Monday, April 6, 2015

Choosing Crazy

Psalm 127:3-5 
Behold, children are a heritage from the Lord, the fruit of the womb a reward. As arrows are in the hand of a warrior, so are the children of one’s youth. Happy, blessed, and fortunate is the man whose quiver is filled with them! They will not be put to shame when they speak with their adversaries [in gatherings] at the [city’s] gate.

 A new book has come out and I think it's absolutely hilarious. It's not a parenting manual; it's not a "teach your child how to potty train in 24 hours" type of nonsense. It just simply gives parents a place to understand each other. The book? Toddlers are A**holes.  Her FB page, The Honest Toddler posts humorous stories, pictures of kids being themselves.
Toddlers, it doesn't matter if you're Christian or Jewish or celebrate Easter or Passover; the most important thing is that you bring shame to your family in a public setting today. Have fun.
It's meant to be hilarious. It's freaking hilarious. My son, who is not yet 2, can empty three cabinets of pots, pans, Tupperware, towels, and hide them in various places throughout the house - in less than a minute. That's AFTER I've put child locks on all of the aforementioned cabinet doors. I'm pretty sure he thinks the locks are purely for sarcasm.

The whole point of the deal (and btw, I don't get paid to do her advertising. I just think it's hilarious) is that we learn not to take every bloody thing personally and realize that this really is just what kids do. They break crap; they dump their bowl of cereal on the carpet - not on the wood floor. That's too easy - just to see what happens. It's not a personal dig. They don't hate you.

And what's crazy is; they love you. They wouldn't pull this crap with someone they were terrified of. They would behave completely differently if they thought any wrong move would be severely punished or if they were a bother or in the way. They would apologize profusely for making a mess instead of laughing at your tears while you sweep the floor.

That's right. I hate to tell you this. But your kid feeling free enough to express and test their boundaries: it's your fault. For being such a good mom.

Lucky you, eh?

So, all of this begs the question of why on Earth do we do this to ourselves?! As mothers, we've freaking chosen to be mothers. This doesn't happen by accident; you either got pregnant or you adopted. Either way, you made a choice (in the case of adoption, a very expensive choice) to do this. Now, I'm fully convinced that if we knew; I mean, really knew how f$%*ing hard it is to have children, none of us would really ever do it. This is coming from someone who prayed for a child daily for years before having Jminator.

And yet, most of us are stupid brave enough to do this again and again. The average family STILL has more than one child. Da hell are we doing? We aren't all living on farms anymore; we don't need strong backed young'uns to work the fields. We spend more on our children in the first 5 years than we spent on our own college tuition. Why? Whyyyy???

I have some of the most amazing, inspirational friends in my life. Like, ever. One of whom, I'm really trying to convince her to blog. She has one incredible daughter, a stepson that she pours into daily, and is expecting a third. She's just one of the most beautiful people I've ever known. She wrote this today, and I just had to share it:
Yes. Sit down and you're going to be climbed on. Stand up and you'll be clung to, go potty and you'll not complete the task. No lunch break or break otherwise and nap times are funny because you can't really predict if they are going to sleep or how long and you have to use that time to cross anything off your list. But it is such a BEAUTIFUL mess! A blessing to miss the rest, a blessing to feel like you've given all of yourself at the end of the day to something (someone) so valuable. And although I am 'sitting' in my home doing my work, I pray that it has a global impact. Who knows who I am raising? Who knows what they will do with their life or who they will raise? How many will they lead to follow Christ? How many lives will they touch that they don't even know were watching? It's a pretty incredible opportunity. Now, can someone pass the coffee?

I literally could not have said it better myself. Even as I'm panicking a little of what I have to do today, the blessings of the day overtake me. The blessings of little feet in pajamas that want to cuddle and watch Curious George. The blessings of reading the same book over and over and over again. It's a mess. But it is a beautiful mess.

Why do we do this? There's nothing wrong with NOT having children. Nothing. If you're reading this, and you are choosing not to have children don't you dare leave thinking that I said I'm better than you. That is NOT what this blog is about. Ever. If you are reading this, and you are believing for children, but don't yet have them in your belly or in your arms, I am NOT saying that you are doing something wrong or you are less of a mother.

But we choose this. In the state where I reside, it is perfectly legal to take your child to a fire station, a hospital, a police station, or a social services building with a note explaining their name, age, etc. and leave them there. No questions asked. Federally, it is totally legal up to the third trimester to choose to abort your child. I'm not saying that you have to agree with any of this, but understand this: There are several "exits" that you can make in choosing to be a mother.

And yet, we choose daily. To put someone's total happiness above our own. To put what they think is important - even when it makes no sense to us - ahead of what we think is important. To handle big feelings in small packages. To push exhaustion aside and play with trains, dolls, or stickers. Why? Because who knows where this will lead! Who knows where their little imaginations will take them, or how they will impact not only the planet, but God's Kingdom forever! Maybe it isn't even them: maybe we're raising the coolest grandparents on the planet, and creating a legacy that so many will never see.

Maybe, just maybe, it's worth it. I remember the look in my grandmother's eyes when I left for my first mission trip. It was totally her fault for me wanting to go :) She had a short-wave radio ministry that would broadcast the Gospel all around the world. She was heard in Russia before the Wall came down. She was heard in China when anyone caught listening to her program could have been executed on the spot. She was heard in cafes, marketplaces, and stores in Nigeria because they would play her on the radio. She never got to go there, so she was more than happy to send me. She was just doing what God wanted her to do. She wasn't TD Jakes or Joyce Meyer; but she made a lasting impact on me and what I've been able to accomplish.

Same for you, mommas. Same for you. You don't have to do anything crazy: choosing motherhood is crazy enough.

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