May 21, 2016

Recognizing Small Accomplishments... Lessons From a Three Year Old

Our three year old is learning how to write her letters. Everyone knows that a kid learning their letters typically starts by learning their name. Well, her name starts with a J. Not the easiest letter ever to learn how to write… am I right? So today, she was sitting in our living room playing with a Magna Doodle. You know the toy? You use a magnetic pen to make doodles that can be erased with the slide of a magnetic erasing bar. She was sitting quietly with the doodling toy when all of a sudden she jumps up and YELLS… “I MADE A J!!!!!!!!!” And sure enough, there on the Magna Doodle was a perfectly written capital J. Celebrating ensued. She showed it to me… I validated that she had in fact written a (perfect) J…. she gleefully started skipping and dancing around the room… which then turned to jumping up and down in excitement… then she proudly ran to show daddy… high fives were doled out… she hugged her brother… it was a big deal! All because she had, for the first time ever, perfectly and without help, written the first letter of her name. And it got me thinking… when was the last time I celebrated a little accomplishment like that? Granted… to her it was a big accomplishment. But when was the last time that something as simple as a letter had me jumping up and down in excitement, proud of myself, wanting to shout to the world whatever it was that I had just conquered?

All too often it’s the opposite. I get down on myself for all of the things that I can’t do… all of the things that aren’t being done perfectly, or at least don’t look like the stunning photos I see in magazines or on Instagram. Because surely those people posting the perfect Instagram photos have it all together while I feel like I’m drowning in a sea of laundry, dirty dishes, and disrespectful kids, right?

WRONG!

You know what happened this week? Well for starters, all of my kids are still alive. They are healthy. They have all been fed… all week in fact. And one night it was off-brand macaroni and cheese out of a box but you know what? THAT’S OK! I can’t guarantee that at press time they have all been bathed… but tomorrow they will have clean clothes to put on after waking up in their warm beds. I’ve kissed them goodnight every night this week. Sometimes through clenched teeth… but somehow God shows us that mercies are new every morning and we get to start with a clean slate. Let’s see… what else? I moved the toddler bed into our youngest son’s room this week. He might be two years old and still have a pacifier, but at least we are finally moving him out of the crib. We’ve had dance parties to One Direction, we’ve popped popcorn and topped it with M&Ms (the only way to eat popcorn, in our opinion). We’ve played outside. We’ve spent time with our out of town cousins. We’ve sat with our family’s patriarch while he peacefully passed away this week. And the three year old… she learned to write that J! Sometimes the little things ARE the big things!

What little accomplishments are you celebrating this week? Whatever it is, I give you permission RIGHT NOW to jump up and down. Give high fives. Hug everyone in the room. Proudly exclaim what you’ve accomplished. Speak the truth out loud…

…You are a good mama doing good and important things. *high five*

written by VHS contributor// Becky Schenewark
www.rebekahofschenewarkfarm.blogspot.com