“Mommy, you’re so cute,” he says to me as he climbs into my lap. His limbs are getting long and he’s certainly not as light as he once was but I welcome the snuggles and his cheek pressing firmly against mine. And, since that’s not enough, he touches nose-for-nose in an effort to squish his little face as close as he can get to mine.
Yet then he does what children do. Fans that same nose with his hand and promptly tells me the tea I’m drinking smells stinky.
Wyatt’s not a fan of Earl grey and his sniffer can identify it immediately. It doesn’t mean he doesn’t love me, but he sets a new boundary and puts safe distance between us.
He recognizes there’s an unpleasantry and he’s honest about it. As silly as this might sound – I kinda dig that about my little boy. Not putting on airs for the benefit of any kind. Just hard core honesty.
Yeah, that’s not me.
I will tolerate an unnecessary discomfort for so long that it becomes a pain point in my life. A tremendous thorn in my side. It’s as though I see a milestone I need to achieve. An imaginary finish line I feel like I’m supposed to cross. One where I stand well-deserving above the rest sporting a medal that says “She didn’t let it break her.”
Can you relate?
Before every reader here today shakes their head in disagreement, ready to quote scripture about how I, who share in Christ’s glory will also share in His suffering, let me just stop you right there. All of that is undeniably true and I will likely be subject to that suffering in every season of my life.
But voluntary suffering looks entirely different.
Hypothetically speaking, imagine having a serious dislike for Barry Manilow music yet choosing to listen to Copacabana on repeat all day. That’s just a complete train wreck inside
my someone’s head.
Well, how about this…
Imagine the need to continuously rip the scab off a wound every morning in an effort to make the outcome of the healing look a little differently than it did before.
That scab is never going to heal.
And with that, I continuously choose to mollycoddle the proverbial porcupines in my life. The ones that wiser people taught me to go ’round on that road I travel. And I search for the approval of those around me. Looking for someone to throw me a thumbs up as they’re cheering me on while I continue to hug the thing that hurts.
“Has it always been this way?” I have to ask myself.
So I search my past in recollection of all the ways I’ve put my nose directly above those vexations. I’ve inhaled the harmful fumes of wrong choices, unhealthy friendships, and settled myself down into situations that I knew at the time were not wise to dwell in.
I look again at my little boy and I smile at how adamant he is for this dislike. The odds of him asking for a sip are slim to none. But sometimes my thirst for something tangible on my tongue leads me to gulping down streams of stagnant water rather than the living water that is offered to me so abundantly.
And it is then I have to remind myself again that I have a choice in this matter. I have a choice to abstain from the unfavorable. I have a choice to those friendships. I have a choice to choose which water I drink.
And then it all doesn’t seem so stinky after all…
Lord, I ask You again to help me turn my head from the detriments I so easily choose over Your grace and mercy. Over Your peace. I ask You to help me drink of the living water that is given in such abundance rather than helping myself to the stagnant stream that flows just outside the camp. Help me choose You, each and every time.
Today I’m linking up with the following authors to share my story:
Holley Gerth and Coffee For Your Heart
Jennifer Dukes Lee for #TellHisStory
Yes Works for Me – We Are THAT Family
As I read your imagery of the daily scab-picking, I thought of the lines of the song that say, “There is a balm in Gilead that heals the sin-sick soul.” Yet so many persist in picking at the scab, never healing. Thank you for this word this morning!
Excellent words! And how my persistence just gets the best of me…
I think most of us would agree with you, whether we admit it or not. With me I have to make sure I’m not taking on a martyr attitude, when I see that creeping in I know it’s time to check myself and make changes. I know in this world we will have suffering, but some things God just doesn’t ask of us and we take them on anyways (at least I do) Great insightful post!
Exactly, Alecia! And thank you for the encouragement you brought with you, friend.
What a thoughtful piece of writing, friend. You’ve really got me thinking about some of my own “unnecessary discomforts.”
Thank you for stopping by, Jennifer. Always so encouraged by your words.
Great post! I can’t resist…”Her name was Lola….”
You just KNEW I’d written something about Barry Manilow and had to come singing, huh, Shelly? 😉
I’m visiting from Holley’s and I’m so glad to be here. This is great truth. Something I had to learn a very hard and painful way. At least I’m not just older . . . I’m a little wiser too. AT least I hope so! Blessings! BTW – They’s have to lock me away if I was forced to listen to Copa all day!
Thank you so much for visiting and for your kind words. And I’m glad to know I’m not alone in this Barry Manilow thing. 😉
Jennifer, I run a linkup and share some of my favorite posts in the blog world on Fridays. I’d like to share a link to this post tomorrow. I think my readers will love it! It will go live at 7am and the permalink is: http://wp.me/p2kVO4-33B Look forward to sharing your blog.
Oh, wow – thank you Deb! I’m so glad that you enjoyed it and feel that your readers will, too. I appreciate you letting me know. 🙂
Your words are an echo of what God’s been speaking to me. To drink from His living water. To choose Him. And that I can do it. I can let go of the stinky things I hold onto because I’m scared. We don’t have to be scared to let go of what stinks or hurts or Barry Manilow, haha. Thank you for your words! Blessings from Coffee for Your Heart 🙂
Thank you, Anna!
What a gift you words are.. you are speaking a language I can fully understand and I love that today as I sifted through the things I ‘had to do’ but didn’t want to do, I found your encouragement and I found some answer to prayer. I have kiddos who are deeply honest and don’t seem to have inherited one speck of my people-pleasing, sometimes self-martyr qualities that really don’t glorify God. I love that they know exactly who they are and are willing to take risks in that honesty. Thanks for reminding me of that. Praying that you will not be gulping stagnant water today but sipping the sweetly steeped tea of His grace for you! I am thankful I stopped for a visit.
Thank you for the kind and encouraging words, Dawn. I can’t tell you how many times today I remembered your words “sipping the sweetly steeped tea of His grace.” Just beautiful! Thank you for visiting.
Right there with you! Wish I would choose the best each time.
I love kids’ honesty too 😉