Monday, March 13, 2017

Shoes Too Big To Fill

"While we try to teach our children all about life
our children teach us what life is all about." 

God has truly opened my eyes and shared with me amazing life lessons through watching Kelly innocently live life.

Like most toddlers eventually do, Kelly wanted to wear his daddy's boots to walk in.  Imitating him however ended up in him clomping around  clumsily, tripping over objects, while chattering up a storm and giggling over his experience of wearing a pair of shoes too big to fill.

It was during one particular afternoon that Shawn had left his knee high waders along side the entry door.

The massive, heavy boots captivated Kelly and he pulled them down to the floor to explore them, and not realizing his size, perhaps try to put them on and wear them like he saw his daddy do.

"I think they're a little bit too big for you,"  I said to Kelly as he accepted the help from me to advance one foot in front of the other.

He was standing tall like daddy now, and by himself, balancing , swaying back and forth dancing almost in one spot, "I think your going to have to grow into those buddy.."  Shawn chuckled...

How often do we focus our energy into fitting ourselves into a different pair of shoes, or perhaps like Kelly, too eagerly try to grow out of our own as fast as we can.

Where we are right now, is where we are suppose to be. Have you ever watched a child play? They are in the moment. They have left behind their worries and aren't obsessing over tomorrow's. They learn lessons through loving reprimand and find joy in all circumstance. "They have enough sense to go out in the rain."
 Attempting to hurry through life without experiencing it, changing our circumstances without first appreciating the journey that led us into them, or leaving the place we are presently in before we learn from our mistakes won't help us to fill a pair of bigger shoes or stand tall and independently in a pair that we are trying to step into - in stead it will prevent us from filling them. Don't become so complacent that you forget to stop and smell the present in the moment, find joy in all circumstances, respect lessons life offers us, and you will look down one day and see you're standing in those shoes all by yourself, the soles created by your experiences, the comfort of a worn in pair shaped by joy found through all circumstances, and footprints for your children to follow.

"Children are great imitators. So give them something great to imitate."

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

God made me Laugh

"Tell me a story about something cute Kelly has done recently ." I was catching up with an hold college friend who is expecting her first baby. She naturally asks about how my two year old little boy is doing and for me to share a recent funny story of him. I was taken back by my own hesitation to jump in to start sharing, gloating even, over my child and all the amazing, most adorable things he had been doing. "Oh, something cute? well, gosh, I , I don't know...." 
"I don't Know!?  I don't Know!?" What mother doesn't have new story sitting on the edge of her tongue eager to share with anyone that asks, I thought to myself. I was honestly stumped. "He is just all around the cutest, most loving little boy (to me), everything he says and does is so sweet to watch." I managed to say, but I felt awful for letting down a friend 's expectations of hearing an entertaining toddler story and worried about my lack of really, any to share. Then, I started talking truthfully, and divulging that every day He teaches me something, and that most amazingly, I've seen more of a reflection of myself in my two year old than some days in my own mirror.

It was a beautiful , warm winter South Carolina day and I decided to take Kelly to the River Walk. He loves the river walk; playing at the playground, meeting new friends, walking along the river and looking for boats, even getting an occasional ice cream.  "Mama! Sit! Mama Sit! Sit!" Kelly demanded I join him on the slide and we would race down together, side by side, arms stretched over head.."Wooohooooo! Kell! give me a high five, that was super fun!" Kell held out the palm of his chubby little hand to  meet mine and looked at me with a scrunched up nose and cheshire grin before running around to climb the stairs to the top again. It was  a perfect marriage of fun, fearlessness, and firm redirection when he would come to close to the edge. The edge being anything that felt to uncomfortable for mommy to allow him to try but most certain daddy would encourage.

Kell, let's go walk on the river walk and see if there are any boats in the water! I said excitedly , to encourage him to follow me a way from the slides that went "roun an roun an roun" and swings that went "up! high! mama! up! " Kelly ran out of the gate like a race horse and down the path towards the river. I gently placed my hand on his soft, blond curls to guide him along, when all of a sudden he ran , awkwardly as a two year old pamper bottom would, towards the river and marina. He was distracted by a boat with a large party on it that was getting ready to head down the river. "Kell!" I grabbed him, arms around his trunk, legs dangling, kissed his chubby cheek and said "Kell! we can't go down there, we could fall in the water! Stay on the path son, we can see more boats ahead!" I took a hold of his hand and tried to encourage him with all my enthusiasm to look ahead, follow me along the river walk , because we would see more boats, and have a larger area to run and play in. Kelly snatched that little hand right from mine and ran, awkwardly, in circles, weaving back and forth and tumbling towards the waters edge towards the large boat that captivated his attention. "Kelly Louis! If you stay....." Then, a quiet gasp, I inhaled my next words, a large smile painted across my face, and I exhaled laughter....

Again, I saw myself in my two year old little boy more clearer than the image in the mirror that morning.

God made me laugh in a moment of frustration with my son.

"Rachel, stay on the path, your getting distracted by things you see and that seem so tangible but if you stay on the path, I will lovingly guide you where I want you to go." 

Kelly couldn't see the big picture, he couldn't see what I could see, that just ahead there was a better place for us together, to see the boats, to play and more to discover. He became distracted, pulled away, turned off the path and headed towards dangerous territory. As much as I tried to get him to understand, to show him or firmly say if you don't follow me, we will leave...Kelly was determined he new what was best.

Consequently, Kelly didn't make it down the river walk that afternoon (although he had plenty of trips before), where more was waiting for him to rediscover. We left with with throwing a temper tantrum.  I do know, however, Kelly although only two, will listen next time, and make it all the way down the river walk as he did not like the consequence of leaving early for not listening.

Sometimes we get in God's way by trying to do things our way. We are so narrow minded and only see what is in our immediate future and easily distracted.  Stay on His path, trusting that his vision for us has an incomprehensible greater joy and reward than anything we could imagine for ourselves. 

So powerful is a such a little soul to have had God use him as a vehicle to speak through, before he himself has a vocabulary to communicate.

I love my Kelly and these stories he has allowed me to share.

Proverbs 3: 11-12 My son, do not despise the Lord's discipline or be weary of his reproof, for the Lord reproves him whom he loves, as a father the son in whom he delights.

Psalm 16:11 You make known to me the path of life; in your presence there is fullness of joy; at your right hand are pleasures forevermore.