As has been mentioned on several occasions, my granddaughter, Lilli, is two years old. She’s inching closer to three, but she’s still a solid two, ‘two’ being the operative word. Her two’s have been pretty terrific thus far, but since I was here in January for the baby shower, there has been a BIG shift in her little attitude, and a very noticeable birth of defiance. The first true inkling (as far as I’m concerned) of the entrance of ‘terrible.’ I know some of it is the addition of Brody, and I had attributed some to her not feeling well, but she’s a lot better now health-wise, and well, she still is standing her ground pretty well for the things that she wants!

One of the things she does, that is and has been common to every two year-old in the history of the world, is the stamping of the foot and the pushing away of the adult hand as she says…

No! I do it! I do it by myself!

It really doesn’t matter what the task is, she wants to try it herself before she gets any help.

Think about this for a minute. Every person walking the earth was born with an innate desire for autonomy. We start, very early on, wanting to be independent, stand on our own two feet, take care of ourselves, and prove to one and all that we can do it without their help. This strikes me in a couple of ways.

First, what has happened to that desire in our world? Without going down a political rabbit trail, how do we have so many people dependent on others to take care of them when they are capable themselves? Certainly, there are those who legitimately need assistance, and I’m not taking away from that. We can and should give others a leg up in difficult times until they can get back on their feet. But the ones who never try to stand up and move forward, but just hang out there, forgetting their inborn need for independence is something else entirely. It baffles me because it’s not natural.

However, that independence trait is kind of a double-edged sword. I wonder if it is really a product of the ‘fall,’ only coming into play when Eve took the apple and she and Adam made a snack of it, because defiant independence doesn’t only make us good citizens. It also can separate us from God. The more we say “I do it by myself!” and push His hand away, the further we find ourselves from Him. We are supposed to be relying on God to get us through this life, not just on ourselves and our own abilities.

While He wants us to take responsibility for our actions and be functioning citizens, doing our part in caring for each other and our world, He still expects us to fall in line behind Him. He’s the leader, He’s the disciplinarian, and, thankfully, He’s the loving Father who is trying to help us steer clear of life’s pitfalls. Just like we’re trying to do for Lilli.

Now if she would just realize that…;)


“I depend on God alone; I put my hope in Him.” Psalm 62:5 GNT

“Thus says the Lord: “Cursed is the man who trusts in man and makes flesh his strength, whose heart turns away from the Lord. He is like a shrub in the desert, and shall not see any good come. He shall dwell in the parched places of the wilderness, in an uninhabited salt land. “Blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord, whose trust is the Lord. He is like a tree planted by water, that sends out its roots by the stream, and does not fear when heat comes, for its leaves remain green, and is not anxious in the year of drought, for it does not cease to bear fruit.”” Jeremiah 17:5-9 ESV