Tuesday, October 16, 2007

God's Love in the Little Things

One thing I didn't dwell on or think about too much when I became a parent was how my life and plans would sometimes get lost in the shuffle while taking care of my child.

One of the hardest adjustments for me becoming a mother was learning how to change or abandon my plans to include my child's needs--especially when those needs are sudden or unexpected and especially when you are not USED to taking care of a helpless someone with constant needs. I'd like to think I have gotten better at learning to "lay aside" my plans to meet Mara Kate's needs over the past 2 years--or to choose "her good" even when it demands ALL of my time, attention, effort and energy. Maybe it will get easier to do the longer I do it. Some days I still have to stop and remind myself to pray for strength (first of all), then tell myself to choose to do what is required of me as a loving parent, even when that means everything on my to do list gets thrown out the window.

Today has been one of those days. This morning we headed out the door with several errands on our list. One of the errands was to a playground to let Mara Kate play with a couple of her friends. We never made it. While I was driving on the interstate through downtown Mara Kate vomited all over herself, her car seat, the back seat of the car and YES all over a library book she was looking at (and ruined it).

I of course got off the next exit, turned around and headed straight back home. Next I lugged Mara Kate and her car seat up the stairs. Then I gave her a bath. Then I spent the next 30 minutes trying to take apart her car seat enough to get the fabric cover off and into the washing machine. During all of this I was telling myself that this is what loving sacrificially means and that this is what God has called me to do as a mother. Did I feel for a few minutes like going on strike? Yes! Will I? No. Why? Because I love Mara Kate more than I love getting things accomplished and marking things off my list. Sometimes even though it is hard and a challenge to have the right response to tough (and sometimes gross) situations, I am thankful that God can use everything in our lives (even interrupted mornings and bodily fluids) to remind us what is truly important---that He uses these things to continually squeeze the sinful selfish tendencies from my soul---little by little.
I am so thankful I have Mara Kate and that I have been given the opportunity to model God's love and sacrificial heart in front of her, even when she doesn't fully understand. I do the things I do because I want her to know and see (and eventually understand) that we love others because He first loved us!


Dad said...

It was good to talk to you today even if only for a few minutes while you were in the middle of "your day". I hope you got the car seat and the carseat both cleaned up. Just think! If you had three kids, you would get three times the sanctification. Neat, huh?

Katie said...

I hope Mara Kate is feeling better, I know it's hard to halt all plans and take care of our child AND nasty vomit! Let me know if you need any help...I'm right down the road and can be there any time!


Anonymous said...

Kane will tell you that as he crossed new pathways in his life, (like meeting you !), I would say to him : "You just think you know what love is !". I knew that God was getting ready to show Kane more love thru relationships and events,....and am glad He does this for us,...often in ways and with impact we could not even imagine ! You are a blessing and I love you like a daughter ! Papadog