Last night as I was going to sleep, I was thinking about the day and my life lately as a stay at home mom, being with my girls all day everyday. As my mind played in fast motion through moments of the last few days, I was struck with what an incredible picture of our relationship with God is played out in the everyday moments of being a parent.
I thought of Addison, how she likes to show me everything..."Look mommy!" "Watch me mom!" And even when she does wrong, how she looks to me immediately (though not exactly repentant!). This is, to me, a perfect picture of us being in constant communion with God. No matter what is going on in our day, the good, the bad and the ugly, we go to Him in thanks, in repentance when we mess up, and in all the exciting things that happen, just seeing God in them, and wanting Him to see us--which He does, though I forget sometimes and feel like He's not there.
I thought of both of my girls, how when they get upset, they just want to bury their head in my neck and cry and be held and comforted. Addison in particular, being the dramatic one will fall down or get hurt in some way and immediately look around for me, then takes a deep breath and holds it, holds the sobbing in as she runs to me with her arms out, then finally lets the breath out and cries her little heart out once she lands in my arms. And then she feels better. An instant fix:) Again, I thought of how desperately He longs for us to just run to Him. To stop trying to be so tough all the time, stop trying to fix everything on our own, stop reading self-help books, stop being sad or hurt or depressed and just run! Run to His arms and let Him comfort us. And while the situation might not poof! go away like magic, He will give us the peace and rest we need to get through. Crying to Him and allowing Him to be our comforter gives us new perspective and strength and joy in Him to make it. Hugging and holding my girls doesn't magically take away the bump on their head, but it sure makes them feel like they'll be okay, and then they will, eventually.
I thought of Lily, how she is finally okay with being set down, as long as I'm close by. She is happy to play and do her thing, but if I'm out of sight, she gets frantic pretty fast. She needs me. She wants to be near me all the time. I'm that way with God. He's set me free...I'm not a puppet and He's not a puppeteer; He's given me gifts and talents and a family and friends and hobbies and set me free to live life here on earth to His glory. But as much freedom as He's given me, I want, I need Him close! Life is uncertain and I get anxious and feel empty when I don't feel His nearness. But when I keep Him close (praying continually, being in the Word everyday, meditating on the things of Him), I'm alright. Life has purpose and I can see my place in the big picture. I have deep peace and contentment when I feel His presence with me.
Last and perhaps the greatest picture I see in the parent/child mirror of us and God, is the picture of Grace. There are times I get so frustrated with Addison, when she does something for the hundredth time in a row that she knows she isn't supposed to do and I have to discipline her, yet again. Part of me is like, are you serious?! Why in the world do you keep doing this!!!? And then I am humbled when I think of God's never ending patience with me...patience He's had for 31 years and counting! I do the same things over and over and over, struggle with the same things and come running for forgiveness all the time it seems like. Yet...He doesn't lose His cool with me, get frustrated and ask me "why? why did you do it again? come on crystal, get it together! sheesh!" No, His grace is unending and sometimes I don't understand it. The closest I can get to understanding is that after the most trying days when I feel like all she's done is whine, throw tantrums, and be blatantly disobedient, I can't wait to see her beautiful little face in the morning. A new day, yesterday forgotten. Just like His grace is new every morning.
It's not a perfect picture, but it's a glimpse...
"For now we see only a reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully,
even as I am fully known."
1 Corinthians 13:12