I'm occasionally asked to send a "headshot" of myself to a publication or conference or church. My favorite response was from an editor - who will remain nameless - who proceeded to gently reject shot after shot I sent them, letting me know - again, gently - that they were not quite "cool" enough. I eventually broke through with a photo that passed muster, thanks to my husband's raw camera talent.
So, as I was looking through photos tonight from this past week I couldn't help but laugh at some of these "headshots" of Beckham. If anyone needs to book him for a speaking engagement - here are a couple good options. He could give a rather thorough overview of the ABC's, including A-Z, as well as as 1-10 in his two native tongues. From 11 onward, its a bit patchy... he starts equating eleven with elephant and so forth. But he really nails it by 18. Even slips it in on the way to 10 sometimes.
As I crouched outside of Beckham's door with my forehead pasted on the floor, praying that he would stop crying and simply lay down and go back to sleep, I got to thinking about what similar desires God has for me.
Many categories of struggle in parenting revolve around the idea that we as parents know that our little boy needs to do X, Y, or Z, but he simply does not want to. In our perspective we know that if he is completely exhausted it would be far better for him to simply sleep, regardless of what else he wishes he could be doing. If he has not eaten, we know if would be far better for him now and in the long run if he would simply eat, regardless of what else he would rather do in that moment. These are very basic needs in life, quite obvious to a parent who wants their child to thrive and grow into all they can be.
And so I can't help but wonder - what are basic things God would have me listen to Him about, things He would have me do or not do on a daily basis, actions or disciplines or even just small gestures that, if I would only listen to Him and trust that it is good for me, despite what I might rather do or not do in that moment, and would make a truly transformative impact - on my life, Beckham's life, Anthony's life, and any one else's life who is connected to mine?
I need to do a little analogy calculation, something like this:
Beckham's refusal to eat is to my desire for him to eat and grow healthy and strong as is my refusal to listen to God in ______ way is to God's desire for me to do ______ and grow healthy and strong and more of whom He has created me to be...
I've never been good at analogies... good thing this is not a standardized test but rather a grace-filled journey of sanctification. God... asking for the grace to let me hear You... and in hearing, act as You lead.
I want to listen to God. More. I want to hear God's ideas and follow His lead. I believe with my whole heart that God can and will do exceeding abundantly more than all I could ask or imagine -- but I can all too easily exchange his beauty for cheap momentary satisfaction.
I want to choose discipline daily. I want to choose trust rather than fear. I want to choose love that sacrifices. I want to choose to open my eyes rather than seek sleep. I choose rest in Jesus that does not look like rest I can find on my own.
Courage for me will look like moment by moment listening and movement.
There are circumstancesfrom my childhood that have come to shape my perception of who I am today. This is true for any of us. This will be true for Beckham.
But not all perceptions are reality. Not all beliefs are grounded in truth. Sometimes we live as if we are chained when the reality is that God broke those chains a long time ago and there is a very different way He daily offers us to live.
So this morning during my time for devotion, I went out to our garage and dragged a moldy, rotting relic from my early childhood out onto the driveway - a dresser.
I grabbed an ax and a sledgehammer and... as an act of what I think could aptly be called worship...pummeled that old piece of furniture, pummeled that witness to parts of my childhood that have lingered and morphed into untruths in my life today. Pummeled it to pieces, assigning to each blow all manner of hackneyed, warped, binding lies about my life and who I am, about who I can or cannot become.
Beckham is mastering the art of the very very cute ask. This morning, he was quite insistantly requesting a bath... which in Vietnamese is "tắm." His pronunciation is amazingly accurate... far better than Mommy who is slowwly learning alongside... I love his hilarious little facial expressions - was working hard not to totally crack-up.