Lila has officially hit a new stage. It’s an all new level of toddler I never knew existed after only having boys. All of a sudden, she has ATTITUDE. She goes from sweet and funny, genuine and kind….to strong willed and determined, mean and sassy. I’m not saying my toddler is mean. But I kind of am. When her brother’s are messing with her, when someone takes her snack, when she can’t find something she wants, when…God forbid, I give her the wrong sippy cup. It’s like ALL THE GOOD DISSAPEARS. I see her at her worst.
I also see her at her very best. When she makes good choices and does the right thing. When she chooses to be kind without being told to be. When she loves on me and holds my face between her chubby little hands and asks to hold me. Because that’s how 2 year old’s ask to be held. When she makes frog noises and asks if God made her nose. Those are the moments I want to bottle up and hold onto.
With all the good that has come from having this little girl in our life, there has also been a lot of fear. Girls can be mean. Snide. Rude. Judgemental. Critical. Snobby. Arrogant. Prideful. Obviously I know, I am one after all. But raising one? That’ll make you look at your life and your character and how you treat other’s, because I don’t want Lila to be a mean girl.
I look around and I see affluence. We live in an area where most people have more than they need. The essentials of living are abundant. Clean water and food are available in every direction. We live in expensive homes and buy nice clothes. Heaven forbid we show up to pick up our kids in the same sweaty workout clothes we dropped them off in 5 hours earlier. Clearly, I’m not speaking from experience AT ALL. We are surrounded by affluence. We don’t really need anything therefor, we don’t really give anything. We don’t give of ourselves and our time to people around us. We’re distracted and focussed on our own stuff. But people need people. Women need other women in their lives to sharpen and encourage. To accept.
Sister, we need to wake up. We need to be shaken to our knees and see what we’re doing to each other. We’re judging the girl who walks in looking a mess. We’re staying in our comfortable little groups and not including anyone new. We don’t go certain places or do certain things because we’re afraid of being the one that’s judged. Afraid we don’t look cute enough or we’re not skinny enough. Afraid no one will talk to us or we’ll be alienated from the “cool” girls. We don’t talk to the new girl. We don’t get uncomfortable. We don’t invest. I’ve seen it everywhere and often find myself taking part in it. I’ve seen it in churches and Bible studies. The places we should feel the most loved and accepted. We get all clicky and exclusive. For what? Why do girls do this?! It drives me crazy and it sickens me when I catch myself being so concerned with my life that I fail to invest in the lives of other’s, even if they are my total opposite.
Don’t get me wrong here. I’m sitting in a nicely lit office inside a warm house with a car in the driveway next to the basketball goal my kids play on every day. I get it. We have an abundance. I often drive thru Starbucks knowing just how much those dang things cost. I get caught up in the comfortable easy places to be. But is my heart in a place where I’d give all that up? Where I would say the relationships I’m investing in are more important than all my stuff? I hope so. I pray so. Often I pray for less. To be shaken awake at how much we have and don’t need. To see the eternal in my life and not the material. It’s hard.
So, as I think about raising this little princess of ours, I think of all the things I want her to be…which in turn reminds me of all the things I want to be. Kind, caring, compassionate, authentic(thanks Michelle for this reminder), real, deep, true, inclusive, humble, accepting of ANYONE regardless of how much they have, what kind of house they live in, how much they invest in clothes or makeup or manicures, how many kids they have or don’t have, what part of the country…or world..they are from. To take the time to say hello to someone. To ask how they are. To go have coffee. To pray over people I don’t know and to love the unloveable. Because aren’t we alI unloveable at times? I want to invest in people and LOVE people. Because that’s what we’re supposed to do. That’s what we’re commanded to do. Love God. Love others. It’s so simple isn’t it? So why don’t we do it?