Caroline was drinking from a straw very slowly right before family prayer tonight. I asked her what she had in her cup. She replied, “Daddy’s lemon water.”
“Daddy’s lemon water?!” I questioned. My hubby, LG, keeps his own quart-sized bottle of water in the fridge. Sometimes it is fully infused with a LOT of lemon juice. He loves his lemon juice. I was surprised she would taste it twice much less be drinking it from a glass.
I was amused by her answer. And enlightened:
While we prayed, I realized that if I were to follow the example of my five-year-old and take things little by little, it would work some real magic in my life. I tend to be the kind of person who just downs the whole can of prune juice while plugging by nose. (Pregnancy constipation is the worst!) Is there anything in this world that tastes worse than prune juice…well, besides LG’s lemon juice with a little bit of water?
Not only do I avoid BIG things because they are overwhelming….like that book I really want to write….but I also give up way too soon on people and circumstances because I can’t seem to make myself want to drink anymore. Often I just need to take a step back and breathe. I need to take it all in with little sips, especially when it comes to things I dislike and/or situations that are overwhelming.
“Little by Little,” it’s my new mantra.
One way I plan to work really hard at incorporating this new attitude is with my kids. I don’t totally understand why I get so worked up over their accomplishments or lack thereof but I do. It’s something I’ve been discussing with the therapist a lot. I have been driving a wedge between Abigail and I over the pressure I am dishing out in her direction. I push. It’s not right. I’ve been in a real tizzy because next week is her high-school soccer try-outs. She’s been injured a lot over the summer and hasn’t been able to condition like she needed to in order to be completely prepared. We’ve also never been able to afford to put her in the fancy club soccer teams and I feel really bad about that. The therapist talked me off the ledge explaining that I don’t need to worry about it. One, it’s out of my control whether or not I could afford fancy soccer teams. Two, it’s also out of my control what will happen with Abigail and soccer. It’s Abigail’s thing. Not mine. I can’t save her from the experiences that will teach her the most valuable life lessons. She needs to make mistakes so she can learn.
I was still wrestling with it though. Haven’t I dedicated to soccer as much as she has for the past 10 years?
So, last Sunday I had this epiphany while sitting at church. My niece was speaking before heading out on her mission to South America. During church, where she and another young man who is going to Detroit were addressing the congregation, I felt a message penetrate my heart. It came straight from God.
“Alice, who cares if Abigail plays soccer ever again? Who cares where she goes to college? Who cares how well she does on her report card? I don’t. You shouldn’t. You will do well to learn from the example of these two kids. The ONLY thing that matters is that you point your daughter to me. I will help her figure it all out. I will help her every step of the way. Stop carrying the burdens of the whole world. That’s my job. Just point her to me. While we are at it….you can rely on me too. I will help you. One step at a time. Just trust me. Stop worrying about everything. I’ve got this. The ending is beyond your wildest imagination.”
The message was kind of like God saying……baby steps, Alice. Little by little. And so I sip. One drop of lemon juice at a time.