Becoming a Companion Helper

I have been married twelve years now. I am still learning so much about marriage and my role as a wife.

My primary desire in life is to bring God glory in all I am and in all I do. With that foundation at the core of my theology, my heart is continually made aware of how often I fail!

I have discovered that the greatest area of failure is in marriage…true. Honestly, I think it is because I do not perceive marriage as the God given ministry that He ordained it to be. In particular, I fail to see my role in marriage as the ministry it has been created to be. My husband’s ministry in marriage is a little more clear to me than my own…especially when he fails in his ministry of marriage…sad right?

I have read book after book on the biblical purpose of marriage and in particular of being a wife. I have learned much from such resources, but like everything, what we know in our heads is useless, if that knowledge is not applied practically in our lives.

As Genesis 2 states, a woman was created FOR the man to be HIS HELPER.

Then the LORD God said, “It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him a helper fit for him.” Gen 2:18

That verse says so much in a few words. As I have pondered it, I collected a few insights from that verse. Many more are to be had, and still more as that verse can be paired with so many other passages in Scripture. But for starters, here are a few thoughts…

1) Adam was is in need of very specific help. God, the creator, would not have created such a complex creature (woman) to fill a need that could have been filled by a simpler creation. I would even venture to guess that woman is God’s most the most complex creation. LOL.

2) Adam wasn’t necessarily aware he had a need. He also wasn’t aware of how he needed help. God is the one who saw Adam’s need and knew exactly what kind of creature (woman) would be a perfect fit for Adam. God knows His creation better than the created knows itself!

3) Eve, the wife, was created…tailor made by God… to be exactly what Adam needed. She was created FOR Adam, not Adam for her. Adam, already existed. Eve was created to fill his need.

4) The need Eve was created to help Adam with was companionship. Adam was ALONE…God did not see that as good. Adam needed a partner, someone with whom to enjoy and share life.

5) God is brought glory as the Creator, when His creation strives to fulfill the purpose for which it was created. What a beautiful couple Adam and Eve must have been together before the entrance of sin into the world and the curse sin brought! Talk about the perfect marriage!

Thinking on those concepts from Scripture, my heart is truly enlightened as I contemplate my modern marriage.

It is hard to have a Biblical marriage without ideas from the sinful world tainting it! Even among church people I have found misconceptions of biblical marriage.

As I said earlier, knowledge of truth alone is irrelevant if it is not lived out.

So how do I seek to live out what I learn about biblical marriage? Honestly, this is an ongoing process for me. I am still learning. And expect I always will be…at least I hope so!

1) Focus on being a companion helper. I was not created to change my husband. I was not created to be my husband’s housekeeper. I was not created for the purpose of being a mate and procreation. I was not created to disciple my husband…I will leave that to other men in the church. I was created simply to be the perfect friend, companion, earthly hand-holder for my husband. So completely simple, yet marred by the complexities of my sinful nature. And so I fail in my purpose time and time again.

How do I focus on being a companion helper? Honestly, I could use more tips in this arena of thinking, because for me, I find it easy to think I am accomplishing my purpose by helping my husband in almost every other way, except being there. I help him by caring for his home, cooking wholesome food, supporting his callings and interests in life, submitting to him, washing and pressing his clothes, doing jobs and errands for him…yes, I truly enjoy ministering to my husband by meeting his material and physical needs. But I greatly err if I think that is the purpose I was created by God to fulfill for my husband! Those tasks can actually cause me to check the “helper” box off without actually fulfilling the one glorious need of my husband that I was created to fill. My husband needs my companionship, far more than my service!

So, going back to the drawing board…what makes a true friend? What defines a faithful companion?

An endearing creature like the Golden Retriever provides a descent illustration of companion helper.

That sweet old dog is simply there…there waiting with expectation at the window for his human friend to return. That dog leaps, and wags in circles of excitement when his human walks in the door. When the dog’s friend invites him along, that pooch leaps into the truck and tag along with his friend, it makes no difference where they are headed, he is just glad to be with his human friend. At home, that dog, lays around watching his human friend rake autumn leaves outdoors and then follows him from room to room around the house. That dog is always there. He doesn’t care if his friend is a drunk, a murderer or a prince. That dog doesn’t care what his friend does for a living…rich or poor. That dog will stick close to his human friend until death. And the dog will look longingly down the road for hours when his human companion packs up for a journey without him. Much more could be and has been said concerning the faithful friendship of a dog. But my point has been made. I have much to learn about companionship from God’s creation.

