Yesterday was kind of a strange day. It was C’s 3 year birthday, which was lots of fun. We stayed up the night before decorating the house with D, who got really into it. In the morning, we made our birthday boy his favorite wheat chocolate chip pancakes and opened presents. Daddy came home for lunch and we all got to spend time together. We went to the dollar store and C got to spend all his quarters at the gumball machine. We colored pictures together in the afternoon. Then we headed to our favorite donut shop, Gibson’s, for a birthday treat. (Unfortunately, C fell asleep on the way there and could not be roused at all! So we grabbed his Texas-size birthday donut and headed back home. Ha!) All of that was great fun. I love birthdays and I especially love to celebrate the kiddos that God has loaned to me. The strange part of the day was how older brother D just could not handle the fact that yesterday was designed around another person, not himself. His attitude grew increasingly worse throughout the day, and honestly so did mine. My sweet mother assures me that this his behavior is normal 4-year-old behavior, that he will eventually learn otherwise and I sure hope she’s right! But yesterday, it felt anything but normal.
When my husband got home yesterday, he found the boys playing, the baby laying on our bed, and me in our closet nose to the carpet, begging God for wisdom and perspective. The funny thing is that God had really answered that prayer even before I prayed it. This weekend in church, we sang a favorite hymn, “Be Thou My Vision” by Byrne. I really love that hymn and have several different recollections of how God has worked in my heart through the lyrics. This time I sang it, for the hundredth time, and a new thought came to my mind. It does not say, “Be Thou my vision, O Lord of my eyes.” It says, “Be Thou my vision, O Lord of my heart.” The vision this hymn is talking about has nothing to do with actually being able to see. I don’t even think it’s talking about circumstantial clarity. I think it’s talking about being able to see with spiritual eyes, and spiritual eyes alone. So I sang the entire hymn with my eyes intentionally shut tight and God’s light flooded my soul. It was invigorating to think of being blind to things seen, losing the ability to judge a situation on what my eyes observe and learning to live by how God steers my soul.
How I need that perspective, His perspective, in parenting (and all over my life)! God sees the souls of my kids and the finished story of their lives. I can see neither. He knows what is going on in their little heads and hearts. I can only guess. In fact, my physical vision may often mislead me as I make conclusions about them based on what I see. Spiritual vision, granted by God and through constant communication with Him is my only hope in being able to truly parent. How many things in life are designed to bring us back to Him! “Waking or sleeping, Thy presence my Light.”
Now you try it… Close those eyes and sing,
“Be Thou my vision, O Lord of my heart, naught be all else to me, save that Thou art. Thou my best thought by day or by night, waking or sleeping, Thy presence my Light.
Be Thou my wisdom, and Thou my true word. I ever with Thee and Thou with me Lord. Thou my great Father, I thy True son. Thou in me dwelling and I with Thee one.
Riches I heed not, or man’s empty praise, Thou mine inheritance, now and always. Thou and Thou only, first in my heart. High King of heaven, my treasure Thou art.
High King of heaven, my victory won! May I reach heaven’s joys, O bright heaven’s Sun! Heart of my own heart, whatever befall, still be my vision, O Ruler of all.”