Driving home from the dermatologist the other day, I was choosing winding country roads to avoid the summer construction on the main thoroughfares. About 5 minutes into my meandering way, I found myself behind a candy-apple red new Porsche Boxster. It was stunning. Sleek. Shiny. And oh! so! RED! It was GORGEOUS. Really, just drool-worthy even for a non-car girl like myself.
As we were driving, I noticed that the sedan in front of the Porsche was holding very tightly to the 35 mph posted limits. Driving sedately and carefully around all the curves and over the hills. I also noticed that the Porsche was revving pretty high. At the intersections, the driver was gunning it while he waited for the sedan to move through the stop signs.
I found myself empathizing with the Porsche and its driver. It's an obviously high-performance machine, built for speed and power and finesse. The driver was being responsible and choosing to obey the laws of the road. He could have easily pulled out and whipped past that bland, tan sedan with a burst of power that would leave us both in his dust. But he chose to hold the course and rein in what is obviously incredible (and untapped) horsepower. I could almost feel their combined frustration and restraint in my staid Mom-mobile behind him.
In that moment of empathizing with an inanimate object and a total stranger, I think I heard the Lord suggest to me that this must be exactly how Mei Mei feels most days in our life together. I almost laughed out loud at the analogy but the more I've thought about it, the more I realize it to be true. She's by far and away the highest horsepower of the 6 of my Gang members. She's revving on high all! the! time! Except when she's asleep. She is exuberant! She is excited! She is high highs and low lows! Reining her in is hard work. Teaching her to follow the rules of the road brings me to my knees, figuratively and literally, more times than I ever remember with even my "high revving" soldier boy. Frankly, for this "older" momma, that is sometimes exhausting! It's kind of hard to be that honest about it but for those of you who are blessed to know Mei Mei in person, you know exactly what I'm talking about and are likely nodding your head with a big ole smirk right now.
This analogy that the Lord dropped in my heart gave me a fresh dose of compassion for my girl that sometimes is sorely lacking. Frankly, it's embarrassing to admit that, too - my compassion is far too often flagging when it comes to the all-consuming task that parenting her can be. I struggle sometimes with how BIG! this girl makes everything to be. It's inconvenient to "go there" with her in her great! big! feelings and great! big! expressions. It sometimes gets in my way, thwarts my agenda, pushes my plans to the side. See? Embarrassing character flaw, for sure. In the wake of that reminder, I've been counting it as God's graciousness in showing me this word picture, complete with the sounds of revving engines in a quiet countryside,
Romans 2:4 "Don’t you realize how patient he is being with you? Or don’t you care? Can’t you see that he has been waiting all this time without punishing you, to give you time to turn from your sin? His kindness is meant to lead you to repentance." ~ from The Living Bible
And though it's a few days late, I can't leave the post without celebrating Mei Mei's birthday. She's an astounding FOUR YEARS OLD now. As tired as I find myself to be at the end of every day, her spunky, (mostly) joyful, and exuberant spirit is a gift to our family than cannot be measured. She is funny, sassy, mischievous, and ALL! IN! with whatever she does. We are so thankful, and yes, humbled, at the privilege of parenting her. Even on the days that the big! feelings! are great big cranky feelings. I cannot imagine our home without her and I'm grateful that the Lord sustains me with encouragement for the task. Especially when it comes in the shape of a gorgeous red Porsche.
|Happiest of Happy Birthdays to Our Mei Mei!|