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I have this fantastic book called "Diapers, Pacifiers and other Holy Things" by Loraine Pintus.
I have had the book for many many years, and I've read it front to back and back to front and sometimes, just open it randomly and quickly peruse the pages and whatever chapter it happened to fall on.
Yesterday, I was tidying up the bedroom and picked up the book and again, randomly opened it, and it fell on the Chapter titled "I'm a big kid now".
This particular chapter in the book starts out by talking about how the author and her daughter Amanda are getting ready for the big day, the first day of Kindergarten, and how usually it tends to be more traumatic for the parents than for the child.
I can attest to this. When Jasmine started Kindergarten, I felt like for months before the big day, I talked and talked and explained and tried to prepare her *so to speak* for what was coming, but when the day finally arrived I actually felt sick to my stomach.
Here I was, sending my little baby off to school, to the care of a stranger, surrounded by tons of other kids who may have God knows what germs hanging around.
Would she be ok?
What if she had to go to the bathroom and didn't tell the teacher?
What if she didn't eat her lunch and then she would starve?
What if something went wrong and she started crying and I wasn't there to comfort her?
I felt like I peppered myself with these and many other questions. All these what if's.
I had Nicholas in the stroller because he was only a year old, and I remember pushing the stroller to the school with a knot in my stomach. We got there, she lined up, she kept looking at me and I guess I was looking for that one little sign that I could swoop on in and save her, but that didn't come. She ran up to me once, gave me a very big tight hug and then with a wave over her shoulder, followed the classmates inside.
Kindergarten at the base school we were stationed at, was only for 3 hours. But it felt like forever.
I walked home crying. I'm not kidding you, I was bawling all the way home and then counted down every single minute until I could go back and get her.
When they were let out, she ran right up to me, gave me another big hug and I asked her "did you miss mommy? I missed you so much baby"
And her reply, in her innocence was "No, I didn't. I put you on the back of my head so I didn't miss you".
Lordy, you may as well have slapped me across the face. Ha!
The realization that my little baby was growing up, was a tough pill to swallow.
The author of the book talks about how by the time we are eighteen we are considered "grown up", at least physically. But what about spiritually?
Is there an age or a mark we can point to that says "I'm a spiritual grown up"?
Spiritual growth closely parallels physical growth. We begin as babies when we are "born again" and take in "milk", or the basic teachings of God (Heb. 5:12). After a time, we "leave the elementary teachings about Christ and go on to maturity" (Heb. 6:11).
If we continue to grow in the Lord, we will one day reach spiritual maturity, which is recognizing that no matter how mature we become, there is always room to grow.
Where are you spiritually? A dependent baby? A self-absorbed teen? A maturing young lady? A Wise woman?
That question stumped me. I thought I knew it all, where I was, what my place as a Christian is, who I am. But really, what exactly am I, or rather, at what phase of my development am I in?
I would have to say that I'm a maturing young lady. I'm not longer a dependent baby, nor am I self-absorbed teen, and I'm certainly nowhere near a wise woman.
Which really leaves me just one, the maturing young lady and I think it does fit where I'm at in my life right now.
So now what?
Well the author encourages you to press on. She's not talking about memorizing full verses in the Bible or immersing myself into a ton of Church activities.
She's talking about small steps.....a morning prayer, turning to Jesus with a problem, forgive someone, refuse to fall into old habits, persevere through a current trial. PRESS ON!
And that is what I'm doing. I think my goal is pretty simple, even though right now it may seem as big as climbing to the top of Mount Everest.
I want to be me, I don't want to change, but I want to love God with all my heart, I want to live for God, I want to do everything that I can for Him and through Him.
It's not easy. I stumble, I fall, I stomp my feet, some days I'm too tired to pick up the Bible, too tired to go to God with my problems, too tired to even contemplate being a woman of faith.....but those are few and far between, and they're totally acceptable, really.
All I have to remember is to PRESS ON! That, I can do.
Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. James 1: 2-4
So my question to you this morning, is this. Where are you spiritually???