Sunday, April 11, 2010

the wisdom of youth

i often feel like i find wisdom in folks who've gone before me or traveled alongside me. but i know that jesus said we should come to him as children. and i do know that i've learned a lot from children. my years spent as a counselor at a camp for special needs children were probably some of the most formative years for how i view the world and those in it. but a lot of those lessons came from how that time stretched me, showed me who i could be, how i could meet the needs of others and find that i was meeting needs i wasn't even aware of in myself. i learned the power of watching and listening and in the end, found a voice in me and learned to listen to that voice.

a few nights ago, i was babysitting my three year old nephew. my children had played outside for a long time that day and were pretty droopy when my nephew got here. he was ready to play and hang out and they were ready to rest. so i got to play instead. and it was magic.

while we were doing our thing, at one point, my nephew asked me "what can i do to tell you i love you?" now, i'll be honest and say that he wanted to make valentines and that's how he asked me. it took me a minute to figure that out. but what an awesome question to be asked. it made all of us stop and listen. it was one of the sweetest moments in my life.

tonight in our high school youth ministry meeting, we talked about the sacrament of marriage. and as we talked about love and growing up and relationships, it reminded me of the adoration service speaker i blogged about earlier. about lust being the opposite of love. about how looking to serve your own needs is the opposite of offering something purely for another. and i've been thinking about how tricky that can get...i can love my kids. but i can also get caught up in wanting my kids to reflect well on me. and that's when i tend to make poor parenting choices. because i am not trying to meet their needs...i'm trying to meet my own. and i do the same in my marriage...oy, my marriage can be so tricky sometimes.

but my nephew gave me the string to bind all of these thoughts earlier this week. when he asked me how he could tell me he loved me. it felt awesome. but it's a question i need to ask more often. because we can all read the books about different love languages and explore our needs, but i know that i need to look at what those around me need. it always changes. my friend lana and i were just talking about the changing needs of our children tonight. and i think i've plugged into those changing needs fairly well...i mean, i know they're changing at least, and i'm aware of the need for me to change to be able to meet them. but i don't often think of my spouse's changing needs. or my own. they always seem stagnate to me. maybe because we aren't developing pubic hair or starting periods... but even once those milestones are met and passed, our needs still change. so this will be the new ball of yarn the kitten in my mind plays around with...the new sign posts my eyes search for...and the prayer i send up and try to stay open to the answer to.


1 comment:

LanaTron said...

Thanks for sharing this, mama. Peace and love to you.