the little things

living one day at a time, one moment at a time.

what a powerful truth.

every moment is a gift. an opportunity to glorify God in some way. an opportunity for Him to romance us in some way…and always by surprise.

i get busy. i get distracted. i get impatient, depressed, frustrated. I sometimes focus too much on the past, or am blinded by my vision of the future. i worry about what people think. i’m afraid of screwing up.

kids were good at reminding me about the little things. everything is so new to them. things i once overlooked, things i had tuned out, they brought back to my attention. from the growing process of a plant to the story of Christ’s death and resurrection. they always had a way to humble me with questions like, “what is a soul?” or  “how come Jesus died on the cross?” or the doozy “what is ‘God is love’?”

i know my time with them prepared for where i am now. even though i started a new job,  i still visit them.  i need the reminders. i listen as they go on and on about crazy things: like the lizard they almost caught or the sticker they got for being good or how so-and-so hit them with a toy shovel. i remember how easily they believed me when i told them that every streak of jet cloud in the sky was iron man and how a snake talked in a garden called Eden so long ago…

there’s a lot they don’t understand, but they have no problem believing. there’s so much they haven’t experienced, but that doesn’t stop them from living. they go on and play and cry and sing and fuss and grow, their minds enamored in their own little world. it was in moments i would catch their worlds expanding – when their eyes wide with wonder at some new truth…i loved to see them grow.

i had to adjust my way of thinking thanks to them. simplify it. pay attention to the details. be a source of love. i noticed the clouds in the sky, the sounds in the air, the way certain colors change when mixed with another. i had to be flexible and adapt to change. i had to remember that every moment was an opportunity to teach them, and to learn something myself.

things are different now. i have to open my office window so i can hear them scream and cry and laugh and play while i do my “grown-up” stuff. i love them so much.

we’re supposed to be child-like. it’s a command of God. and as i look back, i’ve realized that they were some of the best spiritual teachers i’ve ever had.


if a preschooler asked you those questions, how would you answer them?

things kids have taught me

i’ve worked with kids for about 7 years now. infants, school age, and everything in between. my favorite group has been the preschoolers, and i’ve hung out with them for the past year and a half. i’ve learned a great deal from my experience as a preschool teacher. the kids are so open, so eager to learn, and i was responsible for educating them (…which is a scary thought).

they’ve turned out alright, though. i’ve learned more from them than they from me, i think: about myself, about God, about life. i was offered a new position within the ministry i work for, and will be leaving the little people to work with the grown-ups (…another scary thought). so i’ve compiled a bit of a list of things that i’ve taken from my experience watching other people’s kids. it’s incomplete, i’m sure, but in so many ways they have been a blessing to me.

so without further adieu, here’s what kids have taught me:

  • nothing EVER goes as planned, and that’s OK
  • [to all the people that have said, “oh! you must have so much patience to be working with children! i could never do that!”]  it’s not about having patience so much as it is about having restraint
  • everything is breakable. EVERYTHING. even things that say they aren’t.
  • i can overcome my fears for the sake of a child
  • bleach is AH-MAY-ZING
  • you have a better chance of them listening to you if you sing it rather than say it
  • yelling to get a point across is never effective
  • i’m so never gonna be ready to be a mom
  • kids have the ability to bring out the worst in me one minute…
  • …and make my heart bleed the next
  • sometimes, you just gotta let them cry it out
  • God is love
  • Toy Story is timeless
  • your lap becomes fair game as soon as you are in a sitting position
  • don’t misjudge them. they’re smarter than you think…
  • transition and change is hard for little people…but mostly for me
  • “if you like to talk to tomatoes, if a squash can make you smile, if you like to waltz with potatoes up and down the produce aisllleee…”
  • kids are tactless
  • enjoy the little things
  • hands are for helping, not for hurting
  • i have mastered the gag reflex…
  • i am NOT perfect…
  • …and neither are they
  • it’s ok to be messy every now and then. and loud.
  • kids believe whatever you tell them
  • don’t micromanage.
  • TRUTH: “monkey see, monkey do.”
  • keep it simple
  • moms don’t get enough credit
  • telling them something once, twice and upwards to a million times is never enough…
  • we are so much like children…it’s a command for us to be: like it says here, here and here. (i suppose that’s why i thought it’d be important to take notes from them…)


what can you add to the list?