Recently we spent an extended amount of time with our three-year-old granddaughter Ellie. She and her parents stayed with us for 11 days while work was being done on their home. Ellie has great self-confidence. And great joy of life. She also has some pretty good self-care already. As I observed her, I wondered why she does and I don’t.
Some behaviors I observed in Ellie: whenever complimented, she agrees with the compliment. If I tell her she threw a good ball, she says she knew it. If I tell her she looks adorable in a shirt, she agrees. Her mother heard her singing to herself one day, “I look fantastic, I look fantastic…” She has a wild wind up ball throw. She tips her head as far back as she can and then whips the ball. It rarely goes exactly where she wants it. She has a new sidewinder throw that is even wilder. That one usually goes to an entirely different side of the room from where she is aiming. She doesn’t have the concept yet to look where she’s throwing. So we laugh because neither one of us is looking for her to be perfect.
When she came to stay the first night, she could hardly contain her joy in staying with Grandpa and Grandma. Her face was full of it, her body couldn’t stay still. She’s a kid that when she gets excited, she moves. A lot. Her joy just overflows. She doesn’t hide her feelings behind a mask yet. She brings King David to mind for me. In 2 Samuel 6:16b, we are told that King David was leaping and dancing before the LORD. He leaped and danced so exuberantly that his wife was ashamed of him. Ellie dances like that but we are proud of her joy.
Ellie also takes the initiative to make sure her needs are met. If she wants to play, she just grabs my hand and says, “Let’s play, Grandma.” Or if she wants a drink or snack, she asks for it. If she’s tired, she falls asleep. If she needs a snuggle, she just crawls on someone’s lap and snuggles in. Self-care.
Her mother and I talked about how sad it is that as she grows, she will lose that confidence in herself. I’ve been pondering on the differences between how Ellie feels about herself and how I feel about myself. Life takes us from innocent little girls who believe we are worthy and can do anything to grown up women who question our worth and abilities.
I can remember having the joy that Ellie shows today. I can remember feeling worthy and able to accomplish anything. I can remember a time when I didn’t care what others thought about me. I knew I was OK. I was very young. As I thought about Ellie, I saw the differences between us. And as I considered the causes, I wondered if I had to stay this way. Jesus said in Matthew 17:20, “For truly, I say to you, if you have faith like a grain of mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move, and nothing will be impossible for you.” Another word for faith is believe. If faith the size of a mustard seed can move mountains, why can’t it also bring back confidence and joy? If I believe Jesus’ words; nothing is impossible; even this.
It’s possible for me. It’s possible for you! Losing our confidence and joy, that’s a mountain. A mountain made up of pain, rejection, fear, lies, judgment, and every other negative thing said to and about us that we have internalized. A mountain may seem insurmountable. But Jesus says faith the size of a mustard seed can move that mountain. I say let’s move that mountain. We start with prayer, prayer brings faith, faith brings seeing God at work in our lives, seeing God at work in our lives gives us confidence, knowing He is moving that mountain for us brings gratefulness for God’s grace. And that, my friends, waters our mustard seed faith until it’s bigger than we could imagine coming from that tiny seed. And the mountain moves.
Move your mountain. I’m working on moving mine. Joy comes in the morning. Looking pretty bright out there right now!