My sister laughed recently when I referred to my strong-willed R as 'passionate.' I suppose it is putting it mildly. My boy does everything with intensity. Honestly, it can lead to an exhausted Mama some days.
His fabulous Kindergarten teacher modeled a precious perspective/attitude regarding the strengths and weaknesses of children. She was gifted at reminding parents God could use the very things that challenge our children now as great strengths in the future. I believe that R's passion and intensity (which frequently create stumbling blocks for him at 8) can be molded and shaped into gifts to the world as he matures.
To that end, my friend Beth reminds me frequently to keep focusing on my children's hearts and the rest will follow suit. Some days it is hard to appreciate the full wisdom of that thought. My children's behavior, afterall, is on display for all the world to see, while their hearts are a different story. (And, yes, I KNOW pride is an issue for me. :-)
With all that being said, I got a needed kick in the pants this weekend from a tender encounter with my intense, tough guy.
Predictably, our Spend jars stay empty because money tends to burn holes in all three of my 8 year old's pockets. So, when R came to me and announced gleefully that he had found three quarters in his room and had 'a plan,' I waited to hear what he desired to purchase.
"I think since there are three, I should put one in each jar. This one that has an eagle on the back is so common," he continued, "I will put it in the Spend jar."
I was trying to figure out where he was going with all this, but before I could ask any questions he pushed his open palm toward me bearing the other two quarters, tails turned facing up. He scrunched his face seriously and added, "I need your help deciding which of these two that are left are the most rare and special because that's the one I want to put in give."
I was touched by his sweet sentiment. Then he looked at me with an expression that conveyed he had it all figured out, "Mom, I know that you always want to give away your very best and special things and not just keep 'em for yourself, right?"
To my knowledge, I have never actually preached that sermon. If anything, I felt completely convicted. I enjoy the opportunity to help folks who need it via time, talents or resources...but it is honestly usually from my overflow or my leftover, not from my best.
I was reminded in a precious way that God is at work in these little hearts--and He used my sweet son to show me what a truly generous heart looks like.
From the mouths of babes, indeed. I am humbled, challenged and grateful.