Lesson from the kids

“Mommy, what’s an underdeveloped area of my life?”
The mother sighs and looks to her toddler. “Oh Dave, why do you keep asking that question?”
3-year old Dave stares to the ground, his answer is nothing but a whisper. “I just want to grow, mommy.”
She sighs again before she answers. “All right. You can work on your creativity today. I saw that you can’t color within the lines yet.”
Dave looks up with a determined look in his eyes. “Okay!”, and he runs away to get his crayons.

Does this situation sound familiar to you? Can you remember all those times this happened? No? Me neither.
Children aren’t too concerned about results or too worried about their growth. They laugh and cry, sleep and play, eat and poop; and that’s about how complicated their life gets. But they grow.
Their whole life is reduced to the essentials, but this simplicity only supports their growth. That’s why children teach me the most about the nature of growing.

Most toys are made to stimulate the personal development of a child. But I’ve never met a toddler who wanted to draw with his crayons because it develops his creativity.
Kids play, because it’s fun. And according to them, fun is the very, very, very berry important.
A child crawls into Daddy’s arms, not because it develops trust, but because he likes to be held.
Children don’t cry to process negative emotions, they cry because they want a kiss on their ‘auwie’.
Kids don’t laugh for the release of endorphins, they laugh because dropping a toy from your chair for the 27th time is still funny. Kids don’t  sleep because it makes them more alert during the day, they sleep because they’re tired.
It’s all that simple.

Then there’s me.
Every day I’m trying to grow more by empowering my strengths and reducing my weaknesses. I force myself to fill the whole day with activities that line up with my goals. Everything has to be significant, helpful, useful and strategic. I search in every corner for lessons to learn, I dive into the deep to discover treasures of wisdom, I dig a hole in my heart to get healthy.
And I wonder why I’m always so tired.

I try to grow myself, because somehow I think I can do it better in my own strength than when I surrender to God. That’s not only arrogant, but also very stupid. The four kids of my Redding-family teach me that growing should be effortless. It’s my nature to grow, I can’t help it. The most fruitful soil is full surrender to the One Who makes it rain and makes it shine, Who plants me and Who grows me. It’s not my responsibility to grow, it’s a natural outcome of being alive in God.

So I play, just because it’s (very berry) fun.
I learn, because I like to.
I enjoy life, because it’s my job description.
I love, because it’s in my identity.
I listen, because Papa’s voice is the best sound in the universe.
I surrender, because He is trustworthy.
And I grow, not because I try to, but because I’m eternally connected to the Life-source.

I agree with the kids. Life is really not that complicated. 



Add yours →

  1. I love this :). Please read my blog post on life lessons and let me know what you think 🙂


  2. Hoi Eline
    Helemaal waar. Wat maken wij het leven toch vaak moeilijk. De Here Jezus zei niet voor niets: wees als de kinderen!


  3. Peter Millenaar March 1, 2014 — 11:08 AM

    lieve ELine

    in n woord: GEWELDIG

    wat een leuk stuk heb je geschreven zo raak !!!

    enne…….. je lijkt wel een heeeeeeeeeeeeel ervaren moeder zoals je schrijft over kinderen

    echt super

    ook erg prettig om te lezen het is boeiend niet te lang leuk funny om te lezen

    jammer dat ik achter een laptop zit zou jouw verhaaltjes graag in een tijdschrift willen lezen……liggend op een bank….koffie erbij das genieten en tegelijkertijd ook nog opbouwend en leerzaam


    Date: Sat, 1 Mar 2014 05:22:24 +0000 To: fam.millenaar@live.nl


  4. Love this El! 🙂 you talented girl .! Prachtig hoe je dingen beschrijft 😀
    Liefs Han


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