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Thursday, September 25, 2014

Fishies and Feets

I'm a stay at home (SAH) dad.  The church I currently work with is kind enough to let me work from home on my lessons, curriculum, and all my other administrative duties.  It just worked out that job was a part-time commitment and my wife would work full-time.

So, how do I like it? I never expected to be SAH parent.  In fact, I've pushed against it for the last few years.  Finally, I'm starting to feel alright with it.  I realized it when my 2 year old son asked me to trace his feet the other day.  My first thought, for the briefest of times, went something like this, "Why can't he leave me alone for 5 minutes!" To be honest, this is usually my thought when my boys ask me for something.  It's usually a struggle for me to focus on the things the little boys need to be kids. I'm often distracted by the things I want to do with my time.

This time was different though. It wasn't a struggle to say, "Yes, Blaise, let's do it!" I surprised myself with this reaction because although I still had the initial, "leave me alone," thought, I instinctively subdued that thought. Instead, I really wanted to play with my son. He was ready for me trace his "feets" and we giggled together as we found paper and a marker to do so.

I had a similar thought when I took my boys to the aquarium today. Many times, I take my boys to the things they like to do because I see it as something they need. Today I saw it as a tremendous way to spend time with them.

Life is odd.  I never intended to end up as a SAH. Yet, here I am.  I've been so busy for so many years of my life God finally had to use my kids to slow me down. Even as I write those words, I know it will appear strange to someone on the outside.  How in the world do a 2 year old and 6 year old slow someone down (besides at the end of the day)?  At least with my kids, God used them to show me how important the experience of life itself should be in the midst of all my busyness.

It's basically taken me 3 years to move internally, spiritually, emotionally, and intellectually from, "Hey, just leave me alone so I can get done what I want to get done." to "Yes, I'd love to be with you." I have a hard time just being- especially with myself. This is what God keeps calling me to though- just being with Him.  I pretend I know what that's all about, but it took little ones to really start to show me.

The Shema, the defining script for the people of God in the Old Testament, makes it clear what type of relationship we are supposed to have with God.  The aspect I've forgotten about is that God wants me to exist with Him, not on my own.  So many times, my busyness gets in the way of just knowing God.  Yet, God patiently calls me to hear from Him. He is no fragmented, crazy, fractured God. The Lord is one.  This is God's holiness.  The distraction is part of what I am being called out and away from.
Hear, O Israel! The Lord is our God, the Lord is one! You shall love the Lord your Godwith all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might. (Deuteronomy 6:4-5, NASB)

God waits for me to respond to Him the same way my sons want my attention- no reservations, no holding back, no internal distraction, and no halfway heart.  It sounds so peaceful. Why can't I do it then? My sin, the old self is holding me back.  

It's time to be a kid again and enjoy fishies and feets with my Father. This time though, the roles need to be reversed and I need to open up joyfully to all the cool things my heavenly Father wants to show me.