Friday, May 24, 2013

and the Champion is...

For the next 2 weeks we will be traveling as a family 1st to Las Vegas to celebrate my husband’s parents’ 40th wedding anniversary, and then to Missouri to be with my family for “Nanny Camp!” 

We have spent the last few days working hard to get everything ready for our big trip.  The kids had new sun glasses that they had paid for with their own money.  They were all very proud of them, and they all knew how good they looked with them on too… yep they’ve been struttin’ their stuff all day.  Jordan (Jo Jo) could hardly even speak when he had his on because he felt so cool, and Tyson is always a ham.

I found a special cloth that is used to clean sun glasses and decided that since they were all obsessed with their new glasses, I would give this cloth as a surprise gift to the champion worker of the day.  I had an idea who I thought the champion would be, but I decided to leave the decision up to my children.  I told them they would each have one vote.   I didn’t want any of them to feel bad knowing who voted for them, so I had them quietly whisper in my ear who they thought was the hardest worker.  The only rules were that they couldn’t vote for Mommy or Daddy, themselves, or the babies. 

Jordan’s vote was the first...

He leaned in and said, “Not me!”

I burst out with laughter because he had gotten into trouble a few times for not staying on task.  In all honesty I thought he was right- which is probably why I laughed so hard.  I told him to re-vote. 

Each child quietly cast their vote.  My mouth dropped open as the votes continued…

I made the announcement of the champion…

The championship of the hardest worker came to an exact tie- each child received exactly one vote from a different child.

My initial reaction was complete shock.  In my mind, it was obvious who was working the hardest; but as I considered the children’s votes, my mind was opened to the real truth of the matter.

They DID all work just as hard as each other- especially for their ages!  I realized that my perspective had been skewed by my expectations.  I had been focusing so much on the many things that WEREN’T getting done... concentrating on the moments when Tyson and Jordan decided to Karate chop each other or when Mariah and Juliana decided to dance around the family room while their bowls of Raisin Bran rained through the air.  With each lost minute, I was noticing the successes of the day less and less...

Amidst the chaotic moments,
Laundry was finished;
Dishes were done;
Floors were swept and mopped;
Rooms were cleaned;
Babies were being cared for and played with by one of their siblings almost the entire time;
Bags were packed, and everyone had eaten and showered.

Abe and I couldn’t have done it all in the allotted time without each of their contributions.

I believe that God planted it in my children’s hearts to teach me and remind me that they were ALL CHAMPIONS in the grueling packing process.  The fact that my children voted for each other touched my heart, but there was something else that touched my heart even deeper. 

It was God’s miraculous way of teaching me…

I had been praying intensely for the last two days to be able to focus on and accentuate only the positive things my children were doing.  In the stress of packing, I was failing miserably at only noticing the good things. 

My heart is deeply touched knowing that Jesus did not chastise or criticize me for failing in my goals.  My Savior, Jesus Christ, taught me how to achieve my goal in such a sweet and gentle way.  HE does everything perfectly, but HE does not look down on me for not having the capability of being perfect like HIM.  My Savior’s perfect love for me is humbling and inspiring.  I’m grateful for my miraculous moment of realization given to me as a gift of encouragement.  As I hold my perspective nearer to Christ’s, I am able to see the championships of each small moment and each small child… even I am a champion  for trying again tomorrow to be more like HIM.