If parenthood has taught me anything (and, believe me, it has taught me many things), it is how deep the Father’s love for us is.
As Monkey learns more and more words, she continues to struggle with the difference between a need and a want. On some level she grasps that needs are more important and she must think that she’ll get something if she says she needs it, which naturally leads to her saying that she “needs” just about everything. She needs a new shirt. She needs gummies. And she needs them RIGHT NOW. She needs to hug her sister, even when her sister is crying her head off. The list goes on.
Aren’t we this way with the Father more often than we care to admit?
God, I need this job. I need this moment to pass. I need this traffic to move. I need this thing or that thing. I need this from my spouse, my mother, my brother, etc. But do we really need any of those things?
As I continue to try and teach Monkey the difference between wants and needs, I’m trying to check myself in the way I use those words, both with others but especially with God. Do I really truly need what I think I need? Do I need food, water, shelter, love? Yes. Do I need a new dress just because it is on sale? No. Do I need food that doesn’t make me sick? Yes. Do I need my husband to put his dirty clothes in the hamper rather than next to the hamper? No.
Do I need to shower every day? No. Am I an infinitely better mother, wife, and person if I do? Yes. Do I need to go to the bathroom without toddlers peeking in or sticking their fingers under the door? No. Am I a kinder person when I get two minutes of solace to relieve myself? Yes. But just because something makes me a better person doesn’t make that thing a need, much less a need that I should get at the expense of others. I indeed am a better person when I shower but that doesn’t mean that I can lock my kids up and take a 30 minute long shower. Moderation in all things, whether it be fifteen packets of gummies for the toddler (don’t worry, that’s never happened. To my knowledge anyway…) or a brief shower for me.
Often the things we think we need would, in fact, make life a lot easier. Life might be easier if everyone put their clothes in the hamper, hung their towels up properly, and put their dishes away without being reminded to do so. But maybe, just maybe, the things I think I need aren’t actually needs. Maybe the fact that my “needs” aren’t being met is actually an opportunity to love more, to sacrifice joyfully, to offer up my struggle or inconveniences for the salvation of others.
It is incredible to see how often the lessons I’m trying to teach my toddler are, at the same time, lessons God is teaching me. Before I come to God with my laundry list of so-called needs I’m learning to ask myself, “do I really need this to go my way, or do I need to learn from things the way they are? Instead of griping about my ‘needs’ should I instead be grateful for what I already have?” My list of “needs” can be long, but if I leave them at His feet, He gives me all I truly need…and adds some pretty incredible blessings to boot. 🙂