I cook. A lot.
Not necessarily because I want to; mostly because I have to. Maybe it’s a mom thing. Maybe it’s a wife thing. Or maybe it’s just a thing. Either way, it’s my thing.
I do enjoy it, even if it is a hassle. I take pride in making food that is not only enjoyed (usually) by my family, but also because it is healthy. Even not-so-healthy food is better when it is made at home with love.
So it came as a surprise to me to one day find my toddler happily chowing down on dog food. Yes, you read that right. Most of you aren’t the least bit shocked to read that. Others of you are just as appalled as me. I mean, I get it. He’s a toddler. He’s teething. So he’s bound to put everything in his mouth, right? But dog food??
Isn't there some proverbial line that makes certain things off limits even to toddlers? I could understand if I was a bad cook and he didn’t eat what I made. Or if he just enjoyed feeding the dogs their food (or my food for that matter). But no – there he was, happily chewing away with dog food in his mouth and in both hands. Double-fisting it, no less.
|Brody and Lucy|
|If it's good enough for the dog,|
it must be good enough for me!
What’s more, it was like World War III when I moved him away from the food. How dare I take from him that which he enjoyed so much? Don't you know how much I want that?! And I want it right now! He wanted it, so he should have it! He screamed and kicked and cried because of this unwanted interference. Hell hath no fury like a toddler who doesn’t get his way.
Time and time again, I have found him trying to sneak and get into the dog’s food bowls. Sometimes, he sees me watching him and he will flash his million dollar smile - as if he knows how much it melts my heart – to distract me from what he’s really doing. I just can't understand why would he want that when I have so much better for him!
I questioned God why my child must perplex me so, why he would repeatedly go after something that wasn't good for him, even after I told him so. And I felt His gentle prodding on my own heart - How do you think I feel? Wait, God… you mean, I do this too?
So I sat and reflected on all the times I wanted my own way. All the many, many times that I was determined that my plans were best and that I knew better; far too many seasons in which I thought God was too far away and out of touch with those things that meant the most to me. When in fact, God knew far more about me than I could begin to imagine; He knew more about me and what was best for me than I did.
God knew that I didn’t really want to marry that guy from high school. God knew that I didn’t need to hang out with those kinds of people. And God also knew that the job I thought I wanted, while I was qualified for it, was not the job I needed.
Rather than marry that guy from high school, He gave me my current husband – who, while imperfect, is perfect for me. Instead of being part of the “popular” crowd, God gave me my small tribe who has my back regardless of the situation and who points me to Him when I start to stray. And if I got the job that I thought I wanted, I wouldn’t be at Care Net helping to impact thousands of lives in our community for His glory.
Because He knows me. He alone knows my heart. He also is the only One who knows my future and what it’s going to take for me to accomplish all that He created me to do. All I need to do is let go.
Just like I know my son. I grew him in my womb for 9 months. I know his breath, his laugh, and the reason for his cry. I know all the good things I have planned for him – things so much better than dog food.
Oh God, let me always remember that your ways are not my ways and your thoughts are not my thoughts. Let me always trust you and that, even when it doesn’t make sense, your purpose for me is far better than anything I could comprehend. Thank you for being such a good Father.