“What can I discover today? What wonders can I see, touch, hear? Whom can I hug and smile at coyly? How can I manipulate my parents by throwing fits and… oh, wait, I’m not supposed to reveal my tricks”
Well, being two is not always puppy dogs and rainbows, but I really love this age. I have with all three of my children. I think I’m savoring it a little more this time around because Little Pea is probably my last child. Every day, I don’t think I’ll survive unless I squeeze her one last time. I can really see how the youngest child gets spoiled, although I’m trying not to.
A few of my favorite things about being two are:
Endless Energy! Sometimes I think I’m going to collapse in fatigue if I hear, “Look, mommy, I dumping(jumping)!” one more time.
Unbridled Self Esteem Pea is literally beside herself with pride all day long, as she constantly exclaims, “I did it!” (Even if she really didn’t) Here are a few examples. The other day, HipChick was practicing cartwheels in the living room. Pea just had to get in on the action. So she said, “atchiss!” (watch this) She proceeded to bend over, put her hands on the floor, then fall prostrate. I expected a wail, but she looked up and shouted, “I did it!” Then she began applauding wildly! It was the greatest cartwheel ever known to man! Take this drawing for instance. Pea is the greatest artist since Michelangelo! She can draw anything with a few swirls of the pencil. The technique? While she is drawing, she says the name of the subject over and over at increasing volumes. “Daddy, daddy, daddy, daddy, DADDY!” And don’t forget, “I did it!” … What? You can’t see the perfectly formed figures? You must not have a very artistic eye.
Desire for Self-Reliance Some days I have 30 minutes to wait while Pea puts on her socks and shoes, all by herself. Other days, the statement, “I do it,” is the bane of my existence! It’s a whole other story when she wants to do something for which she does not yet have the ability. Like pouring the juice. Today, she insisted on pulling up her pants, but had no concept of needing to pull the back over her behind. Each time I tried to help, she screamed, “I do it!” I finally found a way to pull up the back without her seeing. While I’m sometimes annoyed by the refusal of help, I am continually beaming with pride when she learns a new skill.
I wanted to write this post today, but I really need to focus a few more posts on God this week. So I asked God what He could teach me through my daughter’s delightful, yet sometimes frustrating behavior.
Often, we try to do everything, even though we do not have unbridled energy. How many times has God said, “Slow down, rest in Me,” when I have just kept plowing through my life without taking time out? We need to spend time with Jesus and get our energy from Him.
In Matthew 11: 28-29, Jesus says, “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.”
And let’s not forget Martha and Mary. While Martha was doing what needed to be done, Mary was sitting at Jesus’ feet.
“Martha, Martha,” the Lord answered, “you are worried and upset about many things, but only one thing is needed. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her.” Luke 10:41-42
While self-esteem is good, “God-esteem” is better. We are God’s creation and his children. We are fearfully and wonderfully made. We have value, and He loves us regardless of whether we get it all perfect. However, our works are going to be flawed because we live in a fallen world right now. There comes a time, as will be true for Pea, when we realize that our work is not perfect. A bunch of scribbles does not a masterpiece make. So as we grow in grace, we need to ask God if we are penciling scribbles, when we are ready to graduate to charcoals or oil paint.
Does our desire for self-reliance help or hinder us? Letting Pea do things herself is so valuable, even if I am inconvenienced. Have you ever wondered why God chooses to use us to spread the gospel, when He could just as well appear from the heavens and tell us Himself? There are a lot of reasons, I’m sure, but one of them is because our faith grows as we share it with others. We are not only accomplishing His goal of revealing Himself to others, we are also growing in the knowledge of God. But sometimes, we need to just get out of the way. Let Him do it. Accept His gift. Right now, we may not yet have the ability for the things we want to do. Salvation is a great example. Can we become good enough on our own to turn from our sin, and repair our broken relationship with God? No. Jesus has already accomplished our salvation on the cross, and we must only accept His gift!
Even Jesus said, “Why do you call me good?” Jesus answered. “No one is good—except God alone.” (Mark 10:18) The disciples then asked, “Who can be saved?” and Jesus answered, “With man this is impossible, but not with God; all things are possible with God.”(Mark 10:27)
Lord, today I ask you to give me the peace to rest in you, spiritually and physically. Let me renew my mind in your Word, so I will have the energy to finish the race. Let me see who I am, in You. Let me feel your love and approval, but also let me know when to strive for better in my life. Instead of relying only on myself, let me rely on Your Spirit in me. And always let me give You the glory for any goodness I possess. In your precious Son’s name, Amen This post was inspired by MamaBlogga’s October Group Writing Project, “The best thing about this age” There are lots more great posts there!