I was completely undone with Carson this weekend.
He’s our youngest son that has a determined flair for independence. This is not something that has recently developed in his tween years. Oh no, I can remember him having an independent spirit when he was just a toddler.
He was one of those little tikes that needed a child leash, even though we didn’t dare use one. Note: if you’re a parent who uses a child leash, please don’t get offended and send me hate mail. We are both entitled to our child rearing preferences.
Although, there was that trip to Disney World that almost sent us all home in tears. Carson wouldn’t stay in the stroller and refused to hold mommy or daddy’s hand while walking down Main Street in the Magic Kingdom. It was not pretty.
Years have passed and much has changed except for Carson’s determined drive for independence.
Yesterday, Carson asked me to take him to the mall for new clothes, even though his closet is full of things he can wear. Okay, I admit, many of them are hand-me-downs from his big brother, Brody.
I gladly agreed and thought it would be great mom/son time. Besides, I love shopping, even if it is just window shopping, because of my teeny-tiny clothing budget.
The blissful feeling of this is going to be so much fun! lasted only a few minutes. Then, the battle began. Carson wanted to wear his gym shorts to the mall. Let’s see…it’s mid-February and there is snow on the ground. Uhh, NO.
After 10 minutes of debating, I gave in. I figured if he wants to freeze his tushy off and be the only one at the mall with shorts on, I won’t be the one stopping him.
Yes, I could have insisted and refused to take him, unless he put on something warmer, but some things aren’t worth “battling on the hill” for. In the big scheme of things I was willing to let this one slide.
The mall was crowded so we had to park and walk a ways to the entrance. I enjoyed the brisk walk but Carson was miserable and…froze his tushy off. The wind was just a blowin’ through those thin nylon shorts. I tried not to laugh but part of me was thinking, I told you so…
Ahh, sometimes letting our kids experience the natural consequences of their poor choices become great opportunities for life lessons.
It reminds me of my relationship with God. Sometimes I listen and obey – other times I debate, make excuses, and toss around my determined flair for independence.
For some reason, I think I know what’s best. I make poor choices and in return, life dishes out the natural consequences that often times leaves me shaking my head and saying why on earth did I do that – I knew better!
Instead of doing what I know is right or what God is prompting me to do, I choose not to listen and let my stubborn heart take front and center. It reminds me of this verse in Jeremiah 7:24 where God is referring to His children’s stubbornness and desire for independence from Him.
But my people would not listen to me. They kept doing whatever they wanted, following the stubborn desires of their evil hearts. They went backward instead of forward. Jeremiah 7:24
I don’t want to be a child of God that goes backwards instead of forwards in my relationship with Him. I want to learn from my mistakes and make wise choices, instead of digging in my heels and insisting things my way.
That kind of determined flair for independence will create the perfect environment for not-so-good life lessons. If I pray for wisdom and direction, but then don’t follow through with what I know is God’s will, I’m only deceiving myself and strain my relationship with my Heavenly Father.
I want to be a woman who prays for wisdom and takes steps forward by applying God’s Word to my life. Trusting in God’s faithfulness and laying down my plans for His will can keep me moving forward on the right path He has created just for me. Without Him, my life would be filled with poor choices.
And, the last thing I want is to find myself in a situation where I’m freezing my tushy off in nylon shorts!
What about you? Are you following Him today and fighting for your independence?