Like a Child

My cousin and I wrote each other letters this year for our 18th birthdays.

Something he said really struck me. At 18, the world says we’re adults now. “I guess,” he wrote, “it signifies the day that we officially have to work at being children.”

Jesus tells us to be like little children. My cousin went on, quoting from a book that talked about children as having lack of guile or agenda. Trusting. For the most part, you ask a child to get something for you, and they’ll do it {but still, only if they want to}. But I don’t often stop to help because I have my own things to get done.

Lack of agenda.
“No, God, I won’t serve that family tonight, I was going to work on the piano.”
“I need to get everything done today.”
Shouldn’t my agenda be only what He wants me to do? Like the child whose only care is to please their parents?
Shouldn’t I trust that if He asks me to do something else, either He’ll provide time to finish the first task, or it isn’t that important anymore? Or maybe the first task was important because it’s teaching me a lesson about trusting Him to finish what He’d asked me to do.

That’s been a hard lesson lately, to get rid of the idolatry of getting things done and focus on Him.
“When God made time, He made enough of it,” is a Celtic saying from a tea bag I have on my desk.
“When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you.” – Isaiah 43:2
He’ll provide for what He’s given me to do – be it tuning, baking, ministering to others, traveling, music…
But sometimes we need to take it one step at a time, doing what He asks even when we can’t see the end yet.
That’s childishness I need to get rid of – the part of me that always asks “When will we get there?” When will I be done tuning, or when can I stop fighting my sin – I’m tired! My thumbs hurt, my shoulders are drooping, I’m weak, Father! Why is it that the things I want to cut out are the hard things that make me die to self? I don’t want to wait to see the fruit. Instant gratification – I want it. We plant and then are faithful to water as we wait.
It was in the midst of being overwhelmed with to-do lists that Cait loaned me Ann Voskamp’s “One Thousand Gifts.”

I’d read her blog for a while. In fact, there was a post she wrote about “when perfectionism and to-do lists overwhelm.” My, that sounds familiar.
I’d read her blog for a while without connecting that she was the person who’d written the book I’d read about in World.
There was so much in her book that struck home.
And I’ve learned so much from it. I finished the book over 3 days that were rather difficult, and I was often overwhelmed by the amount of projects – dresses, afghans, quilts, pianos, oboe pieces, scales, books to read, recipes to try… that I had, and was wondering how I’d ever get it done and stop the lists from growing.
And then to read: “There’s not a lack of time, but a lack of gratitude.”

Through her testimony, I was learning the simplicity and simplifying of thanksgiving.
I often quote to myself, “Wherever you are, be all there,” (Elisabeth Elliot) when I’m wishing I were elsewhere. Giving thanks helps be all there.
She shared a story about her young daughter taking pictures and delighting in the little things.
Be like a child.
I am easily amused, and things like sunsets or finding Pleiades fill me with glee. But an F-F octave that beats? Scales that keep running together? The low notes that won’t come out? The piano student who won’t sit on the bench but climbs all over the other furniture? Or the one who won’t play the hard songs even when she could’ve three months ago?
Thank you for pianos. Thank you for ears that can hear the beats. Thank you for the beauty of the oboe. Thank you for the silly things my girlies say.
Above the clouds, light never stops shining. Wrestle against doubt, perfectionism, hopelessness, for the joy I have in Christ.

I started my own 1,000 list in a notebook gramma gave me this summer.
It almost seems silly, and it seems too easy. It feels like there should be something more complex than just saying ‘thank you.’ But it fights against the doubt that asks if piano tuning is really for me. It fights the perfectionism that says I have to get it right the first time. It fights the hopelessness that says the end is so far away. It fights the lists that say you have to always be hurrying. It rids me of my agenda and helps me look to God for everything. It makes me trust again – the One who gave these things is also the One who ordains my whole life.

Blue skies on a September day.
Cooling weather
Being silly for my students
A quiet moment with a book
A well-stocked pantry
A setting orange sun with a backdrop of pink
Colorful envelopes with notes to favorite people inside
The good kind of stubbornness.
The clatter of plates as mom works in the kitchen.
Little sister humming
The whir of the sewing machine as the needle dodges in and out of polka dots.

Children playing outside
Remembering the day years ago I hit a home run.
Corn from Tracey’s
Warm weather
Chaotic twittering of birds
F-F Octave beatless
Zucchini sauteed with onion, garlic, cheese, and basil.
Riesens, tea, The Sound of Music, and quilting
Kisses on the shoulder from little sister
Afternoon sunlight and the second movement of Saint-Saens’ oboe sonata.
Wachet Auf.
Country dancing – Haste to the Wedding.
Shadows dancing in morning light.
Meditations on His glory – mind boggling paradoxes – His glory is often portrayed as light, and Christ’s glorification was on the cross (John 12). Yet it was dark. And God gave Christ His glory so that Christ could give it to US (John 17). I can’t get enough of those thoughts.

I’m still struggling. I don’t want to be held to lists that always stress me out, I want to be held to Him and doing His will.

So I’m striving to choose joy. And faithfulness. And simplicity.
Because He is good.

Pro Christo,


2 thoughts on “Like a Child

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s