Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Just Look!

The other day I was working on something at the desk while Daniel played with Caleb behind me. Caleb was commissioning Daniel to draw various Cars characters on the Lightning McQueen magnetic sketch pad (the next generation of the old Etch-a-Sketch). Daniel could hardly finish one picture before Caleb swept it away with the magic eraser bar and placed his order for the next one. As Caleb was about to swipe away McQueen himself. I heard Daniel exclaim, "Just look at it first!"

My ears pricked up. Poor Daniel. He had worked hard on his Lightning McQueen, even to the point of fake headlights and detailing. It was all lost on Caleb who was already planning Mater and Sally and Flo and Ramone and Red and Lizzy and Doc and....

I stifled a chuckle at Daniel's dilemma, but was suddenly reminded of a conversation I had recently. A friend was talking about how much fun they have traveling and doing things with their older children. I was green with envy. The few activities that I can edge in between naps and meals and bedtime are almost always plagued by whining, potty accidents, fatigue, hunger, bickering, or downright resistance. (Usually from the boys.) Most days I just stay home and maintain routine for the sake of sanity and simplicity. As my friend was describing walking tours in England and a planned backpacking trip through Europe, I found myself longing for our boys to be older--more mature and less needy. I started having visions of camping and biking trips, deep conversations about something other than Blues Clues or Barney, visits to museums, cross-country road trips, and junkets to explore all the fascinating places in Southeast Asia.

As I recalled this conversation and my subsequent discontent, I couldn't help but replay Daniel's words. "Just look!"

How often does God want to take me by the shoulders and say that same thing. Just look. Take time to see what I've made for you before you swipe it away and move on to the next thing. It's for you. Enjoy it. At least pause and look at it.

Coincidentally (or providentially), I read this prayer this morning in The Valley of Vision, "...thou hast of thy pleasure created life, and communicated happiness; thou hast made me what I am, and given me what I have; in thee I live and move and have my being; thy providence has set the bounds of my habitation, and wisely administers all my affairs. I thank thee for thy riches to me..."

Train my heart toward gratefulness, Father. Help me not to tolerate the antics of my children, but to pause and enjoy all the things that will be lost when their childhood has passed. Make me content with the blessings and challenges of this stage even while I look forward to watching my boys grow and learn and change. Help me to look--to stop and see that you are good.