Tuesday, December 2, 2008


The other day Mark, Lily and I went to the mall. Yes, at the height of Christmas shopping season I took my toddler and husband to the mall. I know, I am insane.

Anyway, in one of the stores I overheard this conversation:

"Shut up!!!" from a small child of maybe 3.

"You shut up!!!!!" from an adult, presumably the child's mother, right back at him. Nastily, and with a hand raised to boot.

Ummmmm wha?

First of all, the child should not being saying that. That's not up for debate. But for the mother to say it back? Holy moly.

People never cease to amaze and sicken me.

We all have our moments as parents. Where we lose it, we raise our voices, we forget our role as teacher and give in to our impatience. But I cannot imagine a time when I would EVER use that tone to my daughter, not to mention raise my hand to her as if it was an acceptable way to get my point across.

I was thinking alot about this for the past day or so, and the child's face kept popping into my mind, along with the word "obedience". Tonight when Lily challenged me at every turn I saw the child's face again. I really felt like God was giving me some sort of lesson- but what?

Then I got it. Having a child is not just about teaching obedience to them, but to also practice it yourself.

This requires a massive overhaul of my thinking. I must be obedient, to teach obedience to my daughter.

No, I am not talking about obedience to Mark, though goodness knows he would LOVE that, but obedience to God.

Even when it hurts.

Even when I don't agree with Him.

Even when I am unhappy.

Even when I want to rebel like....well, a toddler.

I have to be obedient, and do all things with a thankful and gracious heart. Boy do I have alot of work to do. :)

One thing I know for certain. I am aware at all times that before Lily was mine, she was God's. She still his, primarily. She is on loan to me, yes....but she is His precious creation. When I look at her that way, I see her in a totally different light. She was entrusted to me. Given to me.

Sometimes when she challenges me in the worst way and I am tempted to yell, scream, or swat, I think of the moment when she was born, and how it was as if God himself placed her on my chest. I felt Him in every corner of the room. And when I looked into her face I knew I had a chance to heal all of my own hurt and pain, through my love for her.

Obedience seems a small price to pay for this love I get to experience everyday.