Before the Double Stroller
This post is new reading material for my sweet friend, Christina. For those of you who know me, it is a bit dated, but will be fresh and new to your eyes.
Before recently attaining a double stroller, I attempted to take a walk with my two-year old (Buddy A) and my seven-week old (Buddy E), using only a single stroller. Being a “good mom,” I placed the baby in the stroller (for a cat-nap) and let my eldest walk—thinking this would give him good exercise and allow him the freedom that this independent two-year old yearns for and I often restrict. The walk began beautifully, almost gracefully, as we sauntered along at a two-year old pace. We had ample time to look at every crack in the sidewalk, touch every lamp post and lava rock, pull every weed, and pet every lawn ornament. He was delighted at every tall blade of grass and energetically informed me of every one–during what was supposed to be a short walk. Yet, I began to grow impatient. I found myself not caring about stepping on a weed, catching a bug, or patiently explaining how we must hold hands to cross the street. Meanwhile, the newborn was remaining mostly content to sunbathe as long as I kept him in motion.
I, however, became impatient. I found myself saying, “Come on, Buddy A. Let’s go. Hurry up. We need to get home.” This only seemed to make Buddy A relish God’s creation even more, to my surprise.
In hindsight, I now ask myself, “Where did I have to be that made me rush Buddy A along?” Nowhere. So why was I telling him to hurry? Unbeknownst to my two-year old, he was doing something that I fail to do during my days as a professional chef, maid, teacher, wife, seamstress, and laundry mat. He was taking the time to admire God’s creation. Buddy A’s excitement and lollygagging were praise to God’s ears. But they interrupted my agenda.
What I failed to remember was twofold:
1. Being a mom is my job (among many others), even though I don’t punch a time clock and get paid for it. I need to see that my children aren’t an interruption, they are God’s creation and gifts to me. Yes, there may be things that I want to get done, BUT I need to work on having a servant’s attitude toward my children. They won’t always be this age, wanting and needing my attention. One day the house will be quiet–no diapers to change or onesies to be washed, and no toys to be picked up. Then I will miss the days of hearing Buddy A tell me every time he takes a drink of water and Buddy E’s little cough alerting me to the fact that it is time to feed him.
And . . . .
2. In order to enjoy God, I need to spend time with God. Yes, even with two kids (now 3), there can be time to spend with God. In fact, there must be time made to spend with God. If something is important to you, you will make time for it. When I don’t spend time with God, I find myself becoming impatient and short tempered with my little flock. And I find my voice doing and saying things that I mentally criticized other moms for doing before I had children, namely yelling (but you probably haven’t ever done that). Yet, now I understand how this happens. When I don’t spend time with God I can’t walk in His Spirit or display His fruit. In short, I must spend time with God to walk in His Spirit and display His fruit.
The following two verses give me hope and encouragement. I pray that as you meditate on them they will do the same for you.
Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. (2 Corinthians 4:16-17)