Grown-up/Toddler Translations

Children are notorious for hearing things differently than we’ve actually said, and for perceiving reality as different than it is. Last week my three year old son came timidly out of the bedroom a mere fifteen minutes after I had finished singing him a lullaby, explaining that he had slept and was ready to play. We spent the next fifteen arguing about whether he had actually slept of not. “I know that you didn’t sleep, now it’s time to go take a nap!” I would repeat. It was important to me that he didn’t think he could get away with lying to me. Quite instantly, it hit my like a load of bricks as I slowed down to actually hear his plea. I heard him to understand, instead of listening just to respond. There was genuine belief in his words. His expression was desperate and I could see that he just wanted me to believe him. He truly believed he had slept, and our conversation (for him) was not about the nap, but was about hoping I would trust him. Now my insistence that I knew he was lying was teaching him that I don’t trust his word; that I think he’s a liar. Suddenly that afternoon nap was much less important than laying a foundation of trust in my relationship with him. Our conversation quickly changed, “are you sure you napped?” I asked through squinted eyes. His simple response was heavy with relief, “yes.”
“and you feel, rested and ready for this afternoons adventures?”
His response became slightly more energetic while I could see he was still leery of getting his hopes up, “yes!”
“Okay, then lets go turn off your sounds.”
Our tiny ritual which seals the deal of sleep time being over. Turning off the white noise machine.

In the past month we have moved, changed daycare/babysitter plans three times, lived temporarily at my moms house, and have otherwise been incredibly busy and detached. It’s been a rough transition for both of us, but of all things, valuing communication has eased the season more than I ever imagined. It’s no secret that adults struggle to communicate efficiently and a well known fact that children often gesture and grunt instead of actually talking. It’s also well known that only 20% of communication is actually words. listening for that other 80% of communication destroys frustration and has overall significantly improved my relationships on every level.

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AsYou…

There is a contingency in this. I read the words, ” …as you…” and it was if my inner narrator enunciated them slowly, boldly as the words settled deep in my spirit. The key to unlock the fullness of hope, peace, joy, and power lie in trusting in The Lord. It sounds so simple, but is it really?

“May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit” Romans 15:13

We have hope in The Lord always, but this verse really seems to suggest that there is more available when we actively trust in Him. It is written that we would have ALL joy, and OVERFLOW with hope as we trust. There is an extra measure available for those willing to trust in Him actively. Simply put, is your love or kindness to a non-believer not Gods goodness overflowing on to them? God’s goodness is for all of creation, not just believers, but this makes it clear that there is more for those who do believe and choose to trust.

This kind of trust is not a passive thing. Typically if you have to trust in something, or someone it is because there is something at stake, or a risk involved. You do not have to trust in a given. In this, you have to actively choose to believe that The Lord will come through. It escapes me why this is so hard to do, but it is a very present reality. Even yesterday I found myself full of anxiety and fear and realized there was plenty I had been thinking about, and forgotten to trust in The Lord for. From my experience, it becomes much easier to trust in The Lord when you take even a brief moment to remember what He has already done for you. When was there just enough, and you went without want? When were you certain things would go south, but then somehow they did not? Maybe you did not even pray about it, and everything still went okay. Make a list and remind yourself, write it down and meditate on it. Actively choose and decide to believe (whether you feel like it or not) and as you breathe in this decision, let hope, joy, peace, and power wash over you, fill you and overflow from you.

The final part of this verse takes the pressure off. It is not, and will not be, by our own power that we can accomplish any of this or find the fullness of hope, joy, and peace. It is the power of the Holy Spirit who makes this possible. It is not a natural thing, to just decide and believe. It takes a miracle kind of power only found in the Holy Spirit. You can stop trying so hard. Do what you can and rest in knowing someone far more powerful than we may ever know is on your side and fighting for you to have all that this verse speaks of; for every good thing.