Monday, July 14, 2008

Things I've Learned about God from my Kids


I know it's been a while since done one of these, I'm not sure which "part" this is, since I can't remember the last one. I told my brother Andrew recently that the kids keep me so busy, I don't have much time for deep thoughts like these, but maybe that conversation got the wheels turning again... so here it is...

This one centers on two separate incidents that happened within a couple weeks of each other, but led me to similar thoughts. The first was when we were at a local spray park - basically a playground with sprinklers all over it and buckets of water pouring out all over everyone. I brought the kids there, and after about an hour they were just not into it. I almost decided to go home, but thought I'd try one more thing - I forced the kids to go up onto the wettest part of the playground where I knew they'd get soaked, and go down the slides. I figured if they still didn't want to stay, then we'd leave. But believe it or not, they actually had fun, and decided to stay and play. Jayna was done after a couple rounds, but Sage kept going up the stairs and down the slide, up the stairs, down the slide, for about another hour.

Sometimes she would look over at me and flash that excited little smile, and occasionally she would run over to me and say "Mommy, I'm having so much fun!" and then run off back to the waterslide. WOW. I think that's the first time I heard those words from her, and it absolutely felt like the most fulfilling thing ever about being a parent. "Mommy, I'm having so much fun!" My heart swelled, and I felt like I was the one having so much fun, hearing her say that, and watching her play.

I wondered about the times when I've had so much fun in my life, and God, as our Father, looking down on me having all that fun, and feeling that sense of fulfillment that I felt watching Sage. It was an eye opener for me. I've always thought of God as a provider and protector and all that, but it was new for me to think of him just enjoying watching me enjoy the life he's given me.
Then a couple weeks later we were at the store and Sage saw a toy and decided she wanted it. She said "Mommy, I really want that." I really wanted to buy it for her. JUST because she said she really wanted it. I didn't buy it for her, because we live on a budget and can't just buy everything we want, but that was a new experience for me too. She's just old enough to start wanting material things (when they're babies, all they really want is to be held and fed, and they're pretty easily entertained). I was surprised at my emotional reaction. Sage wanted something, and my heart's desire was to get it for her.

That, combined with the spray park experience, was a lesson to me about God's love for me (and us) - God is not only about providing the bare minimums for us. He loves us as a Father (and Mother), and he delights in our delight. He loves to see me having a good time, enjoying what he's given me, or where he's brought me. And he wants to give me the things I want. Not that he always DOES. And I'm not saying that God always wants us to be blissfully happy, because there are obviously times when discipline is appropriate, and when we can learn through hard times. And there are obviously things my kids might want that I will never give them because they could be dangerous, or I know they won't enjoy them as much as they think they will. But the point is, he DOES like to see us happy, and he WANTS to give us good things, simply for our enjoyment, and His.
























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3 comments:

  1. i'm glad you got some time to reflect.

    and i like seeing you describe as Mother.

    i'm reading a book called the 'dance of the dissident daughter.' there is a fair amount that i'm uncomfortable with in it, but i think it's really important in reclaiming the feminine qualities in the divine, and encouraging women to connect with their feminine soul, in a largely patriarchal world.

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  2. yeah. men AND women were created in God's image, so even though God is described as Father in the Bible, I think he encompasses the qualities of mother just as much.

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  3. Hey there - love your thoughts here. So true. I think I love going to Disney so much because I see that absolute joy on the kids faces. It leaves me exhausted, but I love it. What insight into the Father's heart for us! Very cool!

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