Lessons from a toddler
Have you ever been caught off guard and discovered that someone was either hurt, influenced, or inspired by something you did or said? God certainly has a way of revealing lessons in the most subtle way.
I just got back to Florida after spending a few days in Minnesota. I went from 89 degree weather here to the 40’s up north. Let me tell you what – it was like a breath of fresh air!
Loved everything about the cool, crisp air. Thankful I got to experience fall and see the change of color in the leaves. I even got to see Minnesota’s first snowfall when I woke up on Sunday morning. It was like I was sitting inside of a snow globe. Beautiful.
The best part of my visit, however, was spending time with my son and granddaughter.
Let me tell you a little about her.
She is two, energetic, inquisitive, fearless, determined, sweet, loving, and fun. Seeing the world through her eyes – what is important and what is not, and witnessing her excitement over the smallest things was the best. thing. ever.
Like all grandmothers do, I took a lot of pictures. Here’s three of my favorites.
I tried my best to capture special moments, but found that you just can’t take a pic of everything you want to remember.
There were two instances when I so wished I had the moments captured by a picture or video because of how priceless they were. I’m pretty sure I’ll never forget them, though, because…. they were that good. You know, those moments that make you feel so good on the inside.
First moment: I needed to shave my legs. (T.M.I.? Ha.) I pulled up my sweatpants above my knees and propped up my leg onto the bathroom sink. When I shook the shaving cream and gave it the first squirt onto my leg , my granddaughter immediately stopped looking at her coloring book. She stood up and was mesmerized with what was going on. I loved when she said “Whoa!” as I spread the shaving cream to cover the bottom part of my leg. I watched her from the corner of my eye as she looked down at her pants and managed to pull them up above her knees to look like mine. She stood there as if she were waiting in line to get hers done next.
Naturally, I had to put shaving cream on her legs, too. I used a Kleenex as my razor and ‘shaved’ the front of her legs. I don’t think I’ve ever seen her stay so still. She didn’t take her eyes off of her legs until I was done.
Second moment: I had a phone call from a friend. My granddaughter headed for her bedroom when I was on the phone, so I followed her and sat down on a chair. Within minutes she climbed up next to me, holding a play phone up to her ear. What was priceless was her expression and how she would repeat certain words or phrases that she heard me say, like – “Oh my goodness!” or “Uh huh” – then we would both grin.
Here’s the thing…. You never know how your actions or words are going to influence someone else. I wasn’t even trying to get my granddaughter’s attention. I wasn’t planning on teaching her how to shave her legs. I didn’t even think she would be interested! Not that I was bothered, I was just surprised that she was interested in what I was doing – especially when she was holding her favorite coloring/sticker book.
And what about how we speak to others… I mean, what if I had been in a heated discussion with someone on the phone and had said things that I wouldn’t want her to learn or repeat. What if my tone would’ve frightened her or made her sad. Not that I typically use words that shouldn’t be repeated, but what if….
My point is, our actions and words do make a difference. All of them.
What a good reminder that we need to pay close attention to our words, our actions, and our reactions. You never know who might be watching you or listening to the words you speak.
And if you think no one cares how you live your life, or that no one listens to you, think again…
“Lord, you have examined me and know all about me. You know when I sit down and when I get up. You know my thoughts before I think them. You know where I go and where I lie down. You know everything I do. Lord, even before I say a word, you already know it. You are all around me – in front and in back – and have put your hand on me. Your knowledge is amazing to me; it is more than I can understand.” Psalm 139:1-6
“May these words of my mouth and this meditation of my heart be pleasing in your sight, LORD, my Rock and my Redeemer.” Psalm 19:14