“MINE. NOW!” he demanded, a chubby finger emphatically pointing toward a cupboard. “MINE. NOOOOOW!” He bellowed.
I scooped him up, but when I tried to cuddle him, he threw his head back.
He wanted something I wasn’t giving him.
I don’t know if you’ve ever spent any amount of seconds with a toddler before, but man. They’re a whole lot of cute and stinky all at once.
At 18-months-old, he has a limited view on the world. He knows what he wants and he hustles after it, one determined but slightly wobbly step at a time. His voice is little, but he tries to make his wants and needs heard.
The whiny chorus of “MINE. NOW!” continued on repeat. I opened the cupboard door, where he made his request known. Because of course he would want a box of old, half-used instant mashed potatoes.
I offered him fruit snacks in a box in the cupboard next to the taters, and he flipped his lid. While I knew those little flakes were gross and that yummy fruit snacks were waiting for him, he couldn’t see past his own demands. He wanted what he wanted, even if what he wanted was gross. When I didn’t give him what he was demanding, oh how the tears started flowing down his chubby cheeks. He was angry and frustrated and sad.
How often are we like this with God? We have our hearts set on something that seems so good, so wonderful, and we’re angry when God doesn’t show up — when he doesn’t scoop instant mashed potatoes onto our plate.
Sometimes I get confused. I start trying to build my kingdom instead of focusing on His. I start getting into this zone of “What I want seems good, so why aren’t you giving it to me?”
Have you ever felt that way?
Let’s be real. Sometimes it’s really stinkin’ hard to trust that God has something better in store. We’re in the trenches with life or at home or at work or at church and it just doesn’t seem like He sees us. We’re shouting for cupboards to open from down below but nothing comes.
I want to start this series of 31 Days of Living Free with a week focused on our hearts. Can we really be women who boldly walk paths of righteousness and pursue our God-given talents and gifts when we’re focused on our own shabby requests?
Right now, let’s reset our hearts. Let’s acknowledge that sometimes, we don’t see the shining beauty God has in store for us because we’re too focused on our demands.
Create in me a clean heart, O God, And renew a steadfast spirit within me. [Psalm 51:10]
He gives more than we can even imagine. And I say that not in a prosperity gospel way, but in a He-is-so-good-and-He-loves-us-intimately kind of way.
Don’t get fixated on mashed potatoes. There is so much more waiting.
This is the first of 31 daily posts of living free. Living freely is something we do momentarily, but to fully live free? That’s a transformation — a total change not only in what we’re like, but in who we are. You can find all the 31 Days of Living Free posts here.