Oh how I long to be carefree about life again, like I used to be as a child. Before life knocked me down a few times. Kind of like how my little 2 year old niece is. She is obsessed about singing “Happy Birthday” to all of our family members even when it’s not their birthday. She told her mom she wanted to sing ”Happy Birthday” to Toot……..I guess she misunderstood the line “Happy Birthday to you” as “Happy Birthday Toot” and now she runs around laughing hysterically saying “Happy Birthday Toot” as we are all practically crying, about to pee our pants.
I watched her running back and forth from one side of the run to the other last night, gleefully laughing, singing the Toot song, and completely unaware of the world’s problems all around her. Content with silliness and fun, she doesn’t know about disappointment and the challenges that life will send her way. She doesn’t know about the homeless people living under the bridge nearby, or the little girls trapped in sex trafficking all over the world. I watched her and longed for that feeling again. I remember sitting on my sit and spin as a little girl (yes I just gave my age away) with my cousin, and we spun and spun while the tears of laughter rolled down my cheeks. Life seemed like a lot more fun back then. I ache for that now.
But there are bills to pay. There’s the grind of daily living. Not to mention the dashed hopes of dreams that crashed and burned or relationships that tanked despite our best efforts. Oh the list is endless of challenges, heartbreaking situations and pain. It’s awful, I know. But despite all of the crumminess of this broken world, I find myself still believing, hoping that eventually it will all be okay. Better than okay, actually. In the end, God will redeem all of the lost time, broken hearts, misunderstandings-all of it will bend its knee to His grand design and we will see the big picture.
Do you know why children can play so easily? Because they don’t know or care about things they can’t control. If they are in a healthy home, they know that their mommy and daddy will take care of them, feed them, comfort them and keep them safe. All of their needs are being met, so they are free to enter into their imaginary worlds full of giggles and fun things.
God wants us to feel this way; loved, protected, treasured, and nurtured-not anxious, angry and stressed out. He’s got us in His grasp. He wants us to enjoy our lives, just like little children on vacation who are curious and explorative. We can laugh, play, and run back and forth from one side of the room to the other singing Toot songs if we want. We don’t need to worry about our needs, bills, or problems because He is in control of our lives. Our steps are ordered by Him. He makes our way secure. He gives us the strength we need to do ANYTHING!
Watching my niece sparked something in me that I thought died a long time ago. I thought I grew up and now I’m an adult so I’m on my own. I need to fix my problems, be responsible for everything going on in my life and put my adult boots on every single day. But I’m not- I’m still a child! I will always be HIS child!
I hope that as the New Years rings in with all of its resolutions and unresolved problems that we can all remember to live like children this year. Yes I know we can’t run from responsibilities but maybe we need to stop thinking we are the glue holding the entire universe together for our families or jobs. We need to breathe a little and sing silly songs or do something completely childish for a change.
The best advice I can give you this year is to enjoy your life, right where you are. Yes I know you may not be where you wanted to be, Lord knows I’m not either, but we can still be happy. Circumstances do not determine our joy level, that’s an inside job. And remembering to just be a child again helps us return to that first- love kind of joy we had when we met Jesus. I’ll leave you with this scripture, and I pray you have a joy-filled, laughter infused, “Toot” kind of year:
Restore to me the joy of your salvation and grant me a willing spirit, to sustain me. Psalm 51:12