“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: