movie during naptime at school was the best and not being able to find any flowers at recess was the hardest.
Yep, no flowers…
No wonder Jesus said, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.” Matthew 19:14
I’d want to hang out with that kind of attitude as well!
Here’s a few of my favorite pics of my little munchkins over the past couple weeks:
Hope June is off to a great start for all of you!