When the questions come fast and furious and I see her wheels spinning, I know we’re in for a fretful evening. She’s not unlike most of us when worry sets in and we’re sent into a frenzy. Except she’s six.
Somehow my dear, sweet six year old possesses the mind of someone much older. Her wonderful kindergarten teacher emailed me early last year to tell me she, unfortunately, has a mind much too mature for her age. Others express awe at her insatiable curiosity and desire for understanding.
She uses big words in the correct context, she views things from other’s perspectives and she analyzes possible outcomes for scenarios most six year olds overlook. I describe her as perceptive, persistent and often under-stimulated. Sometimes it’s cute, even admirable.
Sometimes, though, I wish she were different….sounds awful, I know.
I feel frustrated at my inability to steer, stimulate or distract her. I fear her mind deters her from living life as a child running whichever way the wind carries her!
Her teacher said the word that set the scene for my parenting perspective: unfortunately.
Then I look at my own life and see myself all over in her! She’s a daughter after my own heart.
Perhaps that, too, is unfortunate. I wish I were different! Less analytical. Less structured. Funnier and more fly-by-the-seat-of-my-pants.
We all look at ourselves and see ways we wish were a different, don’t we? We see the unfortunate, incomplete in us. We want more out of ourselves, disappointed we rarely reach the bottom of those lingering lists of to dos. Then again, we’d like less of other things like impatience, procrastination or straining so hard towards some worldly sense of success.
We strive to live more like that other mom, that neighbor lady, that always put-together-women at the kids’ practice. We want different of ourselves.
But His Word, if you want to lean on something so solidly spiritual and, I believe, historical, whispers…
‘I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.’ Psalm 139:14
Wonderfully made?! I think again of my daughter…and of myself…God created us in His likeness. He requires no reaching or striving of us. Never does He ask us to be anyone other than who He made us to be in the beginning. In my focus on the ‘unfortunate’, I missed the part where I’m actually supposed to praise Him for who I am!
Rather than wish we were different, we must recognize we are ‘wonderfully made’!
God gave me my darling daughter, wonderfully made, perfectly crafted for me to mother, different than any other daughter. She’s not unfortunate or insatiable. She’s simply sweet and filled with sincerity. She longs to learn and motivates me to mother her on my toes. (Ahhh, yes, that sits so much more satisfyingly in my soul!)
I watched her with worry rather than recognizing the wonder in her. I wanted to squelch her spinning wheels instead of helping to satisfy them as I see how beautifully unique she is! Sure, like any child (or adult, for that matter), she requires redirection and discipline, but she need NOT be anything other than who God made her.
Through this shift in my parenting perspective I also see myself in a different light. I’m alright. In fact, I’m wonderfully made, too! It’s okay that I’m not the funny one in the bunch because I offer a listening ear and encouraging word….maybe even insightful one from time to time. Instead of feeling bound by my innate need for organization, I’ve found ways to see structure as a strength.
We must make peace with who we are so that we are not constantly distracted from our purpose by our own insecurities.
The most beautiful YOU is the authentic one you were made to be. God sees you through eyes of love and wants you to view yourself as a person with unique qualities that can be used for greater purpose than the life your body encases.
Yes, YOU can be used for God’s GOOD just the way you are!
When you start self-judging or wishing you were more like someone else, remember the Lord labored over YOU. He put you here for His purpose and wants you to live out YOUR life, unlike anyone else’s.
God’s given us unique personalities, purposes and imperfections. Run with yours, not from them! You can use every ounce of yourself for His greater good, even and especially your imperfections.
You can answer your higher calling with all your heart and all your soul, not just the parts of yourself you approve of.
Instead of seeing yourself as unfortunately flawed (as I was seeing my daughter and myself), shift your perspective and see yourself as valuable in who you already are today; not lacking now but rather growing into more of who you’re supposed to become.
So, yeah, we are wonderful! Each one of us purposeful even in imperfection as we live each day with eyes undistracted on the authentic life filled with lists, dishes and both important and mundane duties that He calls us to live!