Most of my days as a mom to littles are spent surviving. No really. Our family theme song is “Hot Mess Torrences Comin’ at You Live,” and you don’t come up with a theme song like that if there’s not a reason behind it. Someone is always hungry, thirsty, knocking over something, saying their socks don’t fit right, or grumbling that they don’t like “fill in the blank.”
And you know what? I love this. I love that the Lord gifted me with these littles and that he’s placed my husband (a.k.a.the best daddy in the world) by my side. We have some really amazing days, but we also have some flat-out challenging ones. My greatest desire is that we would spend our days joyfully learning about God, our Creator and Savior, but I have to remember to keep my expectations about how we learn realistic!
Some time ago, we spent a day at the zoo. It was a hot summer day, but I absolutely love zoos and my family enjoys our time there. At the time my son was two and a half and my daughter was one. I was really struggling with the idea that “there has got to be something more I can do in this stage of life than simply survive.” In my single years, I had spent several hours a week putting a curriculum together for children’s ministry, pouring over Pinterest and Google for fresh ideas, fun games, and object lessons. I was feeling so ashamed that I couldn’t find the time to come up with fun activities and lessons for my own children. My desire was there but the act itself always seemed to get away from me. On that particular morning, aware of my need in this area, I simply threw up a prayer for God’s help.
Now my little guy has quite the imagination and when we were halfway through the zoo, he managed to find a yellow bead and proceeded to call it his treasure. This wasn’t unusual, and I said something along the lines of, “Wow! I can’t believe you found treasure!” So we moved along looking at the other animals. We were nearing the end of the walkway when suddenly my son cried out, “My treasure is gone!”
In my impatience with two ready-to-nap-children, I had only one goal in mind, “Get to the car!” But in God’s kindness, he reminded me that he heard my prayer that morning. He cared enough to provide this seemingly bothersome circumstance so I could teach my little guy about his love and care—even for the little things. So I stopped, listened to the Spirit’s gentle nudge, knelt down and said, “Buddy, let’s ask God to help us find you a new treasure because God cares for the little things.” We prayed and then I pleaded in my head that we would find a new bead before we made it to the car.
We were just entering the parking lot, and there it was—one little green bead. An excited grin stretched across my son’s face. He was ecstatic and couldn’t believe it! We bent down to pick it up and I told him, “God cares for the little things. God hears our prayers.” God met both me and my son in that moment. He made known his divine kindness to us.
Hebrews 4:14–16 says: “Since then we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus, the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession. For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin. Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.”
God cares about the little things so much that he entered into my weakness of impatient parenting and sympathized with me. He answered my prayer to make himself known to my children and to reveal his care for them. We can go to him in confidence for even the small things, knowing that he knows us deeply and redeems our hot mess families, consistently pointing us to himself. Let’s remember to throw up our prayers for the little things (and the big!) in every moment of every day because he cares.