Sunday, September 20, 2015

Trust, Panic, And Other Annoying Things

One of the things about having almost-twins (or maybe just about having kiddos) is that the always need to have the same thing.  We do have two of many things, and of course there are some things that we just share.  But then there is food. And clothing.  Sigh.

For example, one of my kiddos wants a banana, and immediately the other child is starving and needs a banana, as if the first child's banana request would invalidate the second child's request if not submitted promptly. Or, as I begin to make dinner they both repeatedly ask me if I will give them food, as if I am making dinner for everyone but them.  Or, I tell the kids that I will be making them lunch, and they both need to confirm that I am making them lunch, not just the other sibling.  I ask one child to go upstairs and pick out pajamas, and the other child needs to be assured that they, also, will be getting jammies.  I give one child a vitamin and the other child begins to panic that they won't get a vitamin also.

Holy cow, child!  Yes!  I will take care of you!  I will meet your needs!  I know what you need and will make sure that you are taken care of! Relax!  Mama's got this.  Mama will take care of you.  Mama knows how to take care of you.  

My daughter is not looking like a toddler anymore!

Jayce was very pleased that he could hide
so well between my couch pillows

Some of this may just be "toddler" and some may be some fallout from orphanage life.  I'm not sure.  Regardless, the quantity of words directed at me to express their most basic needs can be exhausting.  I feel irked, but usually manage to calmly explain my role as a mama and assure both kiddos that they will be cared for.  If you look at their healthy, happy little faces and Anya's plump belly, you know that they are not lacking for anything.  Except cookies.  They lack cookies.

My 3 year old, looking all grown up!
Shifting gears a moment.  Philip plans fishing trips with some of his guy-friends.  It's tuna fishing on the ocean, he's gone all day (and all night) and is out of cell range most of the time.  He drives home often at 3am, barely awake.  I worry.  I am slightly aquaphobic, so boats/ocean/fishing/sharks do not bring up peaceful and safe emotions for me.  I don't want him falling asleep not the road. I don't like him leaving me for "long" periods of time (for two nights, ha ha).  I feel safer when he's close by.

As I began to pray about this the other evening, I realized that I must sound just like my toddlers as I talked to God.  Here I am asking God for the most obvious things (my husband's safety), as if He doesn't know this already or may not realize that my heart is burdened with these things.  I approach Him in a panic, as if He is not going to give me what I ask, and I need to beg for anything I receive.  (Some repentance ensued.)

I realized how inaccurately I was seeing God.  He's not a God who's in heaven saying, "Oh, oops! I let you husband crash into a tree because you didn't ask me to take care of him or say 'please'. Maybe you'll remember next time.  Mwahaha!" or "Oh, you don't want your husband to fall overboard into shark infested waters?  Why didn't you say so??" or "Oh, you need reassurance? Ok I'll see if I have some laying around tomorrow.  You'll just have to make-do until then." God is not in heaven with a stick waiting to make my life miserable just to teach me a lesson.  God is not oblivious to my heart strings.  He's not clueless about my emotions so that it catches Him by surprise that something might hurt me.  He is not twiddling his thumbs waiting for me to spell out every small thing that I might require, and refusing to act until I do.
Helping out at a friend's yard sale

Rather, He already has it all under control. God is good.  He is kind.  He is knowing.  He is all-seeing.  He is compassionate.

I am a good mama and am kind to my children.  I know what they need and even what they want!  For example: Anya prefers pink to green, and prefers sparkles to camo. Given the opportunity, I choose pink sparkly shoes for her because I know that's what she would want.  In the same way, I need to trust that God will care for me with "me" in mind.

I enjoy making my kiddos smile and will do small things just to see their eyes dance.  I need to trust that God delights to see my smiles and joy also, that He loves me enough to do things for no other purpose than it makes me happy.

There are times when I need to make a decision that makes my kiddos upset (like not wearing flip-flops on a snowy day.  Tragic.) or when my kiddos receive some consequences for poor choices.  I do not enjoy seeing them upset.  In the same way, I need to trust that God does not enjoy or delight or wait in anticipation for my hurt or disappointment.

Sibling love after Jayce's birthday party
God is not a genie in a bottle where, if I rub it the wrong way or don't hold my tongue right, He doesn't work. He is not like an impersonal scan-tron where if you don't fill in the bubbles perfectly with a #2 pencil, your request is not processed.  If my son asks, "Mama, me some food, peesh?" I don't not give him food because his grammar or pronunciation is incorrect.  I make him a bagel (or tell him to wait 15 minutes for dinner) and gently correct his grammar.  The childish manner in which he asks does not influence my decision to feed or not to feed him.  I have to trust it is the same way with God. He is more concerned about my heart condition (humbly trusting) than He is about the details of the request. Remember?  We have the Spirit that intercedes for us.

It is annoying to me when my kiddos ask for food as if I would withhold it from them.  I don't mind that they ask for food.  In fact, I want them to share their needs and desires with me.  There is a difference, though, in their perspective: panic or trust.

I need to approach God the same way.  Panic vs. trust.  I must trust.

The Lord is gracious and compassionate,
slow to anger and rich in love. 
The Lord is good to all;
He has compassion on all He has made.
The Lord is trustworthy in all He promises
and faithful in all He does.
The Lord upholds all who fall
and lifts up all who are bowed down.
The eyes of all look to you,
and you give them their food at the proper time.
You open your hand
and satisfy the desires of every living thing.
The Lord is righteous in all His ways
and faithful in all He does.
The Lord is near to all who call on Him,
to all who call on Him in truth.

He fulfills the desires of those who fear Him;

He hears their cry and saves them.
The Lord watches over all who love him...

(excerpts from Psalm 145, NIV)