A purposeful change

*2006 post*

Yesterday morning we headed out the door to go somewhere. Like anytime we are headed anywhere, my arms were full. I had my purse, my keys, the diaper bag, and a bag full of produce from our garden to bring to a friend. I was also holding a piece of paper with directions. And I was bending down to hold onto my youngest son’s hand to help him down the stairs.

My four-year-old daughter turned to me and said, “Mommy, what can I help you carry? I can carry something for you.” I debated this for a millisecond and then said, “Okay, sweetie. How about if you carry Mommy’s purse?” She agreed, and took it from me. Then she pointed to the piece of paper in my hand and offered, “I can carry that for you, too.” And I handed that to her.

When we got to the street, she held her little brother’s hand to help him across. As they stood next to the van waiting for me to open the door, a truck passed and I noticed that she put her arm around her brother and tucked him nearer to the van. When she climbed into the van, she took the items she had carried for me and laid them carefully on the passenger’s seat, and then went and climbed into her own seat.

I was so touched by her actions.

Normally I would have said, “Thank you, honey. I am so proud of you for how you helped mommy, and for how you took care of your little brother as he crossed the street. You are such a sweet girl.”

Today I said, “Do you know what, sweetheart? Mommy can really see God at work in you. Because this is what I saw you do…” And I told her that I saw how she was honoring me by offering to help me. And that her honor for me was her obeying God’s Word, and that He delighted in her obedience. So I did, too. I pointed out a few other things I’d observed in her recently, and then said that nothing made me happier than to see her obeying God’s Word.

I purposefully didn’t say “I’m so proud of you” like I normally do because I’d read this post a few days ago. I’ve thought about it many times since I read it. You should read it, too. So, scoot. Go read it.

1 comment:

  1. Aug. 25, 2006 - Love this!
    Posted by queserasera
    That is so sweet! I will have to try to remember to use that form of praise for my children, it sounds like it would do lots better than just an "I'm proud of you."


    Aug. 25, 2006 - Untitled Comment
    Posted by kevmem
    I read the post you mentioned. It is so difficult NOT to be proud of our kids when they do good! I fight it constantly. The Lord has blessed me greatly with my daughters! It's a fine line between letting them know they did good and making sure they understand WHERE that ability to do something good came from. I REALLY want my kids to grow up putting the Lord first, not putting themselves first. Ah, it's a day to day struggle......


    Aug. 26, 2006 - Great Post!
    Posted by dawilli
    very sweet story, now I have to go read that link,
    have a good one,


    Aug. 27, 2006 - Excellent!
    Posted by AussieinAmerica
    I could have cried reading this. What a sweet little girl. I really like what you said to her.
    You are a good mommy.
    P.S. Would it be ok if I emailed you privately about some of my adoption concerns? If so you can email me from my blog. Thanks.


    Aug. 27, 2006 - Thank you.
    Posted by Michelle
    For another thoughtful post...I read this aloud to Chad...and we are both touched by it.


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