Women of God

Women of God | Toddler Lessons in Surrender

February 17, 2017

Hi, dear readers!

It is always a joy to see how ideas take shape & produce great fruit for the Kingdom. This is the second post in a series entitled Women of God, which highlights the stories of women in my life who are experiencing God in the daily moments and continually giving Him the glory and the praise. As I mentioned in the first post, this is a project of heavenly inspiration and I give it entirely to Him to work and inspire those who read it. May you all be blessed and find yourselves refreshed and renewed as you read stories of women who are finding Him in all the daily experiences of life. He is with us and loving us and my hope is that we can all remember to recognize and thank Him for His mercy and love in every minute of our busy day.

I’ve been down this road seven other times.  It’s dangerous curves, unexpected turns, detours, and constant road blocks are all very familiar.  Potty training a two year old never is easy.  Most of my fellow parents say:

“That’s why I wait until X is ready,”

“My daughter/son trained in 2 days.”

“My mother/mother-in-law handled it,” etc. etc.

So it was my third time in the last 6 months I’ve tried to train our toddler, Elizabeth. The previous two times, I gave up after a day or so thinking she just wasn’t ready when actually I wasn’t ready. I didn’t really want to sit, knitting on a step stool in our main floor bathroom, hearing her beg me to take her off the potty, and waiting for the “Spirit to move the waters!”

But as reality and finances would have it, I was running low on size 4 diapers, and in Winter a light cart at Costco not heavily laden with bulk items is a highly sought after prize and one that won’t throw your back out when trudging through snow in the parking lot!   picked up a potty off Craigslist (Ewww!!), and purchased a smaller box of Pull Ups. I even downloaded the Pull Ups app on my iphone. Yes, there’s an app for that! I was set!

One thing, I forgot, however, was to scan the calendar for a Marian Feast Day. I’ve done this with all 7 other kids: commend them into the hands of Our Blessed Mother along this crazy road of potty training. Our Lady of Guadalupe, December 12th, guided my last daughter in just 5 days!  

I knew that I would be the one to foul this up. My daughter is smart. Elizabeth is speaking quite clearly, she learns things fairly quickly, and loves routine and order. As much as I’d like to peg her into the hole of the “Tornado Toddler” that destroys everything in her wake, Elizabeth is simply not that. I knew that I would be the one of little faith, no hope, and throw in the potty training towel before she would.  

Her sweet disposition is one of surrender and eagerness to please. I could see it so clearly in the way she would hug me and laugh out of sheer joy in her success. I could also see it in her sincere apologies to me when she would have an accident….on the floor, in her pants, in her pull up, and in her high chair. I finally decided to have her “Go Commando.” After all, if she didn’t have anywhere to put her business, maybe just maybe, she would put it in her potty. This was a daring move and one I wasn’t sure I could convince the other 8 people in our home to play along with. With older boys in the house, I was even more afraid I’d be scarring them for life.  

However, this tender, tiny, two year old taught me one of the greatest meditations as she flitted, jumped, rolled, and ran through our home half-naked. She reminded me how God meant for us to be guiltless and shameless in his sight. Elizabeth had no shame and immense joy during playtime, at meals, running around the house, and learning how to sit on her potty reading book after book. She fell asleep several times in my arms and the arms of her oldest sister as her little body and brain became so exhausted from waking up to the internal alarms of her body which is the true key to potty training. She was patient. I became patient, and I learned to hope and wait. Our Blessed Mother, the New Eve, took Elizabeth by the hand and showed her the way through the garden of our home….a home of love and warmth in winter, even in the winter of doubts in my mind.  

Grace is a beautiful, busy mom of eight children. When not child-wrangling, she can be found crafting, baking and sharing her faith in and out of the home.

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