Oh, Spencer…God love him. We do, too. But wow. His two and a half years have been showing around these parts more times than I would prefer to see since I’ve really been dealing with obstinate toddlers for about five years now.
In the past 24 hours, he has swiped a lipstick out of my purse and colored on our bedroom walls, the hallway upstairs and Sarah’s room. Soon after he took it upon himself to grab a marker and add his creative flair to the wall of the stairs that’s visible as soon as you walk through our front door. Then somewhere along the line, he scribbled some green strokes on his white dresser.
“See this?” I ask his dimpled and grinning chubby face.
“No more,” I state firmly. This mama means business, Mr. Two. Roar.
I do all of the positive parenting things I’m supposed to do so I don’t damage his heart in the long-run but seriously…
I’ve hit my wall art quota for now.
I explain that I love him dearly but I don’t love this behavior.
“You angry?” he questions.
“Yes. I’m angry, Spence. But remember that there is nothing you could do that would make mama not love you anymore,” I reply.
We move past it and hop in the Swagger Wagon so we can get to church for Bible study.
My three disperse as soon as we walk through the childcare door, anxious to see friends and begin their morning play. I do my mommy-thing of signing everyone in and turn to give kisses.
I find Spencer at the top of the Playskool slide and we are eye-level.
“Bye, Bubby. I love you,” I say as I pucker my lips to give him a kiss.
What he did next was so completely unexpected that it took me a minute to recover after it had occurred.
Instead of turning his pudgy little cheek to free some space for me to plant one on him, he gave me a wet, two year old kiss square on the lips.
He then pulled his head away and wearing a goofy grin said, “I love you more, Mommy!”
And after I giggled a bit at the hilarity of his ability to catch me off-guard, I felt a nudge in the spirit.
“That’s how I love you, too” He said. This was not from Spencer.
Last week, I was a bit upset with God. A little impatient. Never to the point of bitterness, oh no. But just as we have moments of frustration and anger with anyone we know well, we are going to have moments with God when we just want to throw our hands up and say “Really? Are you seriously kidding me?”
Much like the moment I had with Spence just that morning.
And God? He plants a big wet kiss on us every time. He reminds us that His ways are not our ways. He nudges us to remember Jeremiah 29:11 and Romans 8:28. He reaffirms that His M.O. is to refine us so intensely that we are as close to Jesus-like as we can possibly be.
I sit back and receive the kiss. I listen to His words.
And I plant another one on the little face that makes me see and hear Him every single day.