I am by nature a pretty anxious person. As a child I pretty much worried about everything from hitting a double pirouette in ballet class to the depleting ozone. About five years ago, the Lord spoke Matthew 6 to me so clearly and it changed the way I lived and looked at life. But beneath my faith, I still have a worrisome personality that can pop up on me every now and then. I knew parenthood would guarantee moments that would send me into a tailspin of worry. What I didn't know and what the Lord has chosen to surprise me with over and over again, is that these tiny moments of worry are useless and can be changed into moments of sheer victory and joy and pride.
Like today, Loulie and I were at her peewee gymnastics class. Keep in mind that Loulie does not have tons of experience with a room full of toddlers all vying for the same toys she wants. I get nervous that an uncontrollable tantrum could occur or even worse that she could get hurt or not included--all things that may not seem like a big deal to someone who is not her mother but that I wrestle with as I stand back and watch her navigate her new surroundings.
First event--we were supposed to stand at the bottom of an elevated gym mat and verbally encourage our child to allow a complete stranger (the teacher) to roll them over a ball into a flip. I'm not sure who was more nervous--me or Loulie but I'm pretty sure it showed more on my face than hers. She was clearly confused, a bit scared and did not do the most stellar flip. I clapped and congratulated her and suggested we move on. But she stopped and watched some more kids take their turn and without me saying a thing, she got back in line to do it again. She still looked a bit undecided on whether or not this was a good idea but she tried again on her own accord. And I could not have been more proud! She landed that flip--think Kerry Strug--it was that kind of victory.
Second event--cleaning up the bouncing balls. Loulie gets attached to toys, as in she does not want to give them up and can throw a whopping tantrum when something is taken from her before she is ready. So I stood on the sidelines watching silently, praying there would not be a scene. Loulie stood by looking from the bin back to her ball and then to the bin. And then she did it. When the teacher asked for her ball, she placed it in the bin, turned around and had the biggest smile on her face running back to me. An "I did it" look beaming.
And I can parent on those two moments for weeks because in spite of my own insecurities and fears of things I may be passing on to Loulie or all the things that I could be doing wrong, the Lord showed me once again that worry of any kind is useless and that he has her sweet and eager to learn heart right in his hand. That by love and (with his help) a good example, that she will be able to persevere through any fear and do the right thing.
This probably sounds like not a big deal to most, but I find that it is the little things, the small lessons from above that encourage me when the daily responsibilities and pressures of raising a whole and happy person become a bit overwhelming. I should probably start taking some tips from my Bug-- just get back in line and try again.
Thank you Bugs for always surprising me, showing me your sweet and loving spirit and encouraging me in my job as a mother everyday. Proud doesn't even cover it!