I have found another #MomHack, at least for girls, and I gotta say, it's really quite brilliant. The menfolk are at a conference this weekend, and I have tapped into something absolutely wonderful for this girls weekend with my 10 year-old and 7 year-old.
You see, my daughters are really into little things. Whether it's colorful scraps of paper, teeny boxes, bits of ribbon, you name it--if it's small, they love it!
So when I found a collection of 100 tiny resin animals I knew I had discovered something special. Today, when I asked for help with a project and the girls responded cheerfully, I gave them each a couple of little trinket babies. Little farm animals, ladybugs, pink duckies, a couple of hedgehogs; just a hodgepodge assortment of random critters.
Oh, you should have seen their faces! They were SO excited, and immediately put them into the little cardboard house they had been creating for the four million other little critters they had somehow collected or crafted over the last several months. The little things are cute, sure, and cost me only pennies. Yet the value my girls put on these tiny darlings is akin to a priceless treasure.
Each time the girls were able to help with a project, or I noticed them being kind or looking out for each other I would hand them a trinket baby from the secret stash hidden away in my pockets. They are usually great at helping when I ask for it, but there was a new level of willingness, knowing that they might be awarded a trinket baby after their bit of service. Next thing you know, they are coming back, over and over, to ask my favorite question in the entire world: "How can I help?"
As I responded with joy and gifts to each of the ways they were responding kindly to each other, being helpful to me, or doing hard things with a cheerful heart, they were prompted even more so to continue in actions that were helpful and kind.
And then my heart was reminded of the many times I have been quick to correct, without noticing the opportunities to praise. So many moments I could have rejoiced in my children's kindness or care, yet I did not acknowledge it, simply because that's what they SHOULD be doing anyway. Yet how often do I, as wife and mama, wish someone would look into the things I am doing and tell me I'm doing a good job, or let me know they appreciate me?
So then, here is my resolution, and may Jesus bring this often to mind: I will celebrate the right and the good and the beautiful in my children, simply because it is right and good and beautiful, and I must remember to allow grace-filled correction to hold hands with acknowledged praise in the little things, just as in the great achievements.
If I am to represent Jesus to my children I must remember that our greatest praise is to hear our God say, "Well done, my good and faithful servant." Oh, that I would remember to showcase Him often by noticing and celebrating my own children by saying, "Well done, my treasured, precious child."
I've put a few trinket babies in my apron pockets, so that I'll always have them available to remind me of how valuable the little things are, and how important it is to notice the little joys and triumphs. And I'll have them on hand to add that tangible touch to a comment of appreciation when I notice my girls walking in grace.
How do YOU treasure the little things, and remember to celebrate your children (or other loved ones in your life) when they uphold your family values and represent Jesus well?