The lollipops were too small. I should have known that getting my toddler twins through Target would require more than your standard dum-dum pop! Silly me. Where were the safety-pops when you needed them?! So when blue-slobber-fingered, Caleb pointed the bouncy balls out to green-gooey-lipped Josh, an academy award worthy scene of such varied emotions ensued. There was the twins’ childish rejoicing in a whole display of bouncy balls. There was me, the nervous mom scooting past as fast as possible. There was subsequent weeping and wailing over the deep disappointment. There was anger and embarrassment over the spectacle. There was almost one year old Izzy, rudely awakened and not very happy. And — there was the audience. The stunned, judgmental, compassionate, annoyed, awe-struck audience.
I think survival mode kicked in at that point (as if giving twin toddlers lollipops at the store wasn’t survival mode, but I leave that for you to decide) because I don’t remember any of the rest of the story. Mercifully. But, I know I probably received the all too familiar question or comment from a curious stranger, “Wow, are they all yours?” or maybe it was, “Gee, you have your hands full.” Or “How do you do it?!”
For the most part, I don’t think people are being malicious when they make these statements. I think what this attitude can reveal, however, is the underlying belief that children are more of a burden than a blessing. Having too many children is irresponsible and inconvenient. What concerns me about this mentality isn’t that it permeates society around me these days, it’s that it can permeate my own heart. In my heart I’m saying, “Wow! these are all mine!” or “Gee, I have my hands full!” or “I have no idea how I’m going to do it?!”
I’ve been thinking a lot lately about how I view my children. How do I try to cultivate the biblical perspective? “Children are a heritage from the LORD, the fruit of the womb a reward. Like arrows in the hand of a warrior are the children of one’s youth. Blessed is the man who fills his quiver with them!” (Psalm 127:4,5a) Particularly, how do I do this when I am a sinful mom raising sinful kids in a fallen world? It’s not just automatic like it could have been before the fall.
Heritage. Reward. Blessing. Sometimes, my heart fills with a resounding, “YES!” These kids are such undeserved and precious blessing in my life. But other times, I view them as a burden and an inconvenience. Over the next few blog posts, I want to explore the things that tend to influence each perspective.
These posts are based on a talk I did a few weeks back for a class for young moms, but like every talk I prepare for, my own heart was stirred, inspired, convicted, and challenged! I must mention that my topic was originally written in an outstanding book called, Loving My Children, by Katie Faris from our church. She is in the process of having it published right now, and I will be sure to pass along the information about the book as it comes to me.
I hope you will join me…and I really mean that. I hope you will comment away and share your own adventures in changing your perspective from “kids are a burden” to “kids are a blessing”. Let’s link arms, as well as we can via cyberspace, and determine to see the blessing our babies truly are…even when – maybe especially when- they losing their minds over bouncy balls at Target!