By Cassie Glubzinski
I am happily blessed to have two sweet daughters who take part in a daily exercise called 'Rest Time', but I secretly call it 'Mommy Sanity Time'. My oldest just turned five, and my youngest is two and a half.
The other day I went to get my girls up from rest time and found my oldest (Gemma) still sleeping. Knowing she had had an exhausting day I went ahead and let her sleep, but my youngest (Evolet) came downstairs with me. She began playing with her little people, and seemed completely content. So in true mom-fashion I hurriedly finished all the tasks I wasn't fully able to complete while my children slumbered. I was running around putting away clean dishes, folding the last bit of laundry, and clearing the table before trying to figure out what we would eat for dinner.
During this time I heard Evolet talking under her breath. I walked a bit closer and asked her if everything was okay. She looked up and showed me the two little people in her hands: Prince Eric and Princess Ariel.
"Oh," I told her. "Are Eric and Ariel talking?"
"Yes," she informed me seriously. "They are playing together and sharing."
"Sharing is very good. Are they also going to eat together?"
"Yeah, Mommy. They are having chicken nuggets and apple slices."
"Wow. Eric is taking Ariel to dinner? Sounds kind of like a date to me."
I had to keep myself from laughing out loud at the expression on my daughter's face. She looked exasperated! She sighed heavily and shook her head at me as she calmly said, "Mommy, chicken nuggets aren't what you get on a date."
"Huh," I supplied. "What would make it a date?"
She pondered this a moment before looking at me with quiet confidence and said, "Popsicles."
Well, okay then.
May I take this moment to say that if a date is only a date if popsicles are involved then I have been grossly cheated by my husband. ;)
I chuckled as I turned and went upstairs to wake Gemma and bring her down to play with her sister as well. In my mind, however, there was a part of me that so grateful for her quiet confidence and her decisiveness. I was NEVER that confident or decisive when I was two, or ten, or twenty for that matter. And in that moment I realized something: God had been slowly but surely answering my prayers all along.
I think every mother deeply desires for her children to learn from her mistakes instead of having to make those same mistakes themselves. I am no different. My earnest desire to please absolutely everyone around led me to never wonder what I would want. I spent all my time and energy being a peacemaker, and it left me feeling hollow. I wasn't making peace for God's glory; I was doing it for my own comfort.
As such, I often felt like wasted space. I wouldn't make decisions because I didn't want to have to take the blame if and when things went wrong. I longed for the confidence of my peers.
In that beautiful moment, seeing my young daughter form an idea in her mind and speak so clearly about what she thought and believed, I didn't care that she thought a date was going out for popsicles. I cared that she answered with certainty and authority. My prayers to my Heavenly Father for her and her sister to be strong, poised and decisive women are coming to fruition, even at this tender young age.
I was reminded of Joshua in the Bible. He is told over and over by God to "...be strong and courageous...", and when the idea was first presented I thought, well, he's following after Moses, and those are big shoes to fill.
But as I studied more and more I wonder if God was telling him to be strong and courageous because he was about to step far outside of his comfort zone. His decisions as leader of the Israelite nation (at that time about two million people) would have very long term repercussions. Talk about intense!
Now, I am no biblical scholar, but it is so reassuring to me that a spiritual powerhouse like Joshua was reminded repeatedly to "...be strong and courageous...", and he is told why:
Joshua 1:9 - "Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go." [emphasis mine]
Where are you needing to be strong and courageous? How can you practice? Maybe it's something as simple as telling your spouse what constitutes a date (even if it's popsicles) or maybe it's a more sensitive area. The fact of the matter is that we are all facing situations that require us to be strong and courageous, and we often need reminded that we can be strong and courageous BECAUSE the Lord our God is with us wherever we go!