This weekend we had the joy of babysitting our youngest grandchild. She's five months old and growing so fast! With a baby, there's always something that needs to be done to properly care for their needs...diapers need changing, tummies need feeding, then there's burping and rocking, constantly doing.... As a type A personality, I'm an over achiever. I am used to being perpetually busy, making sure things are always on par. I have trouble sitting still. I have trouble relaxing. God wanted to show me something this weekend. He wanted to teach me a valuable lesson and I wanted to share it with you just in case some of you might be type A personalities too.
I had been taking care of the baby for the past hour. She was now fed, burped, changed and sleepy. Usually when we babysit, all of the childcare falls on me because my husband isn't very sure of himself with those types of things, but he does love to hold and rock the babies. Since the baby was content and sleepy, I asked him if he would like to hold her and rock her to sleep. He grinned and said he'd love to do that. I gently placed our granddaughter into his arms and made sure she was well positioned and covered with a blanket. I stepped away and he began to rock her gently back and forth, back and forth.
As I watched him, my heart strings were being gently tugged...here was this big 6'4" 250 pound man gently cradling this tiny, 14 pound baby. His hand looked massive next to her tiny one! As he continued to rock, he began to softly sing to her and I couldn't help but just stare. He looked up and asked if he was doing something wrong and I said, through tear filled eyes, "oh, no...you're doing everything right." He continued to rock and then he stopped and just looked down at the baby's face. He tenderly brushed his hand against her cheek and said "isn't she just beautiful?"
God used that very moment to speak to my heart. He showed me that yes, all the busywork needed to be done in caring for a baby, but my husband had seen the better part. Just like Mary and Martha in the Bible...my husband, big, strapping, man that he is had chosen to capture the better part of these precious moments with our grandchild.
Instead of just sitting and reveling in her beauty...marveling at God's creation for a few minutes, I had been too busy. I had been making sure she was clean and fed and diapered. I had been too wrapped up in the necessary chores to see that we were in the presence of one of God's greatest gifts...the gift of life. I suddenly felt ashamed that I hadn't taken time to just sit and rock...just sit and marvel...just sit. Why do I have such a hard time relaxing? Why do I have such a hard time just enjoying the moment???
God smiled and spoke to my heart..."this is what I've been trying to teach you all along, my daughter. Remember the old poem you read as a teen..."cleaning and scrubbing can wait til tomorrow, for babies grow up we've learned to our sorrow, so quiet down cobwebs, dust go to sleep, I'm rocking my baby and babies don't keep"...don't you remember? I thought for a moment and did remember that poem and how sweet I thought it was the first time I'd read it. I'd never put it into practice though, after 7 grandchildren. Was I going to be the same with this one? Was I going to constantly worry about the busywork and not focus on the better part? I felt a check in my spirit. No, this time would be different.
The baby began to stir and she needed her diaper changed. I reached down to take her from my husband. As I took her to change her diaper, I looked down into her precious blue eyes and smiled. What a blessing you are, I thought to myself...I will choose the better part from now on. Yes I will do what needs to be done, but I won't forget to spend time enjoying you too!
After the diaper change, as the baby lay on my bed, I reached down and tickled her tummy. She began to squirm and then she smiled. I continued to play with her and soon she was laughing. Oh the beautiful peal of laughter that came from her tiny body...this indeed was much better than just worrying about her care...this part, the better part...the moments that were fleeting and could never be recaptured....could I learn to relax long enough to enjoy these things? Could I put aside the cleaning and scrubbing long enough to just tickle and giggle and grin? Yes! God was doing a new work in my heart and teaching me that this was more important than any other thing...just seeing and knowing and being sure of the fact that He was good! That He created life for us to enjoy! That love was the greatest gift of all and that He wanted me to learn to let go and relax.
Thank you Father, for teaching me such a valuable gift through such a tiny little one. Thank you for my tender, loving, caring husband who showed me the better part....and thank you God for always being so patient with me when I get too busy to just relax and enjoy what you've set before me.
Luke 10:38-42 " As they were traveling along, Jesus went into a village. A woman named Martha welcomed him into her home. She had a sister named Mary. Mary sat at the Lord's feet and listened to him talk. But Martha was upset about all the work she had to do. So she asked, "Lord, don't you care that my sister has left me to do the work all by myself? Tell her to help me." The Lord answered her, "Martha, Martha! You worry and fuss about a lot of things. There's only one thing you need. Mary has made the right choice, and that one thing will not be taken away from her."