There are a few habits that are part of my life that are also helpful in keeping me mindful of my purpose to my husband.

1) Greet my husband in the morning, see him off to work with kisses, and welcome him home with excitement and more kisses. Unless I am sick or have a newborn that always happens. My husband never leaves the house without a kiss.

2) Colliding in the day with affection. Weekends my husband is usually home. We both often have household tasks to get done, but as we pass in the hall, or when I take him tea while he works, or such we interact with affection for a moment and in essence join our diverse days.

3) Listening time. When my husband returns home from work, I like to hear about his day. I like to know how he is doing since I haven’t had any or very little contact with him all day. I want to know his conversations and his take on the day he had. It makes me feel connected to him, although we haven’t shared the same experiences in the day. In turn, I connect him to mine and we talk about what we both did. I sometimes find this end of the day connection is easy to disregard as children clamber for attention, dinner is being cooked, or my current emotional state blocks my freedom to communication. I usually like him to share his day first, but there are days I need to clear the air with my thoughts so I can emotionally connect with him. Thankfully, I am married to a very understanding man. It can sometimes take a lot of effort to have a daily conversation about the day!

4) Spend alone time together…every day. We began the habit of putting our children to bed early from their birth…7pm in fact. We are pretty faithful with that time. It gives me and my husband a couple hours of time alone before we too go to bed. Unless we are in the midst of an unusual season, we don’t go our separate ways and do our separate things. Whatever we do, it is done together…read, watch a show, decorate and wrap gifts, work on a house project. Yes! There have been many an evening my husband has a project like a plugged drain, faucet replacement, painting, or light fixture installation to do in the evening. I do not let him work alone. I do not have the knowledge or ability to do some of those things, so like the king retriever, I pull up a chair and keep him company those evening he has work to do. I do not sit there on my phone either…I chat with him, ask dumb questions about what he is doing, and simply enjoy being there with him. It is simple. My husband does travel for work. Those days we cannot be together we spend time talking on the phone…and always text a “good-morning” and “goodnight.” That is what a dear friend would do right?

5. Make his life mine. This is still an ongoing process. I feel that even though we have been married twelve years, we both are changing and growing in the Lord. I strive to have interest in what interests my husband. I might not gave the enthusiasm for NASCAR that he has, but I do not brush it off has “his thing.” It is “our thing.” He has taught me a lot about the ins and outs of the sport. And I seek to know what is going on and will go to races, watch them with him, and support his interest. NASCAR is part of who I am married to, and therefore, important to me. The same with my husband’s job, past, family, dreams, goals… what is important to him and a part of him is also important to me because I love him, I want to be a part of every aspect of his life.

6. Work together. If my husband has a lot to do, I seek to be there and help him get it done. If he needs quiet to write a school paper, I take the children out to a park. If he has enormous yard work and there is something I am able to do, I scrap my plans and join in his. As a couple we minister together. What ministries he chooses to embrace, I fully support, either by joining in too, or by tending to the children and other responsibilities at home so he is free to serve. I have no complaints on that subject. We are in God’s work together and any way we can bring God glory by loving others is a win win in my opinion.

7. Walk through life…holding hands. This may seem like sweet sentiment to some, but in reality the symbolism is powerful. We don’t let go of each other’s hands in a metaphorical context. There is no division of “his life” and “her life”, of “his goals” and “her goals,” “his problems” and “her problems…” It is OUR life, Our goals, and OUR problems… When times are hard we tighten our grip and pull each other up (emotionally) as needed. We are there for each other. Being close to someone involves a constant mental connection. We have that with the Lord as Christians. I believe it is also possible to have that as a married couple. It is trashing the individual mindset and focusing on the mindset of a coupled team. I strive to let my husband never feel alone. I am WITH him in heart, body, mind, and soul.

Busy Seasons of Rest

I sank down on the sofa. A straight week of working till midnight and rising at five. I was beat.

Everyone has their limitations, but for me, those limitations had passed without my notice. I was in the zone. My brain was engaged and so was my body.

My husband and I just bought a house in much need of cleaning and repairs before we could even move in. We worked and worked without the regular concern for ourselves.

