My 17 month old, Caedmon, has started talking, wowing us with new words daily. As I write he’s bebopping around the kitchen pretending to greet someone with a hearty “hello!” into his play phone.
He’s now named his stuffed elephant “Mamake” and his main two word string is “my eat!” He yells this often as he is always keen to eat whatever is available to him, including chalk and Q-tips. (which i try very hard to make UNavailable to him)
I’ve been waiting for that little voice, so sweet and still dripping with baby softness. Before I know it he’ll be walking in the door with his buddies, showing off his deep man voice and armpit hair. I’ll love him tremendously then too, but I’m guessing I won’t get as many kisses.
One of my favorite parts of parenting is unwrapping all the unique and lovely bits that God packed into their souls, the inner voice. Such as my daughter’s energy and tender heart, my sons determination help and be “part of the group.”
I want to love those around in a way that empowers them to be the person God created, not the vision I have in mind. This is universal for every relationship we engage in. Love is sacrificing what we want for what is best for our dear ones and this is always God’s lovely, perfect will for them.
It’s not always easy, we’re all so prone to want to jam people into our molds. But it’s our call to love people freely, especially when it’s inconvenient. Our natural drive is to focus on what we are getting out of every relationship we’ve engaged in, including parenting.
Yet if we all spend our time in a state of self focus, community would die and our world would become an even lonelier place than it already is.
So the trick is to hear the voice underneath the bad choices, the acting out, the hurtful words and peer through to discover the intentions underneath. Very few if any of us are walking around the world intending to hurt people for fun, it all comes out of something broken or buried deep.
We are all accountable for our actions and have to make amends, yet to correctly understand the actions, we have to reflect on the heart behind them. We have to learn to listen for the true voice in spite of the din and noise.
We all need this grace, to be loved and seen for who we really are in spite of all our faulty choices and painful words.
One of my deepest prayers is that God will grow me in humility, teach me to die to myself so that I can have eyes to see the deep voices and true needs of those that I love. I pray he makes my own true voice louder as the Spirit speaks to more of the moments I’m blessed with.
So I pray Grace for today, ears to listen for the deep voice in the strained moments.