Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Putting Away Childish Things


Guest Contributor: Jessica Holland

I was unprepared when my 8-year old daughter, Courtney, approached me the other morning announcing she had decided to put “Cassie” on the shelf.  Who is Cassie?  Cassie is the baby doll my mom bought Courtney shortly after her first birthday.  Cassie has been a part of our family ever since then.  She has traveled with us for every vacation, soaked up 7 years’ worth of Courtney’s tears, and even our 2-year old daughter knows Cassie’s name and who she is.  Cassie is a little worn-looking now, but has always been accepted as a member of the family.  So when Courtney walked in to my bathroom one morning as I was drying my hair, with Cassie all wrapped up in a little blanket, to tell me she was ready to “grow up” and put her baby doll on the top shelf of her closet, I was a little emotional….okay a lot emotional.  I asked Courtney, “Are you sure? You can still be a big girl and keep Cassie on your bed…” But she insisted she was ready.  So after a deep breath, we solemnly approached the closet, kissed Cassie on the cheek (I kissed her too), and I carefully placed her on the highest shelf in the closet.  As I closed the closet door, I turned to see if Courtney was okay, if she was crying or in need of a hug.  But no - she was already half-way out of her bedroom door.  I wilted like the last flower of summer.  I had to call MY mom for consolation!  She and I were more emotional over Courtney’s decision to “put away” Cassie than Courtney was.  Cassie represented Courtney’s childhood chapter.  Courtney is growing up into a big girl, no longer in need of her childhood toy.  She didn’t throw her away….she just set her aside for other priorities in life.  She embarked, through this milestone, her new “growing up chapter” in life. 

As I was thinking about it later, it seemed like the Holy Spirit reminded me of 1 Corinthians 13:11 where Paul in his letter to the Corinthians writes “When I was a child, I spoke like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I gave up childish ways.”   God has a way of teaching me on a regular basis through my children.  A question popped into my mind:  what are some “childish” things that I am hanging on to?  What are some childish ways I need to give up? What are some things in my life that I prioritize too much that stunt my growth in Christ?  Am I as willing to “shelve” those things (even though they may not be bad things) as my daughter was?  Maybe God has something or some things He wants me to set aside for now in order to grow up…

It is always amazing to learn through my children. 

-Jessica Holland

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