It felt good to work hard and see so much accomplished. I had energy and excitement in what I was doing. I slept very little, but also very hard. It was an adventure.

We moved in and so began a whirlwind of unpacking boxes. I wanted to get life in some version of order so I could be in a good position to begin our slightly delayed school lessons.

Two weeks after we moved in, I jumped into school lessons withe the children. My mind got in gear and sleep eluded me. I had so much to do! Home repairs, meals, laundry, cleaning, and now school… Up at 3 a.m. this time. Days simply were too short to accomplish what had to be done! I felt like life was in a constant state of “catching up.” I desperately needed those four hours every morning before the children woke up. I kept going and going…

This is the virtuous woman right? Rising early to prepare for her household? God would give me strength…

Then my body had enough. My ability to control my emotions plummeted. My nerves were raw. I was becoming unpleasant and unpredictable in nature. My weak nervous system began to groan with the bodily an emotional stress.

One day, I went out to get a paintbrush for a bit of priming in the kitchen, only to discover every paintbrush I had used was a hard, rock. I had neglected to wash them properly a few days earlier, and now they were unusable. Bummed, that another day’s work would be delayed until I could get a new brush, my heart swelled with emotions.

I was tired… and I knew it. Suddenly, that crusty paintbrush became a teacher to my heart. Because I realized, that paintbrush was me.

Just like that paintbrush, I am a tool, a tool that is meant to bring the Master glory as I do what He asks each day. For me, God’s work often includes changing a poopy diapers, scrubbing spots off the carpet, teaching four little hearts about God, kissing the man I love, and embracing an unexpected conversation with the neighbor for an hour.

With constant use, and neglect of basic care, any tool will eventually wear out, rust over, be used up, or fall into disrepair. To be of use, a tool needs to be given rest, cleaning, and attention.

It is important to take regular, consistent time for self maintanance and care. that thought, the word “renewal” is very fitting. Renewal is the replenishing of green and life after the deadness and cold of winter. Renewal is the quiet rest of an injured beast beside a cool stream. Renewal a glass of water that has been drunk dry, being refilled with fresh cool water. Renewal is a rusty, old car being given a tune-up and puttering on the road again. Renewal is a weary traveler falling into a soft bed at a hotel, for a night rest before continuing on his journey. Renewal continues until the journey’s end. Renewal is part of the natural cycle of life… physical and spiritual. Renewal, is fresh, quiet, rest, constant, and replenishing…it is a beautiful word.

Take time for Spiritual Renewal:

Romans 12:1-8 pairs beautifully with the value of spiritual renewal in my life.

“Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship.
Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will. For by the grace given me I say to every one of you: Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with the faith God has distributed to each of you. For just as each of us has one body with many members, and these members do not all have the same function, so in Christ we, though many, form one body, and each member belongs to all the others. We have different gifts, according to the grace given to each of us. If your gift is prophesying, then prophesy in accordance with your faith; if it is serving, then serve; if it is teaching, then teach; if it is to encourage, then give encouragement; if it is giving, then give generously; if it is to lead, do it diligently; if it is to show mercy, do it cheerfully.”

Oh my, what a passage to meditate upon during busy seasons of life! How easy it is to conform to worldly acceptable behaviors as my schedule fills up and stressful, crazy days become regular features in my life. Stress, worry, fear, complaining, exhaustion are truly patterns of a heart that is worn out and not renewed. It is essential that I prioritize time in each day for mental renewal and falling into those wonderful mercies that are new every morning (Lamentations 3:22-23). By taking the time to mentally rest and reboot, my mind is renewed. Honestly, renewing my mind is key to allowing God to work through me daily.

There are many ways to renew spiritually. I find worship and prayer with other believers to be at the top of my list. Quiet time in prayer is wonderful as well. Fasting added to prayer is a very focused way to renew spiritually. Studying Scripture has often filled me with fresh joy and awe of God as well. Sometimes, all I can fit into a day is what I fill my ears with as I go…Biblical teaching, preaching, and worship music are invaluable on days that turn upsidedown.

