I'm struggling to write this post. The words are there, but it could come across in ways I don't intend. Even so, I want to remember this season and I know I'll look back at this post in the years to come. I'll want to be reminded of what God was doing in my heart and how he used a three year old girl to teach me about true love. Warning - this is a bit lengthy.
I'm working quite a bit now. I have the luxury to work from home a majority of the time, but I'm working nearly full-time hours. There are two reasons I'm okay with this. One, I know this is just a season. I can't keep this pace up forever and by God's grace, at this point in our lives and finances, I know I won't have to. Second, working more means I have been able to put more money towards our new house than we originally planned and I've been able to contribute to furnishing it without adding any additional debt. All good things.
With more work means more child care required. It doesn't sit well with me to work away on my computer while Crosbi plays alone or to use the TV as a babysitter. Because of that, she's now enrolled in two part-time preschools. Both are just two half days a week, meaning she goes four days a week. One of the preschools she has gone to since she was just shy of two years old. It's a dream school. I love the staff, Crosbi has made incredible friendships, and I've even made some really great friendships with other moms. The preschool is in a church and the values being taught to my daughter are invaluable. She's not only learning about the love of Christ from the curriculum, but her teachers demonstrate God's love in ways that make me tear up just thinking about it. I'll be sad the day she begins Kindergarten and we say goodbye to her church school.
This summer I knew I had to add some additional care, and I knew another two-day school would be the best fit for our family. I had another church in mind, but I just couldn't get myself to pull the trigger. Then I remembered a school I had heard about when we first moved to Nashville that had only been described as "magical." Outdoor and imaginative play are the primary goals. I can get on board with that. But I also knew this school was pretty liberal. This is not a "Christian" school. This school is open to all children from all backgrounds. I went ahead and enrolled Crosbi and paid the enrollment fee to save her a spot so I could give it more thought.
A few weeks before school began, I panicked. I threw the registration papers away. The school is too liberal, I can't have her going there. But now I didn't have a plan. I would need to find a nanny. To say I was overwhelmed was an understatement.
In bed one night I tossed and turned, not able to sleep. Stressing about my childcare situation, I asked God to make His plan for Crosbi known. I picked up my phone to search preschools when I saw the email that the first month of tuition at the "magical" school had already posted. That was a pretty clear indicator that things were already in motion for Crosbi to attend.
At open house, I hesitantly walked in. As a mom, I stuck out like a sore thumb. I was the J.Crew to a world of Urban Outfitters. A Chevy to a land of Subarus (literally!). In other words, I was the least "hippie" mom there and it was obvious. Shortly after entering the building we met other children and quickly met a little girl in Crosbi's class who had come with her two moms. As someone who prides herself on loving others and being the hands and feet of Jesus, I was surprised by my reaction. I smiled and engaged in conversation, but in my head, I was done. No way was Crosbi going to school here. I can't have her going to a school like this. She's three years old. We're not ready for these conversations.
Where did that come from?
My heart. My ugly, fearful heart.
In church the week before, our pastor had said that if the last ten people we had called on our phone look like us, have the same skin color, are in the same tax bracket, etc,. then we're not doing it right. God didn't call us to love the people that are just like us.
After leaving the open house, I had to really humble myself and ask God for direction. He made it very clear that this school would stretch my family and that running away was not what He was asking me to do.
On the second day of school, the teachers told me that Crosbi was really drawn to the little girl with two moms. This little girl is a bit younger and smaller than Crosbi, and Cros has gone out of her way to love on her. The teacher told me that when the little girl was playing by herself or felt left out, Crosbi would come to her and hug her or hold her hand.
I wish I could say I jumped for joy, but my fear took hold. Of all the kids in this class, Crosbi would be drawn to this one? In the car I asked Crosbi what she liked about her new friend. Her response shook me to my core:
"I don't know, mom. I just really love her."
Crosbi is oblivious to the situation. She doesn't understand the family dynamic of this little girl. She just loves her. No stereotype, no fear. Just love.
God is wrecking me in the best way during this season in our lives. He's using my sweet girl to get me outside of my own head, my fears and judgment. He's reminding me that he made all of us in His image and that He never ran from those that were different. In fact, He was drawn to them.
My prayer these days sounds something like this:
Lord, help me to love with childlike love. Help me to follow my daughter's lead when she's more in tune with your Spirit than I am. Use this season to teach my family what the love of Christ truly looks like. Make us more like you.
I'm so thankful for a God who doesn't leave us in our mess. I'm especially thankful that he would use a spunky three year old, who I have the blessing of calling my daughter, to do His best work.