My child has developed the charming toddler habit of loudly exclaiming in stores, “I want it!”. A piece of me cringes inside each time she holds a new toy or a box of cookies and shouts her proclamation loud enough for all of Target to know how badly she wants some Oreos. I slouch down, embarrassed. My selfish, greedy child. Doesn’t she know how good she’s got it? How many toys she has? How many cookies have graced her little fingers? Earlier on this week, however, I got a different perspective on Ellie’s bold desires.
I am terrible at articulating what I want. I am afraid if I reveal the things I want, I won’t get them. Superstitious, much? I don’t want to appear selfish or greedy. If people don’t know the things I really want, then I don’t have to feel ashamed when I don’t get them. And I don’t believe I’ll ever get them. I’ve never been so bold as Ellie. But, as usual, I can learn a lot from my brave, little daughter.
Ellie tells me she wants things because I’m her Mama- I’m the one who feeds her, clothes her, takes care of her, and am the occasional giver of toys and cookies. She asks me for the things she really wants because she knows I can give them to her, and I love to bless her. When she tells me what she wants, she’s reaffirming her trust in me, acknowledging that I am worthy of her desires, being an active pursuer instead of a bystander and leaving me with the decision of giving it to her or not. Sometimes I say no, and she places the stickers reluctantly back on the shelf- and quickly moves on to something else. Sometimes, she gets to put them in the cart to take home.
God wants to hear us say, “I want it.”. When we do, it both affirms our trust in Him and motivates us to pursue our goals. Sometimes, God sees fit to put the cookies in the cart. Sometimes, He knows there’s something better around the corner in the next aisle that we’d like much more. Whether we get what we want or not isn’t really the point. It’s in the recognizing our desires and trusting God with them. Because He’s the one who can achieve them- not us. Because we’re his kids. Because he loves us.
In the new year, I’m aspiring to follow my daughter’s lead. To trust God with my desires. To say them out loud. To be unashamed if they don’t come to pass, but to know that God loves me and move on to something else.
I’ve applied to grad school for a Masters of Fine Arts in Writing. I’ve only applied to three schools: the top three. There is a strong possibility I will not get in to any of them. But, I Want It. I trust that God loves me. I know he’s the one who achieves, not me. And if it’s not meant to be, I’ll move on to another box of cookies. Here’s to a shame free, brave 2013! Hope yours is the same.