Thursday, February 14, 2019

To Be Like a Child with Your Relationships {Faith & Homelife}

To be childlike. What does that mean? So many different interpretations! Sometimes I feel lost when I hear that statement.
A lesson, not just in faith but in relationships as well...

My *almost* 3-year-old came into the room in which I had just taken a seat, having just woken from a nap, and asked me to hold her. I had a bunch of things I still had yet to finish and I had just sat down hoping for a few minutes of peace before having to get back up again. I did not want to tell her ok. But I did anyway. I scooped her into my arms, laying her across me with her head in the crook in my elbow as if she were a tiny baby like her little brother. Her thumb in her mouth, her not yet fully-awakened-self curled into my arms, and her eyelids fluttered between open and wanting to remain closed made my eyes begin to well up with tears. All she wanted was her mommy. complete and utter attention. In her childlike way, she had sought me out.

For a brief moment, she was like the baby she was before. I could see her tiny body resting peacefully in my arms before finally drifting off to sleep. I could see her as she was cuddling into me, sick with fever and only wanting the comfort of mommy. I could see the future of her, losing the baby look in her face as she becomes a little girl too big for me to hold.

When was the last time I had held her like that?

She woke finally. A brief moment of concern showed across her face as she scrunched her eyebrows from the sight of tears in my eyes. But as I smiled at her, her eyes shown back as she smiled at me. Just those few minutes of holding her, those few minutes of attention gave her joy, showed her love, and all she had wanted was some time with me.

Such a simple thing.

It's amazing how far such a simple thing can go.

Such devotion from a small child.

I have been rather surly. I can feel the irritation come out in my interactions with the children. I can feel it even more so in my interactions with my husband. There is so much stress piled on me on a day to day basis it's affecting how I respond to my family members. This has been a long time building. I am frustrated with so much around me: the mess of toys strewn across the floor, the dishes piling in the sink, the hampers full of clean clothes waiting to be folded and put away or the dirty clothes waiting to be washed. Where is the joy in these mundane tasks? My frustration carries over to the next event, the next conversation, to whatever comes next.

My little guy, so fresh and new, was so content in my arms. Having fed I had set him down beside me. we were on the bed, I had laid down as well and it was peaceful. Quiet. A moment without fussing. He was looking around, studying the familiar surroundings of my bedroom. After a few moments, he started to squirm, shifting his weight around until he was right next to me. I looked at him to find he was staring at me intently, as only a baby can. He smiled at me with his glorious baby smile when he saw me look at him. I couldn't help but smile back at his sweet face.

My child saught me out.

A whisper in the back of my head. Childlike.

I had been praying for some sort of response to my frustration and seeking out the joy in the relationships in my life, my overwhelm of motherhood and wife-dom. When this whisper, all in the course of the day, was playing out to me. Be childlike.

Childlike in faith? What? What does that have to do with my relationships?

In reference to my relationships, seek them out and show the happiness of just having them there. Like your children seek you out and are just happy to have you there, do the same for those in your life.

My oldest usually gets off the bus, then climbs into the car with a smile on his face. As soon as he gets into the car it's like a switch goes off and he's harping at his sisters complaining, asking them to stop whatever it is they are doing. Usually, it involves some form of questioning with a very close proximity to him. They missed him. What started out as a happy, exciting moment in our day quickly turns sour.

I asked him once. Why is he in such a bad mood. I was probing and questioning. Did something happen at school? Did something happen on the bus? We are all so happy to see you, we've missed you. It hurts our feelings when you snap and complain.

His response?

"Mom, I miss it when you pick me up at school. I miss it because you come and get me and give me a hug."

He just wanted a hug.

I had been sitting in my car at the bus stop. Every day. Sitting in the car and waiting. for him to come to us. Expecting him to be happy.

He just wanted to be the one who was sought after.

As a parent, our children are constantly seeking us out. Seeking us for comfort. Seeking us for questions. Seeking us for answers. Seeking us for the love we have for them. Childlike.

Sometimes it is nice to know, to feel, that we are sought after as well. Be Childlike. Seek out our children, our family.

There are so many ways  "being like a child" can be interpreted, especially when what we often see is their childish means of accomplishing whatever they set out to accomplish. But those small, pure, unhindered moments we can see their sweetness. So much of what happens in life limits those pure moments.

I, still picking up the oldest off the bus, get out of the car and greet him with a smile and a hug. For now, he smiles in return and hugs me back. He answers his sister's questions in the car, smiles at their excited greeting.

Perhaps striving to make those pure moments, like seeking out and feeling joy for just having a person close to us, is in part, what it means to be childlike.

If my son, after a hard day's work of learning at school, just wanted to be sought after who is to say adults do not want to feel that as well. My husband, after a hard day at his work, comes home and is expected to be the one to come to us and feel happy. He gets cranky. He just wants us to come to him and give him a hug.

Not that it is easy. At those moments to remember, despite all that is going on, to seek out those who have not been home. Not been there to experience the day with you and with each other.

It's a part of feeling wanted and feeling loved. Be childlike. take the time out during the busy day, the busy week to seek out each other and just feel joyful for their presence.