Lessons about humility when he is screaming in the middle of a store.
Lessons about patience when I'm waiting on the slowest toddler ever to walk from the front door to the car.
And lots of lessons in my relationship with God, and how he views me as His child.
Actually I think having Eli has only given me a teeny tiny glimpse of how God feels about me. It was hard to fathom before I was a parent, and now that I have Eli I feel like I kind of understand it, but only a human level.
Sometimes I will experience a situation with Eli or be in the middle of disciplining him, and the realization of how similar this is to my walk with God will hit me hard. Or sometimes it's just a small whisper. Either way, the similarities are there and are sometimes eerie.
This morning when I woke up I looked at the weather and saw it was going to be a beautiful day so I decided to take Eli to the zoo.
We have a zoo pass which is so great for quick trips to the zoo. I don't feel like we have to stay all day to "get our money's worth" we can go visit the zoo for a couple of hours and leave in time for our afternoon nap.
Eli was so excited to go to the zoo and couldn't wait to see the monkeys. which was our first stop once arriving at the zoo.
I must clarify I don't always let Eli bark orders at me like some kind of toddler dictator, but I had no agenda and we are rarely at the zoo just the two of us with no time limit so bark I let him.
We made our way to the elephants, he looked at the elephants for about 2. 5 seconds and said ok now tigers.
So off I went to the tigers. I know I'm like a minute pregnant (more like 17 weeks) but I couldn't believe how much it was already taking a toll on my body. I can normally zip around the zoo pushing Eli's stroller (with 30 pounds of toddler seated inside) with no problem.
Today was a different story, I was huffing and puffing at some points, and even thought about asking the single dad with his daughter who was trying to flirt with me if he would give me a back massage. I was that desperate.
But we were on an animal-seeing mission so I kept on huffing and puffing like I was at some workout boot camp instead of just a leisurely day at the zoo. Eli kept declaring his interest to see the giraffes and I was there to serve him (for only a couple of hours then once we left the zoo our normal mother-toddler son relationship resumed)
He sang of his love for the giraffes the whole way to the OTHER side of the zoo. I knew we would spend at least 3 minutes staring at the giraffes and maybe mama could get some rest because that baby the size of an apple inside her was WEARING HER OUT.
We made it to the giraffes. I pulled the stroller into a spot for spectacular giraffe viewing. It was around the time that the wheels on the stroller stopped moving that Eli said "oh now go see zebras".
I'm sorry. COME AGAIN? Didn't I just trek across the zoo with you singing of the giraffes praises the entire way, thinking you would relish in the beauty of the long neck, long legged animal only for you to give it a MERE GLANCE.
And this is when one of those life lessons grazed across my mind. Or heart? Or maybe both.
So many times in life I ask God for something. I SING MY PRAISES of Him and how I need this particular thing or situation in life to change. I wait for whatever it is to come and when God delivers......I immediately say ok now help me get "this" (fill in the blank with whatever it is in life that I think I need at that moment).
I'm not even talking material things. There have been times I have struggled with something, longed to be free of something, and just as soon as I experience a blessing from God no sooner than I can say "thank you" am I already asking for the next thing.
Not even taking time to praise Him for what He has done. For who He is.
Obviously the zoo story and my relationship with God are on two completely different levels in life, but yet I love how God uses these times with my son to teach me, to help me better understand my relationship with Him. I love simple reminders.
I'm thankful for these times, thankful for the lessons. Some lessons are more lighthearted and some are deep convictions that God uses to work on me, but either way I'm thankful that God never gives up on me and continues to teach me. And uses simple zoo trips to bring clear messages to me.
Our zoo day together!
Day I have no idea because I'm so behind in 31 days of thankfulness