Take time for physical Renewal:

Sometimes a doctor visit, nutritional supplements or medicine is needed to help a mother be her best. Sometimes a daily bath is necessary to calm nerves and heal a weary body. Sometimes a nap must be a daily priority. During seasons, I have found a cup of chamomile tea essential before bed, in order for a good night sleep to occur. Of course, healthy eating, exercise, and drinking adequate water can help a Mama feel her best as well. I feel it is important to build healthy habits into my day. A savory breakfast is an essential start to my morning. A woman should feel no guilty for giving her body the rest it needs to perform the tasks set before it. However, she should feel guilt if she is unable to perform what God has given her to do because she fails to seek out needed help for her health, eat wholesome food, skip meals, neglect a reasonable bedtime, or as I was at fault…even rising too early! Caring for my body is part of what makes me able to be an effective sacrifice to God’s work through me.

So many women like myself fall into the trap of thinking that self-care is selfish. We neglect needed rest, nutrition, and general maintenance of the tool (our bodies) we have that is made by God, in God’s image and for God’s own glory. Yes, self-care can become idolatry, pride, and selfishness. I have learned to keep in balance my self-care by asking myself, if by doing “______________” will I will be better able to minister and serve my Savior? Often the answer to that question determines my action.

I have learned that in both the busiest, most stressful seasons of life, as well as on the days with a regualar beat, it is easy for the spiritual and physical life to become neglected. For me, the result is attitude, ingrattitude, worry, fear, and lack of focus. I loose my awe of Christ. I loose my purpose in life. I become emotionally and physically raw and needy. In essance, I succumb to being controlled by earthly things instead of the Holy Spirit, and am unable to effectivly and joyfully fullfill my service to God.

Renewal is essential to my journey, and the journey of all Christians. Renewal was even given an entire day of the week in creation! It is essential to both our physical and spiritual well-being, just as it is important to properly use and clean a paintbrush while its services are needed.

Little Whos are People Too

“Come on little whos, let’s hurry to the car!” I tried to hurry my four children into the van after an afternoon library trip. Their arms were full of as many books as they could carry. The wind had brought an autumn chill to the air. And each child was stammering complaints, hunched over; their arms full of books while they sluggishly moved toward the van in the parking lot.

“My little whos”… sigh… I often find myself latching onto temporary pet names for my children. Often a made up word rolls off my tongue… “Peetalpie,” “Bottlebee” or “Pumpkin Heart” It is literally whatever is on my mind in any given moment.

Lately, my children have been called “Whos.” Anyone familiar with the story, Horton Hears a Who, written by Theodor Seuss Geisel, AKA Dr. Seuss, is also familiar with the quote, “A person’s a person, no matter how small.” The speck of the city of Whoville, filled with microscopic people called Whos, has become iconic to all Dr. Suess fans.

For me, calling my children “whos” began very much by accident, but as I have caught myself recently using that particular pet name, I have been pondering how important it is for to me to see each of my children, and every child with whom I interact, as a true person, complete with feelings, understanding, and heart.

So often, like most Mamas, I neglect seeing my little ones as people. I see children as responsibilities, sometimes interruptions or inconveniences, sometimes loads of fun and cuteness; certainly minds and bodies to be trained and tended… but yet… despite any perception I might be currently feeling toward my child, my underlying focus must be to be aware of that child’s person-hood.

It is essential that I look into those little eyes and listen to the chatter of the soul within. I am not talking of a child centered version of parenting, or a mama loosing her identity as Mother and becoming simply a buddy with her child.

I am valuing the intentional engagement of a child as a person. Treating a child as a visible and an aware being, is essential to raising children who behave responsibly and grow up. Not demeaning, ignoring, or talking over a child are part of that concept. It is also important to engage a child in grown-up concerns, thoughts, and responsibilities, as well as seriously engaging in a child’s little world of cares, play, and thrills.

I have found that when I perceive my children as persons, my conversation and expectations follow suit.

There are many ways an adult can show value to a child’s person hood.

A real person has feelings, fears, struggles, hard things (yes, even little ones!), frustrations, perspectives, ideas, awareness…

A child who is not treated like a person is perceived as a lower grade than an adult, feelings are not considered, what the child sees and hears about himself or herself is what is heard about Him instead of to him. A child is belittled. A child is ignored. Basic greetings and etiquette are not given to a child, nor expected from a child. Essentially, a child is endured, trained, and educated, yes, even loved, but not truly known or enjoyed. I do not want that to be my children. Have I failed? Often do and still will. But, I strive to value my little whos for the precious individuals God created them to be.

