I don't even remember what it was that she did.... but, I looked at her and said, "Felicity, you know that was wrong. Come here..."
And she looked at me with that.... that look. The one that says, "hmm... not sure I want to obey you right now."
So our eyes are locked. My eyebrows lift in a "don't-even-think-about-it" challenge and I watch her battle it out inside that child-brain of hers....
Yeah, you guessed it. She chose her way.
And on this particular day, for this particular battle- I decided I was going to win. But I decided I wanted to win her heart. Not just the "uncle-cry". (<--it shames me to admit how often I give in upon claiming this)
As she turned to stalk off to her room and the familiar comfort of her blankie and paci(oh believe me, the decision to include that little bit of truth was so not an easy call for me. yes, she still has a pacifier. yes, she will be 3 in less that 2 months.), I called her back to sit on my lap. Until she could sit still and calmly accept my authority.
This is the part where I wanted to give in. I didn't know how long it was going to take. I had stuff to do. Seriously, child-of-mine, JUST OBEY ME!
But. We've been praying. Asking Him to soften my heart and change the way I love to the way He loves.
So there we sat. Her, seething and squirming and wrestling. Me, praying that she would give in before I did.
And she did. All of the sudden.... she leaned into me. I felt the tension leave her little body... she still cried... only now, quiet and soft. She said, "okay mommy."
And I held her. And she wrapped her arms around me and told me she loved me and she was off to play.... the familiar comforts forgotten about.
Felicity. This is the girl that prays for me every night. Things like, "Mommy makes mistakes and please help her to use nice words" and "God, please help Mommy to really, really, really, really be patient" (she must know that's about how much patience it takes with her!!!)... and I joke and tease that these prayers are somehow manipulative to make me feel guilty but oh my goodness even if they are, it matters not because the Lord uses them to speak to me in profound ways.
And tonight He took me back to this day.... to this memory that wasn't so many days ago. And He spoke to me.
About how I stare into His Word and I feel those whispers of conviction across my soul and sometimes I still choose me.
And how many times do I turn and run to the familiar comforts??? Food, unhealthy relationships, fantasy worlds found in movies and tv shows and books and social media.... the list is endless but these are some of my top choices.
Oh, but when I stop and I listen even just enough to sit, though it be squirming, seething, wrestling.....
It's only a matter of time until He gets to me and I lean into Him..... and I can breathe in His Peace and His Presence. His Love is just that way.... it's too strong to not be moved by it.
"Turn my heart toward your statues and not toward selfish gain. Turn my eyes away from worthless things; preserve my life according to your word. Fulfill your promise to your servant, so that you may be feared." Ps. 119:36-38
And may I continue to be gifted with these child-prayers that inspire me to turn back toward my Jesus and wrestle if need be until I encounter the Love that changes everything.