Strawberry Shortcake shortcomings: Lessons on child-like faith

What's Lauren's first thought when she wakes up? Play with me Mom!

What’s Lauren’s first thought when she wakes up? Play with me Mom!

Mommy, will you play Strawberry Shortcake with me?

I didn’t even open my eyes. As I turned over in bed, my groggy, early morning brain responded, “Not yet, sweetie.”

But Mom, I want to play with you right now!

My five-year-old daughter crawled into bed with me, knowing I wasn’t going to budge for a while. (This was the second morning she woke me up with this request.) Though she proceeded to ask me again, and again, to play with her favorite toy of the week, she let me lay there and process it was morning.

Thirty minutes later, I finally had enough gumption to sit up and stumble into the bathroom. My persistent daughter stood outside the closed door waiting for me to be ready to play dolls.

I was then escorted to the living room where we sat down and began playing with her Strawberry Shortcake posse, which she already had lined all out with their accessories.

To be honest, I still wanted to be in bed. I needed more rest! But how many times can you deny those beautiful, eager eyes?

She just wanted to be with me.

My daughter couldn’t contain her delighted smile as we tried different outfits on Strawberry Shortcake. As I watched her imagination sparkle, I realized I was in the presence of child-like faith.

  • She keeps asking until she receives what she desires.
  • She absolutely trusts that I love her and will protect and care for her.
  • She believes implicitly in what she cannot see.
  • She finds joy in the simplest circumstances.
  • She can’t help but dance when no one is watching, and when everyone is.
  • She longs to spend time with me.

This is the kind of faith that pleases God. This is the faith God wants me to have.

God desires for me to persevere in my prayers.

Keep asking, and it will be given to you. Keep searching, and you will find. Keep knocking, and the door will be opened to you.
– Matthew 7:7

God wants me to trust Him completely, to know without a doubt that He loves me and He will provide.

For I am persuaded that not even death or life,
angels or rulers,
things present or things to come, hostile powers,
height or depth, or any other created thing
will have the power to separate us
from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord!
– Romans 8:38-39

And my God will supply all your needs according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus.
– Philippians 4:19

God’s will is for my faith to be strong, believing in the beauty and reality of His promises.

Faith is the confidence that what we hope for will actually happen; it gives us assurance about things we cannot see.
And it is impossible to please God without faith. Anyone who wants to come to him must believe that God exists and that he rewards those who sincerely seek him.
– Hebrews 11:1, 6

God wants my life to be marked by joy, in every circumstance giving glory to Him.

The Lord is my strength and shield.
I trust him with all my heart.
He helps me, and my heart is filled with joy.
I burst out in songs of thanksgiving.
– Psalm 28:7

In fact, God overflows my heart with His goodness and love, and gives me countless reasons to worship Him: in song, in dance, in word and in service.

Let Israel celebrate its Maker;
let the children of Zion rejoice in their King.
Let them praise His name with dancing
and make music to Him with tambourine and lyre.
– Psalm 149:2-3

Most of all, God wants me to be with Him. He came to Earth for me. He died for me. He rose from the grave so I could be with Him forever.

Even before he made the world, God loved us and chose us in Christ to be holy and without fault in his eyes. God decided in advance to adopt us into his own family by bringing us to himself through Jesus Christ. This is what he wanted to do, and it gave him great pleasure. So we praise God for the glorious grace he has poured out on us who belong to his dear Son. He is so rich in kindness and grace that he purchased our freedom with the blood of his Son and forgave our sins. He has showered his kindness on us, along with all wisdom and understanding.
– Ephesians 1:4-8

I am God’s precious child, no matter how long I live on this earth. Instead of being the cranky adult who can barely wake up in the morning, I want to be fresh and wide-eyed in my faith, just like my baby girl. I should deeply desire to be by my Heavenly Father’s side, eagerly anticipating what we get to do together that day.

May my heart simply long to be with Jesus.

Boldly Asking

Lauren getting ready to ask me for something (probably cookies)

Now this is the confidence we have before Him: whenever we ask anything according to His will, He hears us. And if we know that He hears whatever we ask, we know that we have what we have asked Him for.

I John 5:14-15

Children have no fear when it comes to asking for what they want.

Exhibit #1: It is not yet mid-morning, but Lauren comes to me with her beautiful, blue eyes open wide and grasps my hand. “Mommy, cookie?” Knowing already that my first answer is going to be no, she quickly conjures up some tears and increases the urgency in her voice as she asks again. Then, the full-on begging and whining and crying ensues as she asks again and again to get a snack.

Exhibit #2: Lauren’s belly is full of cookies and it’s time for her morning nap. Knowing he will have some time to himself as I rock his little sister to sleep, Jackson quickly asks me, “Mommy, I’m not going to play computer games, right?” His method of questioning always catches me for a moment because my first inclination is to counteract the false question, which then automatically sounds as if then he can play computer games.

An entire art gallery of exhibits could be created for all the questions my children ask me on a daily basis. I often grow weary from the daily inquisition, but at the same time I am thankful that they know they can come to me and ask me anything, because I love them. I want them to come to me, confident in their standing as my children, knowing that I will hear them.

Both of them can be very persistent, boldly asking what is on their hearts.

I want more of that kind of spirit.

As I pray with the kids before bed each night, I have noticed that many of the requests I ask God are actually more statements than questions.

Exhibit #1: God, please watch over Jackson and Lauren tonight. Keep them safe.

Exhibit #2: Lord, help them fall asleep quickly and sleep through the night.

I’m not really asking God, I’m telling him what I want.

Sometimes I struggle to communicate with God. I get in the habit of talking on and on and never listening for His response. It’s like I text him short messages of “I need this,” or “please do this”, and when I don’t get immediate confirmation, I feel like I’m not connecting. What I really need is a heart-to-heart conversation with my Savior.

Like my kids, I need to crawl into His lap and cuddle for awhile. I need to feel His heartbeat. And, I should not be afraid to really ask what’s deep in my heart. I need to ask, and wait to hear His answer, knowing that He will only do good. I must completely trust Him.

Though my children aren’t perfect, and they can be known to throw a fit if they don’t get what they have requested, they aren’t afraid to ask. They openly and honestly share their desires, their needs, their wants, their fears and their dreams with me.

My Heavenly Father wants the same kind of relationship with me.