I have found a few helpful thoughts and actions can practically aid in my desire to see past the height and current development of my child and into the person they are.

1) Inclusion into the events of my world. I like my children to know what is going on in my life. I don’t sneak or hide situations from them for convenience sake. For instance, I have often had a friend or even both Jim and I, friends, over in an evening after the children’s bedtime. I do tell my children that someone is coming over after they are in bed. Yes, they would not know the difference if I didn’t tell them, but it makes good conversation the next morning as my little whos inquire how my evening went, and if I had a good visit. They are a part of my life and I want them to know I will be visiting after they are in bed should they need me, as well as being aware of what is going on. I also want them to respect me as a person and my need for friendships and time with others. Everyone doesn’t exists for my children and my life belongs to God and His work, which includes my children but is not exclusively about them.

2) Providing information on life events is also important. When children are not yet readers, they have no way of knowing what is happening. I like to read to them a lot, from grocery store adds to signs on the road. I also like them to be informed about the happenings in our family life a few days in advance…if we are going to get groceries, a doctor appointment, a weekend at Grandma’s house. I want them to have as few surprises in life as possible, so I try to keep them in the loop as much as I am able.

5) Being transparent with a child is a communication opener. I must be honest in conversation and let them know I am also human. I let them know when I am having a hard day. I apologize when I am grumpy and unreasonable…or simply wrong in my judgement. I let them know areas in my life that the Lord is working on me. We talk about it. It interests them. They grow from seeing my humanness and I find it breaks down walls and opens conversations into discussing their humanness.

6) Make eye contact during conversations. As adults, we respect and value friends who truly care about us. Those are the ones we know listen when we speak. Those friends who ask how we are doing and really want to know… Why? Because true friends focus on what we say. As a mother, part of raising my children is listening to them. Yes, the little ramblings of their hearts may seem shallow and sweet to me now, but how often I have landed in a deeper, heartfelt conversation with my child, because I took a moment to look in their eye and ingest their ramblings!

7) Don’t talk about a child as though he or she is invisible while that child is standing in ear-shot, hearing every word. Doctor appointments are sometimes the most difficult for me, because I am there to inform the doctor about any concerns I have with my child, while my child is in the room! Awkward! In general, I do not talk about my children while they are in the room. I do my best to include them in the conversation I am having with someone.

8) Do not let a child defer responsibility to Mama. I do not consider it selfish to make my children think of me or apologize to me for causing me inconvenience. If my child causes a mess that I have to pick up, I point out how inconsiderate that was of her or him, and demand their apology. I also stress that they care for other humans in need, even each other. I don’t want them to see the trouble of someone else, like a sibling, as Mommy’s responsibility, but theirs as well. For instance, if one of my daughters falls on the sidewalk, while her sister is swinging on a swing a few feet away, the sissy who is swinging needs to rush to injured sissy’s aid. I have some children that see the needs of others more readily than others. I have had to teach my children to rush to help, not wait for mommy, but be responsible themselves. I often find now, that my children run to each other for consolation and a bandage instead of mommy. It does my heart good to finish fold my laundry and be greeted by two of my girls, one who has already been bandaged up and tears dried, as they inform me of how the scrape occurred. Taking personal responsibility others in  trouble is compassion. As well as taking responsibility for ones own messes is important. I am potty training my little son. He is doing well, but still has occasional accidents. If he has an accident, I have trained him to come get me, but it is his job to clean up his own poop. I don’t do it. I might sanitize after he is done, but he needs to learn to clean up his own messes as much as he is able. If a child makes a mess they are incapable of setting right…a broken dish for instance. I do ask them to apologize to me for the broken dish and extra work. If they are able, and it is safe, I will include them in helping me clean or repair the damage done.

9) Include children in the hard things. Children should understand death, suffering, pain, trauma, and poverty, are all a part of life. I do not shelter my children from such things at any age. As much as I am able, I include my children in hospital visits, funerals, and in prayer for those we know who are in crisis. I never underestimate the prayers of a child. It is also invaluable for them to learn how to respond and treat others during hard times. Even as an adult, I am still figuring out how to respond to various situations, so what I learn, I pass on to my children. I like include them in real life scenarios from birth, and do not believe it is healthy to shelter them from the rough stuff in life.

