I shared this awhile ago on my personal family blog and I wanted to share it here too. It’s something that has been on my heart a lot lately.
The other day I found myself being the kind of parent I don’t want to be.
I was trying to do a million things all at the same time. Laundry was in the dryer, the dishwasher needed emptied, dinner was on the stove, I had a baby who wanted to be held, and a toddler who was trying to help. I was emptying the dishwasher and he was grabbing plates and forks and spilling cups that had flipped over and filled with water. He was getting underfoot and trying to hand me items when my hands were already full. He was not responding to my positive redirection and not listening when I asked him not to grab the knives. In frustration I turned to him and said, “Son, mommy does not need your help right now, please go find something else to do.”
Immediately I felt awful. Here I am praying everyday that my child will have a servant’s heart and here he is genuinely trying to help and I tell him to stop because he’s inconveniencing me?! Full of conviction I pulled a chair over to the silverware drawer, removed the knives and showed him how to match the spoons and forks. He got so excited and for several minutes he faithfully sorted spoons and forks for me while I emptied the rest of the dishwasher, juggled a baby, and tried to finish dinner. At the end I looked over and the silverware drawer was a disaster. He had put the spoons and forks where they needed to go, but then he took it upon himself to rearrange everything else within the drawer. I looked at the drawer and then looked over at him proudly smiling at his fine work. I realized that at the tender age of 2 years old, my child was already experiencing that certain joy that comes when you help another person out.
That tiny, seemingly insignificant moment in the kitchen has stuck with me. I need to slow down and be an intentional parent. I almost missed out on a chance to nurture my son’s heart and grow inside him a passion for serving others. Dinner will get on the table, as it does every night, but these dear, messy, two-year old moments won’t always be here.
So today I am thankful for a messy silverware drawer and a two-year old who finds joy in helping.
What are you thankful for today? What tiny moments has God used in your life to teach you a lesson? I would love to hear your answer in the comments!