Out of the Mouths of Babes

Post by Contributing Writer, Daniele

I’ve come to believe that God most definitely has a sense of humor.

I’ve also come to believe that this must be a primary reason why children say things out of the blue, catching everyone off guard, and yet profoundly speaking to the hearts of those around.

So begins a recent interaction with our five-year old son.  The setting is like any other home most likely — Mama is folding up sheets, straightening this room and that, thinking through various aspects of the day ahead.

He bounds in full throttle, stopping within inches of pounding his weight against a wall.  Determination in his face, he asks the profound out-of-the-blue question:

Mommy, do you like yourself?”

I pause.  Sheets lay on the bed and my mind wonders if I heard correctly.

“What’s that buddy?”

Long sigh that sounds like a mix between grunting and yawning.  “I said…do you like yourself?” This time asked at a higher volume but short of being considered an ‘outside voice’.

I pause again.  My mother’s mind wanders through typical questions of where this question is stemming from, how much should I explain, etc.  This boy of mine is clearly exasperated in waiting and answers for himself:

“Well, I like me!  I really like me!  Because I’m strong!” Here he demonstrates by puffing up arm muscles in front of my dresser mirror.

“And because I’m big!” Another arm muscle show.  “And because…because…(I wait as he’s thinking)…my name is Josiah!”

Oh, child.  Do you know what you just did for your Mama? He doesn’t know of course, and with as much speed as he entered the room, he exits.  I never audibly answer the question.

Yet in my heart the words stir all day long — Do I like me?

I often tire of the self-promotion books that seemingly offer a deeper look inward and not coming full circle to focusing outward (or upward).   The self, self, self talk can be just that — all talk with often little substance to bring about real change.  But that’s a topic for another time.

Can it be healthy though to ask with a little rephrasing the question of my little guy… Am I at peace with who I am and who I’m becoming?

Too much time is wasted on comparing ourselves to others and not owning who we are (or are not).  Precious energy and focus is ill-spent on trying to fit a mold that wasn’t ever designed to work for us.

And while I’ve found myself in this trap too often, my desire is to unwind these thoughts and wrap them around truth.  For the truth is this — in order to be at peace with who I am, I must begin with something, someone much greater than me.

Someone much more significant.

When the foundation of all I’m growing in and all I’m becoming (whether a practical matter or a spiritual pursuit) is God’s ability and not my humanity, peace reigns.

Then I can speak a little more confidently borrowing words from my son…

“I can like me, I can really like me…because…because…

God is BIG (in me).  And God is STRONG (through me).

And I’m His!

And to add a little arm muscle posing would be completely appropriate.

Daniele is a pastor’s wife and homeschooling mama of five–a woman on a journey towards intentional living.  She celebrates family, gathers up grace, and nurtures the spirit over at Domestic Serenity. You’re welcome to visit!

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