Celebrations of Childlikeness

I’m the only middle-aged gal I know who still runs her shopping cart into the parking lot at Walmart, jumps on the rails and rides it all the way to the car.  It’s one of my celebrations of life and in order to grow and learn about grace I’m finding that I sometimes have to return to childlike ways.  Like singing into my hairbrush microphone.  Or jumping on the bed when I stay at a hotel.  Or blowing bubbles in your chocolate milk.  Or having marshmallow fights with my husband. They are practices that I embrace and refuse to let go of because they remind me of a time when I wasn’t expected to act a certain way.  And they remind me that sometimes I just need to return to that childlike place in other areas of my life.

When I was young I was desperately trying to figure out where I fit in the world and then find acceptable ways to seek love and the attention that I so desperately craved.  I quickly learned that if I was “funny” then people accepted me, so I resorted to humor to gain affection.  My parents thought I was incredibly immature.  They were right.  And I’m pretty sure that my siblings thought my faith in a God that I couldn’t see, touch or feel was childish.  But approaching God in that way was the simplest way that I could – not over thinking it and with a childlike trust.  When I stopped trying to look at faith through an academic lens, not over think it, and come to the place in my life where I didn’t necessarily have to have all the answers to all the big questions…then I was able to trust in the one who created me.  It was that simple.

Sometimes our lives become routines of deeds and doing and working.  Our little life box where we’re safe. But if someone asked you to take a step back and find your childlike trust – well that’s easier said than done.  There are walls and defenses that we’ve learned to put up over the years to manufacture a wiser and more mature version of “you” that would have to be climbed over.  Yikes.  Is it too much work?  It’s do-able, but it’s all a matter of trust.

When was the first time we learned to trust?  I think as a baby we really didn’t have any choice and we learned to trust our parents for our basic needs.  For most of us they were our first comforters, our safety, our providers.  They were God’s example to us as children of how we were supposed to be cared for.  Not everyone had good experiences in that area –  I’m sorry if yours was not.  But now that we’re adults we need to figure out the balance between our adult selves, and relying on our childlike faith (before any baggage infiltrated our lives) and to seek out the one who originally gave us to our parents.   So for me, I’m learning to reject some childish ways, like the way I sought after love and acceptance, and still find that childlike trust.  I think it’s still OK to jump on the bed though.

Do you ever think about how hard it must have been for our Father to release us into the care of our earthly parents ?   I thought it was hard to release my children when they were first born back to God’s ultimate care.  I had to take a backseat and just be their caretaker for a season, and I’m such a backseat driver!   Then when they grew up and left home, again, it was heart wrenching to trust God to care for them.  I so want to take the wheel again.  So I think about how much harder it must have been for God when he placed them in my arms and put them in my care.  There was so much room for human error.  Would I be good enough?

I oftentimes struggle with thinking I’m not good enough or smart enough to be a theologian.  I’m just a simple gal who has simple thoughts but who is pretty introspective about life, love and faith issues.  But simple people who have simple thoughts matter to God.

My heart is not proud, Lord my eyes are not haughty;  I do not concern myself with great matters or things too wonderful for me.     

But I have calmed and quieted myself,  I am like a weaned child with its mother;  like a weaned child I am content.

Psalm 131: 1-2

So I’m at a place where I’ve calmed my fears about not being good enough to have something valuable to say, and so I blog.  I do it for me, and I do it to honor the one who created me.  And I’m content with who I am, knowing that the one who cares for me is on the job 24/7 doing just that.  That’s so grace!  And I want to know more about him and the grace he offers.

Whether you’d like to admit it, we all have built into our DNA an intuitive desire and need to know the one who created us.  For whatever reason some of us deny that and say that we don’t.  Or we suppress it and shout louder than it’s call to our heart.  But nevertheless it’s there.  The one who created and designed us made that as a default in each and everyone of our hearts – a yearning to know the one who created you.

So I think having a childlike mindset when it comes to how I live my life makes me more open to the simple things of life.  Like trusting.  Like accepting.  Like receiving.  Like being willing to embrace grace and admit that I have a lot to learn about practicing it.  Like riding the rails of the shopping cart or jumping on the hotel bed.  When was the last time you practiced childlikeness and did any of those things?  That’s your assignment for today.  Let loose and be childlike with your trust, with your grace, and with singing into your hairbrush.  ROCK ON!

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