I never imagined these three little people would be flipping over couches, swimming, running around my house and climbing up walls, literally, at church (…like, get your kids Brooke, FRFR. That’s another story.).
These photos, quickly snagged from FB, because I am growing in the area of photo-documenting the lives of my amazing kids, all represent stages in their lives where they had not yet taken their first steps. We used all sorts of contraptions, gimmicks, exercises to get them to walk. And I just knew one of these people would bless me to be the mommy who is stopped by everyone watching the oddity of my 8 or 9-month-old teetering around on two tiny feet, saying, “Oh, she’s walking already?!” or “He just looks too small to be walking. Girl, look at him go!”
And I’d shake my head and feign fatigue with a sweet, humble, motherly reply like, “I know, I know. I just have so much trouble keeping up with him!” All the while, I’d be glowing (and maybe, slightly gloating) inside.
But, you know that is not what happened. Ya’ll, these little people ain’t worried about what I want.
So, in true rebellious fashion, the boy walked, the day after his first birthday. Really dude? Middle Me walked at about 13 months, but decides to bump her head shortly after, landing herself in the ER. Mini Me, was bumming hip rides off of any and everyone and finally decided to walk (to a popsicle) at a family reunion in Arkansas. She was 14 months I believe. C average at best.
“yay. so much for my ‘feeling like a good mother because your kid does something phenomenal that you had no control over and had nothing to do with’ moment. thanks guys.”
But, don’t we all want that feeling? Yes, from the feats of our children, but even more from ourselves. Oh, to be (or have been) the 20-something-year-old who everyone just adulates for owning your own house or business. The 30-year-old woman who is making such great strides in her career, while flawlessly balancing her familial and social duties. The 40-year-old who is still a brick-duhn-duhn-duhn-duhn-HOUSE, gracing the cover of magazines (local or national), sings in the choir and leads her women’s group at church, does community service with her children and husband at her side, writes $1000 checks to charities on a whim, because she’s got it like that and- you know the rest!
Focusing too much on where we aren’t YET can be so overwhelming. Especially for brilliant minds and creative souls, like me. I’m certainly not boasting, just recognizing my strengths and the challenges that come with it. The same way I am often overwhelmed that my children have not reached milestones “on time”; having a mind that is constantly dreaming, creating and building cerebral empires, while facing the reality that many of my adult milestones are not being met “on time” can be overwhelming and disappointing to say the least. I have experienced this cyclically, even becoming depressed at times because of it.
But, praise God for the power of baby steps. There is something magical, supernatural even, that happens when we choose to do what we can while we can. I have witnessed God do some amazing things in and through me because I chose to simply bloom where I have been planted. This year, alone, I have physically felt myself being changed and transformed into my greater self. Wow! Why? How? Perhaps He has blessed my obedience. It could have been my courage to invite myself to perform at an event. Maybe it was because of my intentional decision to be committed and present in this season or my willingness to work as if unto him. What I do know, beyond doubt, is that His grace is real and sufficient and new every day. Whether I’m taking grand leaps, walking, crawling or in fetal position, because life just gets that way sometimes. His grace keeps me and carries me into unimaginable places and spaces.
Yes, a tinge of guilt, regret or envy tries to creep in every now and then when I see people around me experiencing vocational, life purpose and financial milestones that I have YET to experience. However, I press on with my wobbly legs and feet that fail to support me at times, trusting and “being confident of this, that he who began a good work in me will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 1:6) I also have to remind myself that others may be walking beautifully or running swiftly, but they can’t move like me. I can celebrate their strides along with mine, because we all have our own walks, whether it’s a limp, a swagger, sashay or strut. And with each authentic step, our walks become less about us and more about the walk that was filled with loving, self-sacrificing and passionate steps taken to the cross.
So, wherever you are baby, you just keep moving forward. You may not have the full picture or all the pieces, but you have life. And that life is waiting for you to take a step, even if it is the most awkward, tiniest step and filled with uncertainty. Do something. Take a baby step. Movement begets movement. Soon, you’ll find yourself running, jumping and climbing up walls (and mountains) you thought you’d never climb.
Thank you Lord that you can turn my baby steps into giant leaps. Thank you that although I’m an artist and sensitive about my ART, it ain’t got to be perfect and neither do I. It’s so reassuring that your grace in my life means I don’t have to wait for all the right pieces to fall into place nor do I have to rush into anything. You will supply all I need according to your riches in glory and I want to be aligned with your timing not mine or society’s, because your timing is perfect. Forgive me when I forget that and compare myself to other people or to my past or future self. I praise you that your strength is made perfect in my weakness, so when these growing, wobbling legs finally decide to walk…I trust that you will catch me or carry me when I need you most. I love you for that and more. Amen.