Puppy Love Matters

“But Mom, I really love him. So much.”

I try to hide my smile as I navigate traffic from the front seat. My kindergartner, Tate, is telling me all about the man she’s going to marry — a 5th grader named Nick, who helps out in her class.

“Well, why do you look so sad?” I ask.

“Because I’m afraid that by the time we’re grown-ups, he’ll have forgotten about me and won’t remember to marry me.”

I want to tell her, You know, you’re probably right. By the time you’re marrying age, he’ll have moved on. And you know what? He’s a 10-year-old boy — he probably doesn’t think about you when he leaves your classroom. He’s at home right now playing soccer in his backyard, not a care in the world. And really? I hope he has forgotten about you. ‘Cause if he hasn’t, we’ve got issues.

But I don’t, of course. I keep my face concerned and sympathetic, because I want Tate to know I take her concerns seriously, the way my Heavenly Father takes my ridiculousness seriously, too.

“I can understand, Tate. Why don’t you pray about this? How do you think God can help you with this?”

A few second of silence. “Well…. I guess — I guess He can help me not be sad.”

True, I think. He can also be your comfort, your keeper, the lover of your soul. But how do I explain this to an almost six-year-old?

“Yes, He can do that. And He can take your sadness and walk with you through it, because He loves you. You know–”

“Hey, this is a Jack Johnson song! I love this one. Turn it up, please.”

Moment passed, as is usually the case with little ones. I smile and turn it up for her, because I like it, too.

I wonder how often God smiles, too, at my human-perspective ridiculousness. When I come to Him with, “God, why must I spend so much time folding laundry, only to find it dirty again?” or, “Why is it so hot today? I want it cold” or, “I don’t wanna get out of bed yet” — or any other form of “Why must things be the way they are?” — I’m so glad He cares.

He doesn’t brush me off with a “Get over it.” He listens, He sits with me sympathetically, and He walks with me through the challenges, both big and small.

But I bet He also laughs lovingly at His silly daughter. He shakes His head at my finite perspective, knowing infinitely better than I what’s in store, what’s good for me, how much He has me in His hands.

Puppy love — or any other trite situation in the big scheme of world issues — matters to God. It matters, because we matter. He loves us. He is love.

What’s your “puppy love” situation? Are you taking it to your Heavenly Father, silliness and all?

by Tsh Oxenreider of Simple Mom

  • http://journeytobiblicalfemininity.blogspot.com Anneliese

    I love this! He is indeed the ultimate parent :)

    There’s soooo much I’ve worried about – big and small – that I’ve worried about that God’s proved I needn’t worry. The little prayers, ones that can be answered quickly, He answers, but the bigger ones that take more time, He promises me that they will come to pass. Like a few months ago, where I didn’t think my dream of getting married and having children would be fulfilled because I have never had a boyfriend (I’m 19 today!). He then showed me the sort of man my future husband would be, and even gave me names and prophecies over each of my children; He’s promised me seven! And all the way through year 12 (senior year), where I didn’t think I could possible pass, I got a much higher ENTER score than I thought I would, and a higher one than I needed to get into the university I wanted!

    I love that God doesn’t say “you’re being ridiculous” or something such when we complain or worry…He holds us and shows us that we can trust Him for everything :)

    Thank you so much for writing this!

    • http://journeytobiblicalfemininity.blogspot.com Anneliese

      (And I’m sorry about the appalling grammar and spelling; it’s been a long day!)

  • http://www.vickifourie.blogspot.com Vicki Fourie

    Thank you so much for writing this! You have no idea how much these words means to me today.

  • Kathy

    This is such a cute post. And so true…why does “puppy love” seem so funny to adults and so REAL to kids. ;-) All I can say is that I am glad to be 41 and can say I “have been there done that” in all aspects of puppy love and other typical girl scenarios.

    Now on to my puppy love of today….bags!!! Seriously…I fall in love with any and just about every bag/purse I see …and they always fit no matter MY size. Just seems as though my wallet doesn’t love me back to want to splurge on every bag I eye up. HA!

  • http://www.herpaintedbunting.com Samantha

    This is wonderful. Thanks for writing from your heart!

  • http://www.jumpingtandem.com deidra

    I had a crush on my neighbor, Duane, when I was a little girl. I wrote his name on everything! I just knew we’d be married one day. And then one day I realized that not only had Duane moved on (I don’t think he even knew I was alive), but I had moved on! I think it’s the same in my spiritual life – eventually, I move on. And God is right there with me. Always.

  • http://www.allisblog.wordpress.com p

    thanks for this, sometimes it helps knowing God cares even about our foolish and non perinent desires..Sometimes when i cry out, it seems He isn’t interested, because they aren’t ‘important’ enough, i mean world peace and suffering is alot, i thought of Hagar in the midst of her drama, God cared enough to give her attention, and her situation, even if she was a foreigner, He saw her plight and the stuff that happened to her. It makes it a little easier to deal with life even when it doesn’t turn out the way you’d hoped. I hope your daughter gets married someday I’m sure she will. Thanks this was encouraging today…when I thought i was forgotten about.

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  • http://www.findmeinseptember.org erinbeth

    Oh this is good! Raising children really puts God’s love for us into perspective, huh? I wouldn’t know yet. That’s actually part of my “puppy love” perspective. My husband and I, after almost seven years of marriage, are adopting. We also want to go back to the slum of Kibera this summer. It all seems like too much to ask. I can see the look on some of my friend’s faces when I’m sharing my “I just don’t know if its right to try to raise money for an adoption and a trip to kibera when we’re still trying to get out of debt and grow my husband’s business…” Their eyes say ‘oh, friend- you forgot that you’re talking about the God of the Universe haven’t you?’ But they listen. My best friend in particular. She’s working on her second adoption. I know she is thinking the equivalent of “oh, its just puppy love” when I share my concerns- but she listens and points me back to God. And, if she can listen with that kind of a heart- in spite of her sinfulness- to my very tiny worries, how much more does my Father want to comfort me (and give me what I need)?

