When Baby Girl was not quite two months old, I remember a smile creeping to my face as she would hold her hands up in front of her face and stare at her own fingers. Watching intently as each finger moved, she was fascinated by them, and I by her again. I have loved that moment with each of my gifts–that moment when they discovered for the first time, “Hey, those are mine. I can move them.” Finding your fingers is a monumental step.
She found her fingers, then found that she could move them, then that she could hold things. As the sense of discovery moved from her fingers to her toes, she realized that toes were good for chewing. Naturally, putting fingers and toes together brought a whole new dimension to life: mobility. Sitting, skooching, lop-sided crawling, standing, stepping while holding on. Now, we’re approaching another more literal monumental step. THE monumental step. The first. I’m not sure I’m really ready because I know one small step for Baby Girl is one giant leap for off-to-the-races. We can only barely contain her perpetual motion as it is, and her brothers are already quite often vexed by her speed, agility and desire to join the game. I can only imagine what ramifications THE step will bring to that scenario.
Still, as I watch Baby Girl, I can’t help but think about that day in October when I first noticed her find her fingers. Look how much she’s grown. Look how far she’s come. Look how our lives around her have changed, just from her ownership of those tiny, precious digits.
In the months since Baby Girl’s discovery, I have been sitting on the cusp of finding fingers for myself. In seasons of dissatisfaction or seeking after something new, I’ve realized that change requires the discovery of my own ownership of where I am. If I want a situation or attitude to be different, I must find my fingers. I must find my action and my will to move. Even if the change I think I seek is in another person, I can only move myself. I’ve been convicted that I must BE the change I want to occur around me.
“Delight yourself in the Lord, and He will give you the desires of your heart.” (psalm 37:4)
Again and again, I’ve come back to that familiar promise. How easily I can focus on the delight and the desires. But, if I step back one verse, I see the first grasp of the fingers. “Dwell in the land and cultivate faithfulness.” Even before delighting in the Lord Himself comes taking posession of the land He’s put me in. Comes the willingness to live there. The gumption to cultivate it.
If I want a more loving and peaceful home, I must sow seeds of love and peace by my own actions and attitudes. If I want to see new areas of creativity blossom, I must discipline myself to take the steps to weed and water. If I want the description of my daily life to be different, then I must take the effort to cultivate changes row by row, seed by seed and snip by snip. And, that effort begins with the realization that, “Hey, those are mine. I can move them.” Monumental steps, and indeed carefree running, begin with finding fingers.
The tiny messages God continues to include with our gifts — 2 little joys of boys and 1 little jewel of a girl, each with open eyes, open ears, open hearts, and much to teach. “Behold children are a gift of the Lord…” (psalm 127:1)