I trust my toddler when he says he is hungry or thirsty. I offer him something to eat or drink as soon as I can. I trust my toddler when he shows me he doesn’t want to sit still any longer and needs some exercise. I trust him when he seems tired or overwhelmed and wants to go home.
I trust him when he throws himself on the floor and cries. I believe him and acknowledge that he is upset. I trust that he is worth listening to.
I trust that his interests are valid and important. Although it may be boring to me, I trust him when he wants to spend hours on one activity. I trust that only he knows how he can learn best. Only he knows what he enjoys the most.
I trust that his words are important when he talks to me. I pay attention to every time he points out a bird or a car or a plane. I trust that if it is important to him, it should be important to me.
I’m teaching him that his words are worth hearing and his interests are worth having. I’m teaching him that he has great value. When I trust my toddler, I’m teaching him that he can trust himself.
I feel like a strong person. I feel grounded and settled in my innermost being. I feel strong and capable physically and like I’m prepared for the hard days of motherhood.
I feel strong when I accomplish hard tasks. I feel strong when I help someone in need despite all my own needs. This is a good satisfaction I feel with my hard work.
I feel strong when I do what I want to do and go where I want to go and make it work with my little guys in tow. I feel strong when I manage my time well so my toddler doesn’t feel rushed but I’m still arriving at my destination on time. I feel strong when I’m not stressed but focused on what needs to happen. I feel strong when I enjoy the little moments even through all the hard work.
I feel strong when I give and make sacrifices no one even knows about. I feel strong when I overcome and push through the way I feel. I feel strong when I can keep the secret things secret and not make excuses and not explain all my struggles when it’s not the right time.
I feel strong when I realize I am in control of my self, my emotions, my words, my actions, and my reactions. I feel like nothing can break me down. I feel powerful. I AM strong.
You can control the body of a person if you are stronger but not their mind and heart. When force and pain is involved, obedience on the outside can happen but you are likely to have bitterness and anger and fear on the inside. I see this as only half hearted obedience. You can’t force someone to obey and cooperate with their heart. You can inspire them to be on your team and to trust you and to want to please you.
Jesus said “if you love me, you will obey me.” He is God. He could’ve said, “I will strike you down dead if you don’t obey!” He could have chosen to control our minds even and force complete submission to him. He could have even said, “if you fear my power, you will obey.” But why did he say, “if you LOVE me”?
If I truly love God, I will obey Him because I want to please Him. All He has to do is tug on my heart to correct me, and I am quick to apologize and change. What a beautiful thing a heart of obedience is! It is a heart that wants to do what is right.
God has given us free will. He lets us go our own way but His love is wooing us to Him. It just wouldn’t be love if we were forced to obey.
It is by love that my children will obey me with their hearts and bodies. Of course they can choose to disobey. But their power to choose makes their obedience such a beautiful thing. When my son obeys me I know it is from a heart of love and trust and that he is slowly learning self-control. This makes me feel very pleased with him and happy that we have such a good relationship.