I remember it like it was yesterday- the very first time I ever sat my daughter on the potty. I had read in some book that 9 months was the perfect age to begin potty training because at that stage the children are less defiant and very much want to please their parents.
So one morning right after my daughter woke up, I decided that today was the day. I carried my sweet girl into the bathroom, took off her diaper, sat her on her little Lion King potty seat, and waited.
And to my absolute amazement, she did it! She peed in the potty!
So of course I began doing what every good parent would do. I clapped, I cheered, I congratulated. There may have even been a bit of dancing. I let my girl know that what she had just done was very good, that it made mommy proud, and that it should definitely be repeated again.
And then, of course, I posted about it on Facebook. Clearly the world needed to know how amazing my kid was!
My apologies to all of my Facebook friends for being an obnoxious first-time parent.
Also, please don’t feel like you have to immediately start potty training your 9 month old now. Believe me, it was a LONG process!
The point is though, us parents are really good at celebrating our kids accomplishments- big or small. The first time they roll over, smile, take those precious first steps, dress themselves, kick a ball, share a toy, get good grades. It doesn’t matter what it is. It doesn’t matter that pretty much everyone else in the entire population of the world can do it too.
We are proud of them, proud of the progress that they have made.
Recently, the Lord reminded me that He feels the same way about us. When we control our frustration and don’t yell, when we put our husbands needs before our own, when we take the time to stop and buy a meal for the homeless, when we make our time with Him a priority every morning- He sees us and He is proud of us, proud of the progress that we are making.
A popular worship song by Chris Tomlin says,
You’re a good, good father
It’s who you are
And I’m loved by you
It’s who I am
He is indeed a good father who loves us very much. Romans 8:16 says “The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God’s children”. If we love and celebrate our own children’s accomplishments – big or small, think about how much more our heavenly Father loves and celebrates us.
He doesn’t expect perfection. He understands that we are going to mess things up sometimes. He knows our personality quirks and He knows what issues we struggle with. He also knows how to help us and how to comfort us.
Just as we are always there for our own children, He is always there for us. Gently guiding us, teaching us, disciplining us when we need it, and celebrating with us when we get it right.
So here’s the secret sweet Mama: it’s about the little things. What makes God proud are the steps in the right direction, the small victories, the progress that is being made. He’s clapping and cheering you on and so am I. You’ve got this!