Be Your Own Miracle

People who know me personally are aware that I am all about having faith in God.

I certainly believe in meditation, prayer, and the power of miracles.

But I think too often, our tendency as humans is to seek out miracles and use them as a crutch in our everyday situations instead of praying for them when we truly need them, once we have exhausted our resources.  We treat miracles as though they are a white horse that will rescue us from our circumstances, doing all the work we should have done ourselves.

And sometimes, we do need an outside force to swoop in and rescue us.

But we shouldn’t underestimate our capacity to be our own miracle.  We shouldn’t forget to exercise the power we already possess to change our circumstances.  Sometimes just realizing our own abilities is a miracle in and of itself.  

My son is the one who is best teaching me this lesson now.

He is at an interesting age where he is almost fully transitioned out of his baby/dependent stage to being more independent.  He’s five now and does many things on his own like bath time, getting dressed and even clearing his dishes from the table.

And as much as he loves to tell me that he’s a big boy, he still struggles with toddler tendencies like crying whenever he doesn’t get his way.  Plus, he has his moments when he just wants me to do everything for him like when he was younger.

His dad and I have trained him to ask for help whenever he feels he needs it.  But lately, he’s been overusing the request for simple things like buttoning his shirts, pulling the sheets up on his bed, or setting up a game.

At first, I would automatically go to his aid whenever asked.  But as his requests became frequent, I noticed the emerging pattern.  He was just asking because he wanted me to do things for him.  I realized I would be hindering his growth and self-confidence if I always gave him assistance (or worse, completed the task for him) before he had a chance to do it himself.

So now every time he says in his sweet little voice, “Mommy, can you help me?” I have trained myself to ask him, “Did you try doing it by yourself first?” I usually get a barely audible “no” in response.  So I tell him, “I want you to give it a good try by yourself first, and then if you reeeeeeally need help, ask me again and I will help you.”

I’m rarely needed.

Once he’s completed what he was trying to do, I give him praise and I ask him how he felt doing it all by himself and he is always beaming with happiness.  Helping my son to realize that he has the power to help himself is a joy for me to watch.  His face lights up when he becomes aware of his own strength and capabilities.

And then it becomes a learning lesson for me.  I’m convinced that as much as he wants to grow up and be a big boy, he just has these moments of rebelling against maturity.  

Sadly I have to admit that the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree. I can see the same tendencies in myself as an adult.

Sometimes I go looking for help from other people or ask God for a miracle in an area of my life when all along, I have the capacity to bring what I’m seeking help for to pass on my own.  When I take a step back to examine, I realize that I’m often rebelling against discipline and maturing in an area because I don’t feel like putting on my big girl underwear and doing what must be done.

But when I do grow up and put my mind to doing what must be done, the outcome is always great and even better, I feel awesome.

Is there an area where you need to be your own miracle?  How does it make you feel when you know you’ve accomplished a major feat on your own?  Share with me in the comments.

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