TITLE: Independence Day
By Lynette Carpenter
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It was one of those mornings! My frustrations were mounded up as high as the piles of dirty laundry littering the floor. Breakfast dishes cluttered the table. Tyler’s first grade math papers were scattered around. Corey, who was in the midst of teething, was crying for mommy to comfort him, and for goodness sakes, to wipe his nose!
In the middle of the chaos, my 2 year old daughter hopped down the stairs. I sighed when I seen how she was dressed.
“Amy,” I said, “your shirt is backwards, and inside out.”
“Backwards?” she repeated.
“Yes, let mommy help you fix it.”
Immediately, she withdrew, “No, Amy do it!”
With everything else that needed to be done, I figured, “what would it hurt to let her try?” So I let her go, and went about my work.
She stood there in the kitchen, as I loaded the dishwasher, and began to pull her shirt off. I noticed that she had her arm coming out of the neck hole, and I had to chuckle at how she walked in circles trying to stretch her little arms around her body.
“No, Amy honey, you need to take your shirt off OVER your head,” I told her.
Turning her back to me, she again informed me, “Amy do it!”
Corey hollered some more, so I went to fix him a bottle. Stopping by Tyler, I checked his schoolwork, then up the stairs to lay Corey in his bed. Returning to the kitchen, I found Amy shoving her shirt down around her knees. Carefully, she brought her feet up through the neck hole and stepped out of the shirt.
“See, mommy!” Miss Independence proclaimed, “Amy do it!”
“Yes,” I said, gazing at the stretched out neckline of her t-shirt. “Now, put it on OVER your head, and make sure the tag is in the back.”
Setting to work right away, she soon had the shirt on properly.
Looking pleased at her accomplishment, she turned and picked up her socks!
I had witnessed enough mornings watching her struggle to put her socks on. Needing to go to the grocery store, I stepped in. Ignoring her displeasure, I put her socks and shoes on her feet, and sent her out to the van.
Going about my work later that afternoon, I thought about my dilemma with Amy. Some people tell me, “Just be thankful that she is independent.” Or “guide her in the right direction, and she will go far.” Others, I am sure, are wondering why I don’t just apply the rod of correction, and insist that she allow my help.
I wondered what God thought.
Then it hit me! I realized that God must feel like I do when I’m watching Amy struggle to do something on her own. I stand there longing to offer my assistance, knowing how much easier life would be for her, if she would let me help her.
“Is God doing that with me right now?” I wondered. Normally, I had my devotions in the morning, but with a teething baby, laundry, and breakfast dishes, I had pushed off my time with God.
John 15:5 came to my mind. “Apart from me, you can do nothing.”
I stopped folding the laundry and went for my Bible.
Soon I understood what God was trying to tell me. He has all the power to help me with my struggles, whether it’s as simple as “putting on my socks” or something much bigger. The Bible says in 1 Corinthians 1:25 “For the foolishness of God is wiser than man’s wisdom, and the weakness of God is stronger than man’s strength.” How foolish I have been so many times, running in circles trying to do things with my own strength, when my Father, who is all powerful, is just waiting, wanting to help me.
My little Amy wasted nearly an hour doing something that would have taken a minute, had she allowed my assistance. But finally, I had to step in when I had other things I wanted her to do.
God has a plan for my life. If I try to do things on my own without His help, I get stuck in a rut, and can’t move on to the bigger and better plans that He has for me. Without Him, I can do nothing. My endeavors amount to little in comparison to what God has for me.
Returning to my laundry basket, I asked God to HELP me today, no matter what I was trying to do.
I smiled at Amy as she walked into the living room to see what I was doing. But I began to laugh when she stooped to pick up her doll. That’s when I noticed… her skirt was inside out.
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