31 Days {In Pursuit} Of Your Child’s Heart- Day 30


Day 30: Freedom To Simply {Be}

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It happened almost every Easter, Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, and Christmas service. They’d bring in all the kids in their holiday clothes, line them up in front of the congregation. They’d do a song, a poem, give a few words on the occasion, and it always ended in prayer.

They all looked absolutely adorable in their holiday dresses and their little suits and ties. Parents all over the sanctuary took out their cameras to get a group shot and close-ups of their precious ones.

And me, well, I sat there with my precious one. She rarely stood up front. As soon as children paraded to the front, she’d walk across the front of the sanctuary straight to me. “Lem (that’s one of the many names she likes to be called, short for Lemon Meringue), go stand up there with the kids,” I’d say.

“I don’t want to stand up there mom. I want to stay right here.”

“Lem, all the kids are in the front, you should be there too. Look at everyone with their pretty dresses.”

“Mom, why would I want to be up there with everyone looking at me? I am fine right here.”

I don’t know why it bothered me so much that she wouldn’t stand up there. Perhaps it was all the looks I got when she walked across the front and sat down next to me. Perhaps it was the way she made a decision to go against the program if it meant being put on display. Perhaps in my ridiculousness (yes that’s a word in my life), it made me feel like there was something wrong with me.

I’d always give her the look from across the sanctuary, “Lem, STAY. UP. THERE!!! Do not come over here.” 

And she, well, she always disregarded my stare and took her seat next to mine.

Freedom To Simply {Be}

And then it happened. You know, the moment when God shows you yourself.

I realized that as moms it’s so easy to put our children on the spot. Lem do this. Lem do that. We want them to perform. To stand up in front of everyone as we gush with pride when others admire them. Because that’s what it’s about, right?

You go stand up there so everyone can see you. And she, well, she was content sitting next to me.

She smiled at all the other kids in the spotlight, but she didn’t want to be in that spotlight. It didn’t matter to her if others saw her. She was content with simply being.

The next time the kids paraded to the front of the altar during a special service, I looked at my precious walking over to me and I gave her a big hug and kiss when she took her seat next to mine. Then I looked at the children in the front, laughed, and smiled at their total cuteness, and enjoyed the rest of the program.

God showed me how to give her the freedom to simply {be} herself. (And in the process, I too, found freedom.)

Today’s Challenge

For me, part of pursuing my children’s hearts means giving them the freedom to be themselves. It isn’t always easy. Sometimes I feel the sting of the “you’re making me look bad” monster. That’s when I have to evaluate the situation. I have to take myself and how I feel out of the picture.

Some questions to ask:

  • Is this something that hinders their walk with Christ?
  • Is this something that needs to be addressed? Disobedience, defiance, anger, etc.?
  • Is this something that is hurting someone else?
  • Is this something that needs my immediate attention? Perhaps the child is fearful or anxious. Or maybe they just don’t know how to do what you’re asking of them.
  • Or is this just part of her personality? Is this part of the way God created them to be?

When the answer is the latter, we’d do well to put our expectations to the side. When we do this we show them they are absolutely loved just as they are. No performance is necessary. They have the freedom to simply {be} themselves.

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Posted on October 30, 2013, in 3-5 YEAR OLDS, 31 Days {In Pursuit} Of Your Child's Heart, FAMILY LIFE, MOTHERING ON PURPOSE, PARENTING, TEENS. Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

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