It was a long night. By that I mean, Ellie had trouble sleeping. No surprise there. We are slowly discovered our little offspring does not, indeed, want to be awake in the middle of the night, which is why she is angry most of the time when she gets up at midnight, or one, or three. But for whatever reason, her little mind can’t shut itself off and we are stuck with a sulky, whiny, clingy, angry toddler for a few dark hours before the sun comes up and things look more hopeful again. But that is not the tenor of the post this morning, just wanted to set the stage.
After a few (or six) cups of coffee, there were some lingering errands that needed doing, and my kiddo needed to get out of the house. So, I piled her, “Swing Low, Sweet Chariot” singing self (her favorite song right now) into the car and headed to CVS, bribing her with a promise of a Bagel with, “Keem Cheese” as a reward for good behavior.
As we are standing in the checkout line, my Disney loving daughter spots a huge balloon covered with all of the Disney Princess faces. Delight does not even cover the emotion that came over her cloudy disposition.
“Mama!!! So pretty! You buy Pincess balloony for Ellie?”
“No, baby. Not today,” I placated gently, all the while praying WW III holds off until we’re at least only three people deep in line. Why do they put balloons by the checkout??????? Why does CVS hate Mothers with toddlers???
Anyway, she didn’t fight me on my ruling, just said ok and continued to hold onto the bright pink, floating monstrosity. Then, something I suppose Oprah would have called an, “ah-ha” moment lighted on her little brain and she boldly walked up to the older gentleman buying antacids and a snickers bar directly ahead of us. (Those two don’t really go together, I wanted to remind him, but that’s another story.”
She smiled a coy, knowing smile at him, looked him in his eyes and said, “So pretty! This pincess baloony!”
He smiled back at her, and answered, “Oh yes. so pretty.”
She didn’t wait long for the zinger. “You buy dis for me?”
AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH. My kid was soliciting complete strangers in an attempt to take home a piece of plastic filled with helium that will last all of 24 hours. I was mortified. Thank God he laughed, told me I had a smart child, paid for his counter-productive purchase and left smiling. And then I thought about it all morning.
I told you that I meet with Sister Sunshine, who fills a deep need in my life for someone to gently tell me how wrong I am most of the time and point me right back to Jesus. During our meeting yesterday, she asked me a lot of hard questions that I didn’t really want to answer. Mostly, because I hate crying, and I hate even more to admit that I hate crying because it feels weak to me. And I hate that I just said that, and that’s how I really feel. Ew. I told you I was wrong most of the time. However, in our session, Sister Sunshine brought to my attention ( in a way that I didn’t even realize what she was doing until much later-that’s good) that most of my anxiety stems from the fact that I do not expect God to give good things to me. Oh, I’m sure that he’ll provide the bare minimum- you know, food, clothing, shelter. But I have somehow convinced myself in all of my 30 years of living that that means we must subsist on potatoes and peanut butter, I must carry around guilt if I purchase a new article of clothing if I have something similar that is not in shreds, ect. Sister Sunshine said, in her soft and commanding way, that if God promises to give us the delights of our hearts, we gotta know what those are to ask for them. We have to wake up everyday filled with gratitude for what God is going to do for us because it’s for our good- there’s no possible way that it isn’t. It’s not about circumstance, it’s about truth.
I don’t want my kid to grow up with an American sense of entitlement. I want her to learn to appreciate money, how to earn it and how to give it generously. But, I also never want her to lose the belief that I want her to have what delights her. That my heart delights when hers does. I never want her to stop asking me for the things she desires.
I want the same for myself. I want to wake up every morning believing in the truth: That I am a daughter of the richest King in the universe, that I have direct access to Him, that He delights in me, desires a closeness with me, and wants me to surrender all of my anxiety-inducing scheming and planning and fear and low expectations of Him so that He, in His power, can transform my Heart.
He is a God of impossibility.
It can be done, for me and for you.