Thursday, January 13, 2011

Thoughtful About . . . The Arms of God

Most of my readers know me well enough to realize I have two small kids. Xoe's 5, Rowyn's 3 next month. One of my greatest frustrations is that it seems that three minutes can't pass without someone screaming, "Mommy!" Followed by some demand, request, complaint, or whine. It gets a little old sometimes. And then there's the physical side. Rowyn's still in that stage where, when he wants me, it isn't enough to just be where I am. He must be up on my lap, and he does it with energy. He runs across the room, throws himself onto me, and, once situated, just tosses his little self in whichever direction he wants to go to get comfortable.

Now, as one tired mama, this can make me groan. I love that he's a cuddle-bug, but good golly. Sometimes holding onto this kid feels something like wrestling an alligator. In spite of busted lips, head bumps, hurt arms and bruised knees, he (in true little boy style) never learns to slow down and be easy. No, it's always full steam, all out. Even when it comes to hugging.

As he did one of his signature lunge-to-the-left moves while supposedly on my lap to get rocked before bedtime, my "oh, my aching back" thought was quickly eclipsed by the realization that this was trust. He trusts that Mommy isn't going to drop him or let him fall. He trusts that for his every move, I'll make a countermove. And he trusts that no matter how much I might grumble or chastise, Mommy loves him and will still hug him, rock him, and cuddle him. Even after I say rocking time is over.

It's humbling. It's especially humbling because, while I want to make the obvious analogy to God, I realize it's not perfect. Why? Because God's arms are so much better than mine. God doesn't grumble about his aching back. God doesn't lose patience with our constant whining. God doesn't ever think, "Can't you just do it yourself?" No, He in fact wants us to turn to Him with everything. He wants us to ask him in every moment what He thinks we should do. He wants us to toss ourselves into His arms without a care, with all our energy.

My kids have it right. But me--man, I've still got a ways to go. Not just in learning to fly to the Lord with such abandon, but in remembering that that's the way it should be with my kids, that's the relationship God set up that we are an imitation of. Sure, I want my kids to grow into independent individuals capable of making decisions and, you know, functioning away from the apron strings. 

But how do I get them there? By catching them every time they fly at me, answering when they call . . . so that when they're ready, I can teach them that God is the same way, only better at it.

We tend to complicate things, don't we? We have this idea these days that our goal with kids ought to be to get them out and on their own ASAP. But is that how we were designed? And because we tend to get impatient with them (I'm speaking for myself here) we then wrongly take that analogy to the us-God relationship and get into the mindset of, "I don't want to whine to God."

That's just not the way it works. Which in turn teaches me that maybe I'm looking at some other things the wrong way too. But one thing I know--no matter how much I mess up, how many times my stubbornness and pride lead me to bruises and scrapes and head bumps, no matter how many times He has to chastise me, I know my Father's there, His arms open wide. And I know that no matter which way I turn as I jump into them, He's going to catch me. He's going to love me. He's going to hold me, no matter how long I need it.


  1. Oh Ro, bless you. I can see your loving mommy heart even in the midst of your tired "complaining." We all know you adore your children. And God loves his children (you!).
    As do your critique partners. Hang in there partner; someday sweet precious Rowan will be too big to sit on mommy's lap. :)

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