    • http://www.studiojru.com/blog Jennifer

      Congratulations on the wonderful news you are adopting! What an awesome journey… with HIM right along side of you. So happy for you!

    • http://www.tammiesprings.com/blog/ Tammie

      Congrats on the adoption, and yes, children really do give us new perspectives on our relationship with God. My husband and I had our first daughter nearly 2 years ago and I remember as we were adjusting to being new parents how it seemed like EVERYTHING was an object lesson about us with God. :)

  • http://jamilynnkastner.blogspot.com/ Jami Kastner

    LOVE this post! Thanks for sharing!

    May God shelter Tate’s beautiful little heart.

  • http://www.homegrownmom.com Angela @ Homegrown Mom

    So sweet! I really identify with her attention span, too! Sometimes something seems so heartbreaking, and then I am distracted by something else before I know it :)

  • http://www.iliveinanantbed.blogspot.com I Live in an Antbed

    You did a wonderful job! And, trust me, you are building a great foundation for future “confidences”. By listening and valuing her heart now, she will come to you as she gets older, with the stuff that IS “life-changing” and “future-altering.” And because you are laying a solid foundation now, you will be able to speak into all those big life choices later. Good job, mom!!

  • http://www.momssharpeningmoms.com Kristen@Moms Sharpening Moms

    Tsh, this rocks. And such truth you speak here! He may get tickled by some of our concerns but He never brushes them off because we matter to Him!

    Obviously, you are one fantastic Mama! And obviously, you are one fantastic daughter! So loved this.

  • http://curledupwithagoodbook.blogspot.com Erin

    Thanks, Tsh, for this thoughtful post.

  • http://www.queenieslittlekingdom.com Wanda

    God’s love is even sweeter than our puppy love.
    Cute story!

  • http://andiewade.blogspot.com andie

    love. this. post.

  • http://deepintolove.com Craig

    What’s not to heart about you taking the time to listen, and teach something which is now in her soul, about Our Lord walking with us through stuff.

    And we do that with God, as he’s taking the time to help us – we get distracted too and say “hey can you turn that up – I love that song! – and he does, just like you did.

    Because as you said, “It matters, because we matter. He loves us. He is love”

    God Bless and Keep You and Yours

  • http://holley.dayspring.com Holley Gerth

    “It matters because we matter.” Ah, Tsh, those words are like water to my heart full of puppy-life worries this morning. Leaning into grace for a moment…yes, I think I’ll stay here. Always appreciate your wisdom, friend.

  • http://www.walkwithmeblog.com Shondra

    What a sweet way to look at your daughter’s “love” problem. I had never thought of it in quite this manner, but the way you approach her is how we all should handle our children’s problems.

    What a great lesson.

  • Lise

    What a lovely post. I don’t know that I have a puppy love matter right now but I do sometimes feel that the annoyance I have with my husband about trivial matters must, to God, resemble two five year-olds grumbling on the playground.

  • http://artofcookingwithoutarecipe.com Cara

    This is a wonderful post.

    I read in someone’s blog the other week (I regret that I don’t remember which one) that she imagine’s that sometimes when we petition God with the deepest wish of our hearts, the deepest sadness, and He knows better than we do, that He merely says “I know.”

    That’s how I feel today. I was dealt one of life’s small (but seems big to me) disappointments, and I can hear God right now as I grieve my tiny loss saying “I know. I know that this hurts and this is real to you. I can’t give you what you want right now, but I am with you, and I grieve with you. Remember that.”

  • http://www.imperfectpeople.net Katie @ Imperfect People

    How sweet. I plan on building a bomb shelter for our girls to live in when they hit puberty until adulthood want me to save room for your kids? LOL

    • http://www.studiojru.com/blog Jennifer

      LOL I am surprised my dad didn’t build something like that! :)

  • http://dadsdoinit.com Raymond

    That time in life is so fleeting and innocence passes them by in the blink of an eye. Your post reminds me how precious each and every moment we have to teach our children to be thriving adults is so valuable!

  • Hannah@ A Quiet Spot

    Not to overlook your larger point, but I do wonder whether perhaps our five year old daughters should meet. Mine might be interested to discover that she’s not the only girl her age with crushes on much older men! Her collection of about eight ‘boyfriends’ keeps me on my knees …

    • http://www.studiojru.com/blog Jennifer

      Too cute! lol Oh that puppy love.

  • http://www.studiojru.com/blog Jennifer

    Oh Tsh… I love this post. I can be full of human-perspective ridiculousness. It is so nice to know the HE cares. Thank you for the reminder that we matter. And I love the sweet story of your daughter. :)

  • http://asymphonyofgrace.blogspot.com erin m.

    Beautiful post! I love the analogy. It is something I need to remind myself of more often. I would rather share my silly heart with Him than keep it to myself thinking it is not “important” enough for Him. What a comfort to know He cares.

  • Chantal

    Big things and small things, the point is we matter to Him. I like what the first poster put, He is the ultimate parent. A lot of times I don’t bring those things (both big and small) to my parents precisely because they don’t care or too self-absorbed in their own concerns to care. Thankfully God’s not like that at all..

  • http://www.theinspiredpage.blogspot.com shannon

    Thank you for sharing, I love this encouraging community with words and stories that inspire and fan the flame inside us all.

  • Mary Lynn

    Such a great piece, open and transparent… I love it that she asked you to turn up her favorite song!

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