And today when I was explaining to Connor for the 20,000th time that I do not speak "Whinese" and I would either require him to find a translator or speak plain English to his mama, I wondered if God would just like to put His hand on his hip and stare at me. Do you ever stop mid-sentence with your kids and think, "Wow, I bet God is trying to drive home a point here!" I did tonight... I was fussing and stewing because it seems like the only time anyone says my name or even wants to interact with me at all around here is when I can do something for them. They don't really have much interest in just spending time with me on my terms. They don't want to just let me love on them and bless them with all the wonderful things I could tell them about how I feel for them and love them beyond anything they can comprehend. They don't usually just take my advice on something, they want to know why and they always think they know better than me or that just this once my life experience is irrelevant. And it occurred to me that as frustrated and flustered as I am by all this, and as exhausted and spent as I am at the end of the day by all the needs that my little blessings have of me, it's really nothing different from the way I interact with God. I approach the throne of the King of the Universe with petty problems. I rarely go sit with Him just so He can impart some wisdom (or patience, or comfort), but rather, when I do approach the throne, it's generally to ask the King for something that I can't get on my own. It's always on my terms. And I'm trying, really trying, to learn what He wants me to know and let Him make me His and not the world's. I am so ashamed that I can't be better at this. I am so humbled by the fact that I am no better with my Father than my kids are with me... it's all about what He can do for me and very little about what I can do for Him.
In fact, chores are a great example of this broken way I deal with the Lord. When my kids are asked to do one of the few chores they are responsible for, they ALWAYS complain. They don't want to help out at all. And no matter how often they are asked to do it, they still complain every single time. They never get used to the fact that there are a few things around here that aren't about me being in their service. And boy, does that hit home! What? God wants me to give up something, serve someone, do without, postpone, sacrifice, give, love someone unlovable, stop talking, stop blogging, FORGIVE??? And it certainly puts my relationship with Him in a different light. Because no matter how many times I think to myself, "Could someone, for once, just find something on their own without saying 'Mama' first?", I still look at them 1,000 times a day and my heart wants to explode with loving them. I still listen to their little voices and want to put it in a bottle so that I can open it one day years from now when I am not blessed to be serving them every day in the easy ways. I still watch them sleeping at the end of the day and wonder where the time went and why I couldn't have told them one more time how much I love them. Why didn't I make time for one more hug? Why did I fuss or get frustrated over spills, tears, whines, messes, and little sibling rivalries? And if I, selfish and bruised as I am, can want to give more and love more in spite of all their neediness, then how much more must my Father want to wrap me in His mighty arms at the end of a long day and just hold me and love me a little more? And how must He feel when He looks down on this:
And there it is... When you look at your child sleeping, God has thrown back the curtains of heaven and given you a little glimpse inside!
The big boys had a sleepover tonight at the Science Museum with the Boy Scouts. Brian had a prior committment (AC/DC concert with his friends) so he couldn't go with them, even though he is the den leader for BOTH their dens! So, what other 27 year old uncle and 24 year old aunt would take their nephews on a sleepover with about 100 boys 1st through 4th grades? And not only take them, but do it joyfully and LOOK FORWARD to it (at least that's what they told me?) And not even I, as the mom, could have gone with any level of energy and excitement for spending the night with said number of boys and then getting the reward of a concrete floor for a bed (I did send them my blow up mattress.) But my brother and his precious wife can! And they do, and once again I am reminded of how much God knew that it would take a village to raise me and He generously provided me with the best little brother on the planet. Really, I don't know anyone else who has a brother and sister-in-law who are as thoughtful and great as mine!
So when they pulled out of the driveway, Connor ran inside sobbing because he wanted to play with Liam. How precious is that? They had played, literally, all day long already (from about 9 this morning until the boys left at 5 they were not apart for one minute.) I offered to play whatever he wanted to play, but Mama is no consolation prize when your big brother leaves without you. It broke my heart, really. So I did what any other self respecting mama would do... I bribed him! :) We went to eat at CiCi's pizza (his favorite, not mine) and we went to Target (so I could get Breaking Dawn) and I bought him a Super Mari0 toothbrush that plays music (again, like his big brothers.) Poor guy, we had a date with Prince Caspian on the pull out sofa (where he loves to sleep), but he just couldn't make it... and the sweet photo above is how I found him when I came back down from putting Meg to bed. Sleep tight my little warrior... tomorrow you'll have more villians to fight and castles to defend!
"When he sees how good is his resting place and how pleasant is his land, he will bend his shoulder to the burden and submit..." Genesis 49:15
Oh yeah, please take a moment to head over to Katie's Journey (button on the top right sidebar.) If you are an adoptive parent (or even if you're not) the story will just rip you to shreds, but what a might work He is accomplishing! To say more would be an injustice, just read it for yourself.