Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Helping in the Kitchen

Having three kids close in age has made for a pretty intense seven years. Just four years ago, David still had a paci, Sean was still in pull ups and drinking from a bottle and Ruby was nursing and in diapers. 

About the time we out-grow a phase with one child it seems to manifest itself in the next child. Yesterday,  for the first time in a while,  I had to dust off the old, "I don't understand whiney talk" act and use it on Ruby. 

When Chad and I decided to have children closely spaced, each one about  20 months apart, we talked about how much fun it would be when they were older. We had visions of extended sailing expeditions and fun weekend adventures. Those hopes are still alive and kindled each day as we see the kids maturing and becoming more self sufficient.

Today I was inspired by a little sign of growth. 
We had done after school snacks, folded a load of laundry while David read his library book to Sean, signed off on homework; then it was time to start dinner. 

The boys took off on their bikes. 
Ruby came to me in the kitchen, put her hand on her hip and said, "Okay Mom, what can I do to HELP you?" 

Usually, while cooking I'm hurried and distracted giving only one word responses to kid questions and requests for snacks.  This time Ruby  had  my attention. 

With tears in my eyes looking down at my new little helper I picked her up off the ground to give her a big hug. "would you like to set the table?" I asked. She said, "Well, sure!" and proceeded to put the paper plates, napkins and forks on the table in every configuration. It was a beautiful mess, and it reminded me how I learned to serve in the kitchen by my mother's side. 

Is there any better sign of maturity than to become a helper? It means we are able to take our minds off our self for a moment and think about another person. 

 When I feel overwhelmed, my prayers become all about "asking" and at times even begging.  While God is always patient and loving with me, I wonder how much He must long for me to come  before His throne and ask "where can I be your hands and feet today? Who can I encourage for you today? Put me to work building your Kingdom Lord!"

God your child is listening, let me be a part of the work you are doing today. 

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