The Moments That Take My Breath Away

In the middle of all the fun and learning and the life lessons and temper-tantrums, there are these moments in motherhood that take my breath away. The moments when you see the pure innocence of a child aligning perfectly with the full potential of who God has made them to be.

Not too long ago my little one wanted to go out and play in the backyard. She's old enough now and follows the rules enough {usually} that I can let her go out to the backyard playground alone for short times. I usually keep the door cracked open so I can hear her and check on her every once in a while. She had been swinging and playing happily for a while and I was going to go join her for an afternoon in the sun. When I went outside I found her perched in a tree, just sitting and watching the world. Now, for anyone who knows my child, you will know just how unusual it is for her to be still or quiet for any length of time. So naturally, I was curious as to what had caught her attention so much so I asked her what she was looking at. With the all the sweet innocence of a precious child, she simply said "oh I was just looking around at the butterflies dancing and all the pretty trees. God did a pretty good job making all this stuff in the world. Didn't He mommy?" Yes, baby... He did good.

Her simple statement made me stop in my tracks and take pause from my list of busy household chores for the day and look around to see what she saw. It made me stop my "mothering" long enough to really see my child in all her beauty and reflection of her Creator. How often do we pause long enough to see the beauty in the world around us? How often do we stop to look at the dancing butterflies and beautiful trees and think of just how amazing our Creator is?

It is in moments like these when the innocence of a child aligns perfectly with the full potential of who God made them to be.

She is normally a rambunctious nearly four year old who has an energy that never runs out, asks a million questions in a day, has to be told 100 times to do something that she would rather not do at the moment, loves school, adores her friends and is just overall a pretty great kid. She gets sent to her room for bad attitudes and is learning that bad choices result in missing out on some fun we would have otherwise had. But, in the middle of all her normal kid-ness, she has those moments that teach me so much and make me stop and wonder just who she is going to grow up to be with her heart of gold.

I knew this Friday morning start to the day was going to be difficult. She's been fighting off the tail end of strep and it's the end of a long but fun week at school. As I began to wake her up, she barely cracked one eye open, covered her head with the sheet and said "Mom, please leave me alone. Come back in 10 mins." {Seriously, start praying for us now for her teenage years.} So today seemed the perfect day for a little special and rare treat. {This can also be known as bribery, which is a very powerful tool in parenting if used very sporadically and strategically. But we like to call it "special treats" as to sound like better parents.} "Sweetie, you've had a great week this week so if you can get up and get dressed with a good attitude, we'll have time to go to your favorite doughnut place for breakfast!" Well, as you can imagine it worked like a charm and she was up and dressed with near super hero speed.

As we started to get into the car to head to breakfast, she ran back in the house saying she had forgotten something and came back out with a handful coins. Nine cents to be exact. As I strapped her into her car seat, she proudly proclaimed that she wanted to be a community helper and buy my breakfast today. Well, okay then!

As we walked into our local doughnut shop, she walked with head held high right up to the counter and ordered. "I would like this chocolate milk and Christmas sprinkle doughnut. My mommy would like a medium mocha latte with skinny milk and I don't know what she wants to eat." {I may have an addiction with mocha lattes, but we'll save that discussion for another day.} After I ordered my food and confirmed my drink choice, she thrust her little tiny hand towards the cashier, full of her nine cents and said "I would like to buy this breakfast please." The cashier sweetly took her change and told her thank you and then waited for me to pay the remainder after she had run off to choose our table. She enjoyed every single bite of her doughnut and kept asking if I liked the breakfast she had bought for me. At the end of the meal she looked at me with the sweetest smile and said "Mommy, I like being a community helper. It makes my heart happy to do nice things for people."

Isn't that just how our Heavenly Father looks at us too? When our hearts are in the right place, prepared to serve and honor Him, we may only have pennies to offer Him, but it makes Him so proud. He, with His infinite resources and abounding love, makes up the difference where we fall short. He sent His son to pay our balance that we would never be able to pay. But when we offer what little we have with confidence and a pure heart, He is honored and adored. And yes, it does make our hearts happy when we do nice things.

There are these moments in motherhood that take my breath away. These little moments in the day that are such big, big moments. These are the moments I pray the big mean world doesn't squelch the heart and innocence of this little one. It's in these moments when I pause, with a happy heart, and realize just how much our Heavenly Father loves us. Thank you, sweet girl, for teaching me oh so much...