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Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Potty Training & God Training

I know that many women have been able to potty train their kids over night, but that has never been the case for me. Whenever I read an article that boasts, "Potty train your toddler in 24 hours," I want to laugh.

All their lives, toddlers have been doing their business in a diaper, and overnight they are expected to change everything they are comfortable with and used to. . . ?

Come on, now! How is that possible?!

Yes, I know some of you have experienced that potty-miracle, but not this chick; and I suspect many other women haven't experienced that miracle either.

My second born son is now almost three, and I must confess, I so wanted to keep a diaper on him until he turned 16. I have a lot of regrets from potty training my first born, and I was not looking forward to rehearsing all my mistakes.

This time I was determined to have realistic goals for my son. I decided to be a big ball of spiritual fruits -- patience, kindness, self-control, etc.

It has been two months since I started potty training my son, and he will go pee-pee in the toilet; but he still will not go poo-poo (you can add your own bowl movement euphemism).

When I first started potty training my second son, he wouldn't even sit on the toilet, let alone do his business. He was scared of it. So my only goal has been to de-fear him.

Everyday my son sits on the toilet after we eat lunch, and we play. I read him books, we sing songs, we play games . . . I do everything to make the toilet a fun place to be. I will continue to work towards making him feel comfortable, while demanding and expecting nothing from him.

Though he hasn't as yet completed the desired goal, I'm still proud of him. He has come a long way from the boy crying gator-tears, sitting with his legs in the air on the toilet. He now sits comfortably, while laughing and smiling.

Would you mind if I tied this potty experience into something that God taught me? He doesn't waste a good metaphor, does He?

God is constantly training us to be more Christ-like, and change is very hard. I have a friend who moved and lost all of her spiritual-support group. She is alone in another country, and she is having difficulty being intimate with God. She is very relational and not having the influences of her Christian friends has created a gap in her spiritual-growth -- a gap that God wants to fill.

She says that she doesn't feel God doing anything with her. She doesn't feel any great movements of the Holy Spirit. She wonders if she is doing something wrong.

I told her, "You are doing something right!"

God is allowing my friend to get comfortable just being with Him without her usual infrastructure of spiritual help. He is not pushing her or expecting much of her; He just wants her to get used to this new level of intimacy. Once she is comfortable, He'll be ready to ask more of her.

Do you feel like God is doing nothing with you? Are you scared because you are in the middle of change? Don't be hard on yourself! God will not push you! He cares for you, and He wants to make this transition easy.

"For my yoke is easy and my burden is light" (Matthew 11.30 NIV).

"Thank You, God, for making Your yoke light. Help me to understand that You are caring and gentle, not hard and demanding. Guide me and show me how You are making me into the perfect design that You created me to be. I pray this in Jesus' name, Amen."

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Blogger I am blessed! said...

I've had the potty miracle, with my oldest daughter. My second daughter was easy, too. My oldest son was so so and now I'm struggling with a 3.5 yr old who is supposedly potty trained, but is very forgetful when it comes to some of his business. How frustrating!! With him I think it's the distractions. He forgets to focus on what's important, which is pottying, of course. When I forget to focus on the Lord and let myself become distracted by the world is when I go nowhere spiritually. Your friend may be doing everything right and is just having to wait on the Lord. Like you said, He is there and will not abandon or desert her. Thanks for sharing!

November 17, 2009 at 8:05 AM  
Blogger Jamie said...

I loved this post. I've not had a potty miracle either, at least not yet. One can hope. I identify with you on the potty experience, AND I identify with your friend, and both of mine go hand in hand too. Oddly, I have had a time in my life where I've had less relationships to rely on and especially when I was potty training my oldest, I so wanted someone to share some wisdom with me, but there was none to be found, EXCEPT from God himself. When I wanted people, He gave me himself, which was so much more than anyone could have been. I'm not by any means saying we should not treasure relationships, only that sometimes, God provides something even better than earthly relationships. It is a tough experience if you are a relational person by nature, but well worth it.

November 17, 2009 at 9:54 AM  
Blogger Crissy said...

I am living this post! How cool that we can find God's lessons everywhere! Even with potty subjects!

