Have you ever wondered why Jesus said that you have to become like a small child to enter the kingdom of Heaven?
I am slowly starting to understand this verse in a new way. I am supposed to be teaching my daughter life lessons, but it seems that she has a few things figured out better than me! Here are 6 things she has taught me:
It is okay to be persistent and ask for what we want.
My little girl is PERSISTENT. She does NOT give up easily. She will say the word “color” 50 times while I am handling raw meat and asking her to wait. She does not stop until I have her on my lap with a crayon in my hand as she recites her colors. When she wants me to dance, it does not matter how tired I am. She keeps asking until I am off the couch and jumping around the living room as she throws her head back in delight. I give up on what I want after the first no. I feel guilty for asking for what I want. I am making a concerted effort to model to her that it is okay to be persistent and fight for what she wants in life.
No matter how hard we try, sometimes we do not get what we want in life.
I have to tell my daughter “no” sometimes, and that is okay. Last week there was thunder, lightning, and rain when she put her boots on and asked to ride her horse. She even brought my boots to me so I could get ready! She could not understand why I would not take her outside, even though I explained it to her. So many times I cannot understand why God does not give me what I want, but I am learning from my daughter that it is alright if I do not understand. He knows more than I do, and I can trust Him.
People who love me will value what I have to offer, even if it is not perfect.
My daughter brought this picture to me today and said “Bee-ful” (beautiful). She knew I would appreciate it because I love her and I love what she has to offer, even if she doesn’t stay in the lines. I love counting with her, even if she mixes up her numbers. When she picks flowers for me, she will sometimes bring me weeds. You know what though? I still have the first dandelion she brought to me tucked away in a treasured book. That common weed brings me joy every time I look at it. I will treasure her scribbles for years to come because she gave me her best. My best is not good enough for everyone, but who cares? My best makes God happy along with those who love me.
There is nothing wrong with feeling deeply.
My daughter feels things deeply. If she feels rejected or disappointed she can become overwhelmed by the flood of emotions, and that is okay. I am more concerned about what she does with those feelings, since that will be the true measure of her character. I want her to process the feelings and respond in a positive way. I feel rejection deeply, and it takes me a while to process it and move on to something positive. My daughter is learning that throwing herself on the floor, screaming, or hitting will not get her anywhere. With our help, she is beginning to find positive alternatives. After her disappointment with the storm, she asked if we could dance instead.
It is okay to do something just because I love it.
My daughter does not color to impress anyone. She colors because she enjoys it. She does not care that her lime green outfit does not match her “Farm-Raised” ball cap and black cowboy boots. She wears these things because they make her happy. She dances not to impress anyone, but because it brings her joy. She has never given thought to what her voice sounds like, but she sings because it makes her happy. I feel guilty if I do something for myself or ask someone to do a favor for me. She is helping me understand that there is nothing wrong with doing something just because I love it.
I should never doubt that God will meet my needs.
My daughter expects me to meet her needs. She just assumes that a meal will show up on her tray three times each day along with snacks and drinks in between. Last week we ran out of milk. She kept going back to the refrigerator and asking for “dulk,” not understanding why it was not there. We tried to explain that we had run out, but she could not seem to grasp this. She would not accept that we could not give her milk. My husband ended up taking her to the store to buy a gallon so she could understand that it does not magically appear in the fridge. My daughter never worries about me meeting her needs, so why do I worry? God has always taken care of my needs and I can expect Him to keep His promises.
This little flower is the first dandelion she ever thought to give to me. It reminds me of how much I love her, how fleeting childhood is, and how much more God must treasure what I offer to Him! What was once a weed is now a cherished keepsake simply because of the value and the love of the one who gave it!