Sometimes it is good to drag your teenager out with you even if they pretend that they are not interested. This past week my teenager and I went to the art museum's free day to an exhibit I really wanted to see before it ended. Surprisingly, she enjoyed the exhibit more than I.
About mid-way through an exhibit of mixed media sculptures, my daughter loudly states, "Museums are not good places for me." She has a thing about touching stuff. This, of course, set museum security on high alert and we pretty much had personal escorts the rest of our visit. I could have chastised her and told her to get a grip or gotten frustrated but I could only chuckle. You see, I am a very tactile person (not so much with people but take me to a fabric store...). My daughter has very much inherited this trait from me. It was a moment of connection.
We are at a place in our relationship where she feels that she has to prove she is her own person, a young woman not a child. She needs to believe that she does not need mommy hovering so she can have the courage to fly from the nest soon. Some young people do this by shutting out their parents, creating a persona that is contrary to their parents, or are just plain touchy about anything their parents try to do.
Actually, I do this myself with God on occasion. "Hey God, I got this, I can do it myself." Let's not mention all the times I hide in social settings or just let the old flesh flare up and act utterly depraved. I have been daring enough to doubt Him, forget His goodness, and stray from what I know is truth. Yet, God is gentle with me. His grace is poured out over and over. Even in moments where He corrects me, He is patient because He is growing me in sanctification. Psalm 103:10-14 is a great reminder of God's steadfast love, grace, and patience.
I have to ask myself, "Do I practice this? Am I offering up grace in the face of personal rejection? Am I patient in correcting others? Am I steadfast in walking alongside those who are in my life? Am I pointing over and over to Jesus and how He has shown me grace?"
You probably already know the answer. The lesson is that I need to remember this when my final little bird is testing the water, when she is seeking to find the edges of who she is, and how the world fits in to what she has been taught. When she flies from the nest, I want to know that she has heard the Gospel and it has touched her life, if not completely transformed it.
So, the museum was a sweet lesson in self-control for both of us. We talked about how it is good to sometimes
put yourself in situations where you must practice controlling your
impulses. Over those moments, we connected, we shared. She knew I was her mother,
my child, and nothing would change that and, I think for just a moment,
she was at peace with me.
And just to linger in that moment a little longer, we went to the gift shop and together
touched every knick knack, souvenir, and trinket then went to eat colorful, icy snow cones. It
was nice but more than that, it was time spent letting grace be touched, examined, experienced, and applied.
Thank you God.