November 17, 2009 at 10:10 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sometimes God is teaching us patience. Grandma Wagner

November 17, 2009 at 10:38 AM  
Blogger msleavell said...

I must confess, potty training both of my children was very easy. I bought lots of training pants, lots, and lots. I made it easy on myself. When they were tiny, I never allowed them to be wet if I knew about it. As soon as they understood language, I talked about a clean bottom whenever I changed them. When I began to train them, I chose to believe that they never wanted to have dirty bottoms and that they were in learning mode. An accident was simply an accident and I called it an accident. I chose to believe that neither of us liked the mess, the way it looked, the way it smelled or felt. I took the posture that we were working this project together. Looking back, I can not remember one negative or frustrating experience regarding potty training. I think it was because I chose to believe they wanted to wear clean pants. Every now and then if were were out and we couln't make it to the potty in time, there would be an accident. I would apologize to them, because I believed they were doing their best and that I was the one that was slow. Both my daughter and my son were trained and totally out of diapers by the age of two, even during night time. I believe it had everything to do with the way the Lord allowed me to think about it.
I believed the best and I hoped for the best and I looked for the best and we all rejoiced together.

November 17, 2009 at 11:33 AM  
Blogger strokeofliving said...


I too am living the post. I always had favor in the workplace and now day 300 and 70 something and no offers or prospects in sight. I'm like, " Hey God, what's up?" Over one year of unemployment? I don't see the light but I know there is one. Sometimes I feel unworthy about the praise I get on my blog because if people only knew how I white knuckle it everyday, the'd say where is the evidence of God? The lender, being above, blessed and highly favored. If only...

I read this post the other day. Love(d) it!

November 17, 2009 at 11:41 AM  
Blogger 3 Blessings said...

I love this...I too can find a God connection with just about everything lately and I am pretty sure that is how it is suppose to be :)

My second child was poo poo trained at 18months because he hated how it felt in his diaper and would go take care of that on the potty, however he would pee pee in his diaper all day long. So, it is the opposite of what you have, but truthfully, I was fine with changing pee pee diapers and I did not pressure him at all to go potty. One day, he just decided he was done with diapers and that was the end of it. Now that Ryann is about to be 12 months, I am hoping she will be pp trained at 18 months too, but something tells me that is not happening :)

LOVED this post Alisa.

November 17, 2009 at 12:58 PM  
Anonymous Laurel@FromMyHeartToYours said...

Alisa, you know what the great thing is about fellowship?! Sometimes the way we are quietly looking at things in our own lives, are totally swept out from under our feet when others look from the outside! I love the way you look at what your friend is going through.

Sometimes, being in Boonsville, I lament the fact that I can't get to church more than a few times a year (I just posted about this on my blog) but a friend pointed out to me today she thinks I'm doubly blessed because I don't take for granted that church will be my primary INfilling and I am forced to FEED myself through study and longing just to be with Him. I hadn't thought of it that way.

What a beautiful picture - even in potty training! Oh, and I've got a tip about getting them to go poo poo in the potty, I'll email it to you ;)

Hugs from Canada

November 17, 2009 at 2:48 PM  
Blogger Denise said...

I love this lesson, bless you.

November 17, 2009 at 3:11 PM  
Blogger T. J. Knowlton said...

I just realized that I have acted like I was potty training in many areas of my life. Thanks for this lesson, Alisa. I would have never come to that conclusion on my own. Love it!

November 17, 2009 at 4:12 PM  
Blogger Karen said...

What an original analogy...yes, I believe God uses every area of our lives to speak to us and teach us what He wants us to learn....

November 17, 2009 at 6:56 PM  
Anonymous Debbie said...

SO good. I have never had the potty training miracle either, and my 28 month old has little interest in it... And she's a girl! Slow progress. Very much like my life... I love your story - your tips - your attitude - and your metaphor. God is good, isn't He? GOOD stuff here - layers and layers of it. Thank you

November 18, 2009 at 7:12 AM  
Blogger Triumphant Victorious Reminders Copyright © 2009 said...

so awesome!!! You are such a gifted writer Alisa! i love how the analogy..and I so agree with you.."He doesn't 'waste'a good metaphor...."
I love it!
Thank you for sharing your gift of creativity from the Lord!

November 19, 2009 at 11:51 AM  

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