Your Daddy's Lap

9:36 AMHeather

I sat in the recliner, barely awake, when I heard all sorts of stomping from the master bathroom, directly over my head.  The commotion got louder, but I decided to let it go for the moment, knowing my daughter was trying to do her own pony tail.  My son went up to "help" and then I heard yelling.  That was my cue.  

I passed my son in the hallway muttering his frustration to himself.  I walked into my bathroom to find her, face red and tears streaming down her little cheeks.  Utter frustration.  Pure aggravation.  I stepped toward her and she declared stubbornly, "I. WANT. TO. DO. IT. MYSELF."  Hmmm.  Yeah, how's that working for you?  I bit my tongue to avoid that sarcastic comment slipping out.  I stood and watched her.  She was determined to be independent and to fix her own hair.  I watched helplessly as the effort was simply too much for her in her current state of mind.  I weighed my options.  My natural response was to react to her frustration with some of my own.  It's just hair, for pete's sake.  But, I was able to avoid that reaction, and instead breathed a quick prayer.

And, then I made my move.  I gently stepped toward her, quietly whispering in her ear that she certainly could do her own ponytail, no question.  But, right now, she was just too frustrated.  I kept my voice low and gentle, as I asked her to let me help her this once, and then, when she is calm, we'll have a fun hair tutorial.  She resisted initially, but I calmly wrapped her in my arms.  I kissed her tears away and looked her in the eye and reminded her I love her.  I said, "Just this once!  You CAN do this, but now is not the right time.  Let me help you.  Then, later, when you aren't so frustrated, I'll teach you!"  She seemed to weigh her options and finally relented.

I quickly moved the brush through her hair and pulled it into a pony tail.  Her tears and frustration were still overwhelming her, wracking her body with deep sobs.  So, I pulled her into my room, into my chair, and placed her in my lap.  I wrapped her up in my arms, and rubbed her back in wide circles.  I whispered encouragement in her ears and breathed deeply so that she might imitate me.  It took a while, but I was able to soothe her into calmness, telling her over and again that I loved her, that I hated for her to be so frustrated, and that at the right time, she COULD do her hair herself.  

It was a profound moment, to be sure.  I was drinking her in, realizing that my 8-year-old would all too soon feel too mature for such cuddling.  I related to her frustration and her desire to be independent.  I saw myself in her.  Because I like to do for myself, too.  I don't like to ask for help.

Glimpse of GRACE:  And, in that moment when the sobs calmed down and her breathing began to return to normal, and she wound her arms around me, I knew.  I knew that I am my daughter.  I knew that I wind myself up, determined to do for myself, in my own way, refusing help.  And, I create my own frenzy in those moments.  I want to do it my way.  Even when it's not working.  Even when I'm beyond my own abilities.  And, my Abba Father stands nearby, eager to help.  Eager to step in and do what I cannot do on my own.  And, I create my own problems when I succumb to my frenzied attempts that end in failure rather than call to Him to step in and fix it for me.  My Abba Father longs to pull me into his lap, to hold me close, to whisper words of affirmation.  He longs to rub my back and sing over me and quiet me with his love (Zephaniah 3:17).  He is whispering, "I'm here.  Let me do it.  Give me control.  I've got this.  Let me show myself capable!"  But, I'm too busy stomping around, crying and frustrated by own stubborn independence.  I won't hand it over.  I just won't.  Because I want to do it my way.  Will I surrender control, melt into His arms, and let Him show His power and His faithfulness?  Will I succumb to that sweet moment of connection, sitting in His lap, being quieted by my Abba?  Oh, that I would.  That I would get myself out of the way and embrace my dependence on my Powerful Almighty Father.

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