10) Keeping my word is essential to building trust and dependency with adults as well as children. So many adults give false promises or even threats to their children. It is easy to say words like “We are going home if you act out one more time” But with three other children and a doctor appointment in an hour, keeping that promise is going to cause a lot of trouble, or it won’t be kept. Even, ” Grandpa and Grandma are coming in a couple days,” Can be cause for confusion should they get sick and be unable to make it. So, I do my best to consider the promises or warnings I give my children. I do not commit to anything I am unable to fulfill. I say “maybe” and “we will see.” lot… Life is uncertain, so I like to leave a lot of open ends in our plans in case God changes things. My children have become familiar with the phrase, “If God says “yes” or “no” … we don’t know yet.” I also do not make many promises to my children. Nothing is for certain, and I as an adult am still trying to live in that mindset.

11) My favorite part of treating my child as a person is engaging in the amazing wonderments and thoughts of their little minds. I engage in every question, no matter how personal or complicated. I do not shelve subjects for a later time or date. I believe every question can be answered with an age appropriate response. If my five year old daughter want to know how babies begin inside, I simply say that “God works a beautiful miracle and puts a tiny person inside a mommy.” My six-year-old asked once why God created His enemy Satan, which caused me to read up a bit and led into an amazing discussion about the gospel and a God who planned redemption before creation. I love the questions my children have, and do my best to capture the moment, not making them wait until they are older or find the answer impersonally from another source.

12) Etiquette is showing love to others including little others. I try to be polite in front of my children! I don’t “let it go” while they are about. I say “please” and “thank-you” to them. Now, I might spend some time rolling around on the floor in a tickle frenzy with them, but that doesn’t mean I am “not” a lady. I find the foundation of every etiquette book I have read to simply be,loving others. What shows the best consideration and kindness to someone else in a given moment is what is polite. I do insist my children show the best kindness they can to others as well. “Please” and “Thank you” are required, as is “good morning.” I make a point to greet all of my children cheerfully each day with “good morning.” They naturally return the greeting. For meals, we sit at the table and converse while we eat. I do not allow my littlest children to run about while the rest of the family eats dinner. If a child is done eating early, I ask them to look around, “Daddy is not done, Mommy is not done, sissy is not done…you can sit and wait….tell Daddy something you learned in school today.” My children have learned to ask to leave the table. One does not just get up when he or she is done and leave the room. My children even ask if they can get something during the meal like salt or some more water… we are all learning, little by little, what it means to be considerate of others and how very important that is.

13) I never ever, ever lie to my children or allow my children a lie. I realize this may be a controversial subject to some mothers. But, this is simply what I do and why. I do teach my children there are lies that exist. For instance, we don’t lie to our children about Santa Clause. They know Santa is used in the celebration of Christmas, especially by people who don’t know Christ. We don’t avoid storybooks or movies about him, but we make sure our children know Santa is not real, and we do not include him in our celebration of Christmas, and our children know why. We do the same with the tooth fairy. Our children happily announce that their Daddy is the tooth fairy. I also tell my children about the lie of evolution. Saying that there are people who do not believe in God and need an explanation for how the world began instead of by God, so evolution has been that lie for many years. Telling my children a lie, and telling them about a lie are very different in my mind. There are many lies out their from body image to immorality that my children will encounter. I do not need to add to that by lying to my children. And honestly, it is just as equal a sin to lie to an adult just as it is to a child. Deceit is a lie as well. I do not intentionally trick or deceive my children into doing something. I do not make up quippy answers to their sincere questions either. Even in fun, lying can be harmful. How often has someone said something in jest that hurt. That person can brush it off as just a joke and blame me for taking it wrong, but it hurt. Either it was untrue and should not have been said, or it was true and the idea it was a joke was a lie.

Those are truly a few of the various methods I find helpful to treat my little whos as people. I honestly owe much of my thinking on the subject to my mother who was a shining example in treating me as a person…no matter how small. She often told me how important it was for her to say “goodbye” to her children before leaving them in a church nursery or with a sitter. She never scooted off while we were occupied. She treated even her little blabbering babies with common respect.

I realize, seeing from the perspective of a little mind, body, and heart can be challenging for some, and even I who endeavor to show the respect of person-hood to my children, fail so often. But I am comforted that it is not entirely impossible, because we were all little whos once too. And in God’s eyes, we will always be little, yet with such gentleness, tenderness, and compassion He leads us!