Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Toddlerhood and Love

So Cohen has entered a super fun stage of toddler-hood: arguing with everything I say. And I mean everything. I could say that his name is Cohen, and his response would be "Noooooo. My name is not Cohen, mommy!"

Sometimes it's cute in that oh he's saying it in such a playful voice kind of way. But trust me, it has a way of wearing on your very last nerve. I spend the entire day with the kid. I hear it a lot. A lot. Nooooooo, the sky is not up, Mommy! Nooooo, we're not going to the store, Mommy! Nooooooo, it's not raining, Mommy! Nooooo, that's not pasta, Mommy!

I'm developing one of those cool mom super powers that allows me to tune my kid out when he gets to be too much. It's kind of a blessing. But the daddy? His powers are a little slower to to develop, I guess. You know how when you know someone long enough and well enough that you know what they're thinking without them having to say anything? At dinner last night, while Cohen relentlessly argued with every. little. thing I or Daddy or the TV would say, I noticed my husband's neck: it was bright red. Frustrated red.

It's interesting how becoming a parent has taught me so much about who God is. As I daily learn and grow into the role of "mother," I become more aware of how much of a Father my Lord really is. And how much of a toddler I really am in my walk with the Lord.

How many times does He ask me to hold His hand, and yet I pull the other way?

How many times does He tell me one thing, and yet I argue with Him with a fiery passion?

How many times does He ask me to do something, and I throw myself down and burst into a fit of spiritual tantrums?

The answer, if you were wondering, is too many to count.

One of the things I really appreciate about Cohen is how he is growing into his own person -- becoming more independent and learning to think and do for himself. His strong will certainly does lead to very frustrating situations and many instances of disobedience, but when he chooses to respect what I say and show love towards me? It's so much sweeter. Because I know that he could choose to do what he wants, but he does what I want instead. In those moments, he is going against his self and showing love and obedience instead.

In my mind, that's the way the Lord feels toward me. He gave me a strong will, and that will mixed with my sinful nature make being disobedient and unruly very tempting and easy. But when I die to self? When I choose to do not what I want to do but what He calls me to do? I can only imagine what that does to His Father heart.

Because isn't that all He wants from me anyway: to love Him and show Him that love through my life? And through that love, everything else will fall into place. Tantrums will cease. Trust will grow. My hand will seek out His own. I mean, God gave us a lot of rules to follow, but I'm reminded that Jesus Himself highlighted the most important commandment of all: to simply love Him.

Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets. (Matthew 22:37-40)

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