Miss M is a kind, helpful soul. Of any child, she is quickest to lend a hand even without repeating myself. In her heart she wants to be a part of something big – and good.
Except last night.
Bedtimes have been a battle over here as the two ladies who share a room both hover at the Year 3 mark – one coming in and the other going out – which historically is the Year of the Worst Bedtimes Ever. (Seriously, someone could make a living putting 3-year-olds to bed. Parents would gladly pay for that service). So when one creates a ruckus, the other plays off it nicely. I think they secretly call it their 1-2 punch. I feel like it’s a full court press.
Because Lady C is just growing into the Threes, I have more grace for her. It’s that phase when they learn some independence and want you to know their separateness while lacking confidence and wanting you nearby. So they want to lie in bed by themselves yet come down every 5 minutes to check on you. Just to see if you’re still angry that they’re not asleep.
While Miss C wades through these waters, Miss M is a seasoned swimmer. She knows by now, which makes it all the more frustrating to see her in action. In fact, I woke with a sad heart. It bothered me beyond the lack of sleep and the extra energy to walk up the stairs 14 times. In some sense, I was grieving her performance.
Part of my heart cried for her a little. She’s not living the beautiful life that is in her, I felt. She knows there is more – she has tasted, has seen. Yet she chose this contrary spirit. The rebellious heart.
I recently reread the verse in Ephesians 4 that says And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, with whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. I’ll be honest, for most of my life this made no sense to me. Grieve? The spirit? Don’t make it sad? I don’t get it. It’s such an other-wordly concept to me.
Last night gave me a taste of that. My spirit was grieved because I knew my child had another spirit in her yet she chose not to live by it. She chose selfishness and pride. She chose her own agenda, even when she knew the one given provided far better opportunity, more space for a generous and joyous life.
I’m not asking for perfection. I’m seeking a heart without contention, that’s all. I can deal with slips of the hand or turtle-paced progress toward growth. A rebellious spirit, however, might do me in.
Now I find myself face down, knowing my heart hardened with the same calloused attitude, feeling the familiar buck of the head backwards… it’s clear that this apple didn’t fall far from its tree. God has felt a similar grief, far beyond what my heart can bear, and still came back for me when the sun rose on the third day.