What holding back REALLY holds back

I leaned over Olivia’s shoulder as we colored together and beamed “Oh wow, Olivia.  I LOVE the colors you chose!  Your picture is beautiful!”

She turned her head up at me, covered her picture with her arm and defensively barked “Not for you, mommy!”

I think I would have been annoyed or angry if I hadn’t been so hurt.

I wasn’t asking for her picture.

I gave her the markers and paper.

She was sitting at my table, during the time I had set aside to spend with her to co-create art.

Seeing her weak, skinny arm trying to hold something back that I wanted to share with her stung me.

I laughed about it with my husband last night, because when things are funny they hurt less.  And I mean, “Not for you, mommy!” was kind of hilarious.  Seriously, child.  You have nothing that I do not give you, and mostly at great sacrifice to myself (that pedicure budget is pretty sad these days).

It finally hit me this morning.

God gave me everything I have.  He could take or demand it at any moment, but he desires to co-create with me.  He gave me my talents and gifts, not so that I could produce results to please Him, but so that He and I could go together into this dark world and shine light and love.  How silly for me to hold on to areas of my life where I use my gifts or He has clearly blessed me and say, “Not for you, Daddy!”  Not only is it hurtful, but I miss out on a HUGE opportunity to spend beautiful time accomplishing great things with Him.

I’m sure we all hold on to different things more tightly.  The last couple of years that I have spent at home with my kids often leaves me dreaming of returning to my career.  The things that make me great at work are the ways that God has uniquely designed and gifted me.  I was one of the lucky ones who actually found a job that engaged those passions and strengths of who I am.  In truth, those same gifts make me effective for other ways God wants to partner with me to love people- and I should be more thrilled about that than PowerPoint.

So today I choose to say, “It’s for you, Daddy!”.  Thanks for joining me in my day. Thank you for creating this home and family alongside me.  Help me to hear your affirmations and gentle guidance.  Make me aware and thankful that everything I touch, see, have, and am is a gift from you.  Give me joy in painting a small corner of the beautiful story you are telling today, knowing that the big picture is as awesome as you are even if I can’t see it past the green playdoh ground into my carpet.

1 Peter 4:10
As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another,as good stewards of God’s varied grace:

Proverbs 8:27-30
When he established the heavens, I was there;
when he drew a circle on the face of the deep,
when he made firm the skies above,
when he established the fountains of the deep,
when he assigned to the sea its limit,
so that the waters might not transgress his command,
when he marked out the foundations of the earth,
then I was beside him, like a master workman,
and I was daily his delight,
rejoicing before him always

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