Favoritism, according to Merriam-Websters dictionary, is the practice of giving unfair preferential treatment to one person or group at the expense of another. This is that person:
This is my youngest, Brice James Shetler. Born July 18th, 2014. He loves to cuddle, laugh, and be with mommy. He favors my family genes and therefore I think he’s cuter. He takes the cake on co-sleeping. He holds still. He’s a mamma’s boy. But this isn’t about Brice, this is about his big sister Celie.
Celie Ann Shetler, born June 13th at 12:35 am. 7 lbs, 14 oz. My labor was fast, 6 hours. I was 22 years old. I was selfish. I wanted a child. I thought having a child would help make life better; to fulfill some kind of void in my life. This wasn’t the way to start our relationship.
My life before this point is another post. Lets just say life experiences and expectations were that having a baby would make everything better and life would be great again.
I think after having Celie I had this great expectation that having kids was easy. That SHE was going to be easy. That this would give me more friends. That she would be my company. She was brand new, no manual, no help. She wouldn’t nurse like I had dreamed. Craig, my husband, was gone working night shift so it was me figuring out this tiny baby. I was alone. My expectations quickly turned into resentment and frustration for this child. I was sleep deprived. I had just started cosmetology school so life was crazy. My relationships with friends had changed because I had had her. Having a child can change the relationships you have with people who don’t have kids. All the expectations just manifested into what now was resentment.
Celie is now just like me. She’s energetic, happy, inquisitive, hyper active when tired, independent, and a mommy. She sings ALL the time! All the things that annoy me about myself. She drives me crazy. She bosses her brother around all the time. Just like I did. She yells at him. Just like I do to my kids when I’m fed up, tired, or feel like it’s the only way they listen. (This has been something I’ve really come to realize the importance of being an example.) She cries about everything. She always wants to help. Ugh, it’s so annoying.
We all have that one child that we just wish was not who they really were. My mom always tells me, “She’s just like you were”. I roll my eyes and think “ya I know”. I then look back and remember I was just like her. I was mean to my brothers, I bossed them around. I asked a lot of questions. I’m sure I was annoying too. Why can’t I see that this girl that is just like me is a good thing?
Why is it so hard to look at all that’s good in this beautiful child and realize she’s not so bad after all? God’s really laid this on my heart big time lately. Maybe it’s because I’m seeing time slip by so fast and before I know it she will be all grown up, or could it just be that God wants me to see this sin.
“My brothers and sisters, believers in our glorious Lord Jesus Christ must not show favoritism. 2 Suppose a man comes into your meeting wearing a gold ring and fine clothes, and a poor man in filthy old clothes also comes in. 3 If you show special attention to the man wearing fine clothes and say, “Here’s a good seat for you,” but say to the poor man, “You stand there” or “Sit on the floor by my feet,” 4 have you not discriminated among yourselves and become judges with evil thoughts?
5 Listen, my dear brothers and sisters: Has not God chosen those who are poor in the eyes of the world to be rich in faith and to inherit the kingdom he promised those who love him? 6 But you have dishonored the poor. Is it not the rich who are exploiting you? Are they not the ones who are dragging you into court? 7 Are they not the ones who are blaspheming the noble name of him to whom you belong?
8 If you really keep the royal law found in Scripture, “Love your neighbor as yourself,”a] you are doing right. 9 But if you show favoritism, you sin and are convicted by the law as lawbreakers. 10 For whoever keeps the whole law and yet stumbles at just one point is guilty of breaking all of it. 11 For he who said, “You shall not commit adultery,”b] also said, “You shall not murder.”c] If you do not commit adultery but do commit murder, you have become a lawbreaker.
12 Speak and act as those who are going to be judged by the law that gives freedom, 13 because judgment without mercy will be shown to anyone who has not been merciful. Mercy triumphs over judgment.” James 2:1-13
I had someone mention something the other day. “These are not our children. These children were given to us on loan, by God, So that we can help Him further His kingdom.” This hit me in a weird way. I can’t explain how it felt. This weird sensation that you may get, like I knew exactly who it was meant for and what it meant. So if i’m treating Celie unfairly I’m committing murder just as someone who lusts commits adultery. This is not furthering Christs Kingdom. I’m only damaging it. We dont choose our children. God does. God gave me Celie for reason. God made Celie for who she is. God placed her in my body to grow and strengthen her and that is what I am here to do.
“Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing.” 1 Thessalonians 5:11
With this week God has opened my eyes. I’ve seen things I’ve never seen before. Celie is absolutely incredible. She’s smart. She absolutely LOVES school. She’s strong. Loves being outside. She’s the best big sister. Her laugh is contagious. She’s brave.
Celie got to test for her first belt in Taekwondo April 8th. Celie is usually afraid of men she is not familiar with. But this girl powered through her kick routine. She cried and it broke my heart but I have never been so proud in my entire life. You can check out her video HERE.
So this past week I’ve been working on how to make up for lost time or to make sure that favoritism doesn’t happen again. Take a look around. You’re laundry will be there tomorrow. For real, just stop. Let her talk to you. Take a ride around the block, ask her questions. Take her for ice cream and let her get whatever she wants. Take lots of pictures and videos. Look at the clouds. Laugh. Play games together. Let her teach you. Give her small tasks like putting the silverware away, or folding wash clothes. Give her some responsibility but let her have fun too. She’s only a child. Kids were put here for us to teach them, but really I think it’s for them to teach us. I’ve learned so much in the last week. Like my needs are much less than her’s. The clock doesn’t wait for you. So show love, kindness, grace, forgiveness. Smile and let them see you happy. Make sure you keep the lines of communication open so that nothing gets lost or unsaid! LOVE YOUR CHILDREN.
My Dear Sweet Celie Ann,
Please forgive me. Please forgive me for the times I spank you out of anger. For the times I yell at you for laughing to loud, because I was annoyed. Please forgive me for saying no to reading books to you when I thought my stuff was more important. My heart hurts because I was selfish. Forgive me for the times you want to help but I say no just because I dont want you to. For not spending more time with you individually because I thought Brice needed me more. Celie, I am so very sorry
Never stop singing! Never stop wanting to read! Never stop loving school! Always love your brother and being with him! Just like you do now! Always be kind, loving, helpful, generous. Never stop laughing!! You’re laugh is so contagious. Never let go of your imagination. You have such an extraordinary Imagination. That will take you great places one day. Celie, you are so smart. You cannot be fooled. Never stop loving church and Sunday school. I love when I’m exhausted and I just want a family day at home and I tell you it’s Sunday you always get excited because you get to go to church. Celie, I could go on for days of thing I never want you to stop doing but the most important things I want you to remember out of all of this. Never stop loving Jesus! Never Stop Loving! and always remember that Mommy ALWAYS love YOU!!!
My precious Daughter I love you with all of my heart!!
Love Forever & Always,