Booya… You thought this was another “Target Bathroom” post. It’s not. But while we are on the subject, no matter what bathroom I’m in, Target or not, you had better believe that if anyone comes up behind me or my daughters that I will sucker punch them in the…. Whatever they have under their clothes. Because this mama is just naturally cautious. And yes, I’m a Christian and I still shop at Target.
Because I love the Target Dollar Bin. And their lamps. And their toddler section is fantastic.
So a couple of weeks ago, my oldest and I were in a Target bathroom stall. She had just gone potty and was pulling up her Little Mermaid panties and I reached to button her jeans. “No, Mommy, let me do it by myself.” She fidgeted and tried a few times, but I finally heard the “snap” of the button and she looked up with the biggest smile on her face. “I did it, Mommy, all by myself!” I reached down to hug her and started crying. You know, that tight-in-your-chest-lump-in-your-throat-mama-cry.
I never knew I could be so proud of something so small; something that made her seem like such a big girl. But I was. She’d been practicing buttoning her pants for weeks now, and with every failed attempt, her frustration and impatience had grown. But today, today she got it. And there I stood blubbering like a mess in the Target bathroom, not only because I was proud, but because she didn’t need me as much as she did five minutes ago.
So many hours of my day as a mom are spent teaching my daughters how to do things on their own, how to be independent little people. But with every new task they learn to perform, with each exciting milestone they reach, their longing for independence increases. And that yearning for independence is such a good thing, but it can also be so dangerous. As they grow older, their independence can turn into a false sense of invincibility. So our job is to teach them the right type of dependence first.
Even though my daughters are only three and one, I want them to know from a young age that they can’t do it all on their own; that no matter how many skills they master or how well they do something that they will always come up short – they will always need help. This may seem mean, maybe even cruel for a mom to think this. But I think that it’s imperative that we teach them dependence on Jesus before dependence on themselves. To teach them that while they have responsibilities in this world and things to accomplish that depending on Jesus should be the first goal in their little hearts.
Psalm 73:23-25 says, “Nevertheless I am continually with You; You have taken hold of my right hand. With Your counsel You will guide me, and afterward receive me to glory. Whom have I in heaven but You? And besides You, I desire nothing on earth.”
Are we teaching our kids this? Are we coming alongside of our babies and reminding them that no matter where they go or what they do that God is right there helping them? That by depending on the power of the Holy Spirit that lives inside of them that they can face their fears and conquer their goals?
Are we teaching them to pray about buttoning their pants in the Target bathroom? Are we telling them that God, the Creator of the universe, desires to hear their cries for help? Whether it’s a little girl asking God for patience in learning to button her pants or a 30-year-old mama asking for patience while she teaches her daughter to button her pants, it’s the same thing.
It’s the dependence in the small and mundane that determines the faith in the big and the hard.
So let’s resolve together to teach them to press hard into Jesus while they’re small. Let’s teach them to rely on Him when they are learning to go potty on the potty chair, get dressed by themselves and are afraid of the dark. And let us not forget those hard pants buttons. Those are when they may need Jesus most of all.