I chuckle to myself when I consider what a different life my youngest child lives at age three compared to my oldest who was three years old 23 years ago.
You could say the times have changed in the last 20 years, and I am sure that would be true. But the biggest difference in our home must be the difference in being the oldest of ten and the youngest of ten.
Josiah, our three-year-old, has so many doting teens hanging over him that on some days he is not sure whether to play Thomas the Tank Engine or I-pod Touch Moron Test. His life is an eclectic mixture of seasons and styles.
Like the other day for instance. We were driving down the road when suddenly Josiah shouted from his car seat, "Mommy, that is the car I am going to buy when I get my driver's license!" In a crazy way, I am finding, through this mid-life baby experience, that a three-year-old can be surprisingly advanced when he wants to be.
But his advanced experiences can still shock me. The Cherry side of the family has quite the athletic heritage. We have a reputation of producing basketball players and runners. (Please do not look to our family to field a football team, however!) So Josiah understands this quite naturally. He has personally spent a high percentage of his babyhood either at church or on a sideline somewhere.
So when Dad had the great idea to begin entering our whole family into community sponsored 5K and 3K road races, Josiah automatically assumed he would be included. Only he did not tell us that fact.
We were at a race this summer with all the older kids participating in either the three mile run or the kids’ one mile fun run. I was the water girl and chief fan. As I cheered each runner across the finish line, my pride swelled up in my heart. Wasn't I a good mom to help my children learn such great discipline and strength?
As we celebrated the finish of the race, I headed up to the party area where the race sponsors fill you with enough calories to counterbalance your expenditure. About ten minutes later, I was shocked to look up and see Hannah, our 14 year old, carrying in her arms my sweaty little buddy Josiah.
Hannah was irate. "Mom, how could you?! I told Josiah all through that one mile race that you would be at the finish line with all the grandparents to cheer him on! Where were you? No one was there to even see him come through!"
And this good mother thought he was still in his stroller. He still asks me every now and then why I wasn't there!
Last weekend was my chance to be redeemed. It was road race time again. And this time Josiah assumed we had signed him up. Have you ever seen 3 1/2 year old legs cover four laps of a quarter mile track? It was quite a sight to behold.
He was all smiles when he crossed the finish line with ALL siblings and ALL parents AND all grandparents cheering. We are now redeemed in his eyes!
I still laugh to consider what it would have taken to coax/bribe/threaten Nathan at age three to run a one mile race. We never would have believed he could. And he never tried. On the contrast, Josiah has no reason to believe he can't! So he ran!
Wow, what could I accomplish for Jesus if I simply had no reason to believe that I couldn't? What could my children accomplish if I lifted the lid of my expectations over their lives? Do you think God's word could be true that says, "I can do ALL THINGS through Christ who strengthens me?" I can almost hear my Heavenly Father cheering me like I did Josiah last weekend. "Come on Lisa, you can do it! Just duck your head and run!"
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