Toddler Tantrum

She was crying. Losing it. Screaming like a raging banshee. For seemingly no reason. Scratch that. There was absolutely a reason. She’d been sitting in a car seat for most of the 17 hours it took us to drive from Philly to Florida for our family vacation last week.

Seventeen hours. In a car. With a two and a half year old.

Am I crazy, you ask?

Yes. I believe I am.

The anticipation of seeing Mickey Mouse and Princess Tiana aside, baby girl was tired. Things had gone pretty well up until the last couple of hours. Then she was over it. Hubby and I were beyond frustrated. I was two seconds from losing it when I heard it. It wasn’t audible. No James Earl Jones-like voice booming from the heavens. Just that still, quiet one that whispers gently but urgently in my heart and mind.

“Do you see yourself yet?”

Ahhh. Another insightful episode of “Revelations from My Mini-Reflection AKA Daughter.”

So you would think that hearing the Spirit speak wouldn’t still amaze me. Maybe that says something about me or the frequency of my interaction with the God I claim to love so much. (Yikes!) Or more likely, it’s just that the crystal clarity, the certainty that fills me, is so overwhelming that I find myself still in awe of Him.

While I believe God is speaking to us all the time and in many ways, I personally find that I tune into His Spirit better during the seemingly most mundane activities. It’s like when I put on my special clothes, set my bible at just the right angle, and try to put on my posture of meditation. I get… nothing. But when I’m washing dishes or staring out the window during a family road, trying not to grind my teeth to dust as my toddler alternates between singing and screaming, fire reigns down from heaven and revelation pours from the sky.

Or something like that.

Do you see yourself yet?

Yeah, yeah, yeah. I get it. How many times have I been so close to the realization of my dreams, so close to the payoff that comes with all my hard work and sacrifices, and yet, like K just before arriving at the “Happiest Place on Earth,” be so frustrated and tired with the journey that all I can do is scream and cry and complain because of my discomfort?

Patience is a virtue, I’m told.

Patience is a virtue, I tell my kid.

Yeah, she doesn’t believe it either.

And if I’m not screaming and crying about how uncomfortable the stretching that comes with growing is, I’m fighting. This is something else K and I have in common.

When it comes to sleeping, my sweet brown girl is absolutely fighter. Girlfriend will stare at the plants and pant repeatedly in order to keep herself from falling asleep. Seriously! She’ll whine and moan, shimmy, sing and kick her feet until finally sleep overtakes her and her head just falls like a rock onto the pillow. It’s actually funny to watch because I, being her mother, know that her fighting is in vain. That her body is going to give in to the Sandman, at some point. And yet every night, like clockwork, she goes through her ritual. She screams, sings, has whole conversations with Doc McStuffins who somehow appears to her in her bedroom, until suddenly her soft, even breathing signals that she’s out for the count.

One day I was laughing with a friend a mine about it. I kept saying, “Why does this little girl fight so hard? She knows she’s tired but yet she pushes against the inevitable.”

And of course, that’s when it happened. Again. That little voice that only I can hear…

“Why do YOU fight so hard?”

Huh? What?

“You… like your daughter… fight against the inevitable. I call you to a season of rest and you choose to worry. I call you to harvest and you are still planting. I call you to ride the seas of my provision and promise and you fight fiercely against the current of your life. You moan and whine about being tired, not realizing that you are tired because you are moaning and whining. While I appreciate your ambition, it is not ambition alone that will help you fulfill your destiny. Just as you wish your baby girl would just relax and embrace her rest, I’m asking you to do the same. The light of the SON will let you know when it is time to get back to MY business.”

So it seems as though all I have to do is watch my daughter to see what the next lesson in my life is. Today, it’s this: be aware of the seasons of certain things and people in my life. Everything and every relationship has a life span—some longer, some shorter. I’m learning to stop fighting against what God is trying to do in my life but to embrace both the work and the rest.

“Unlike you with K, I am patient.” – God

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Tracey Michae'l

Tracey Michae'l is a writer and educator based out of the Philadelphia area. She is a wife to William and a mother to a beautiful two-year old little girl. You can find her on the web at www.traceymlewis.com.

2 Comments

  1. Wow wow wow wow.I came to this link because we’re going to Disney with our baby boy next year so I thought I was getting tips for dealing with him but I got tips for dealing with myself.

    My story: I am a random lurker of your site (I have it on my bookmarks tab!) I am going through a slightly rough season at the moment. It’s been almost 2 years since I graduated from law school and I’m just so tired from this long journey of job hunting yet I’m soooo close to my answer. 2 weeks ago I interviewed for a job with the Feds doing civil rights work. It’s my dream job and what I believe to be my purpose in serving God. Their process is so complicated and lengthy but for the past 2 weeks I’ve been hearing God telling me to relax and enjoy this final downtime with my 6month old baby boy but I kept asking him what to do next. Do I continue to apply to jobs? Do I relocate?…Relax is what I’ve continued to hear 🙂 I was struggling with the issue of whether I was telling myself to relax or was it God telling me to relax; so I’ve been crying out to God asking him to please reveal to me what you want me to do. Show me clearly! Your message was my confirmation. DEEP HONEY DEEP! Not only was it amazingly timely (although this post is old) but it was in the EXACT words that made me feel it in my gut! GOD BLESS YOU!! Thank You for letting God use you to deliver this message! I will make it a habit to come around more often now 🙂

  2. I’ll come around here and to your blog Tracey 🙂

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