It will happen on a pretty regular basis. Our kids will accomplish something along these lines:
– pulling up their pants all by themselves.
– being able to throw 3 scarves up in the air, so that they all “explode” in colors on the way down.
– climbing to the top of…well…anything. A couch, a chair, a table, a bed, or an inflatable toy. 🙂
At the moment of completion, they begin to yell as they announce their accomplishment to the world. It usually happens when we’re involved in one task or another, and so the announcement also comes as a plea for attention: Daaaaad!!? Daa-aadddd-eeeeee??!! Daaayaaaddddeeeeee!!!!?? Loooook Daaaaddd!!?
It doesn’t take much usually, although we parents like to give more than a smile or a nod. We love to help them celebrate their accomplishment, grab them into the air and twirl around with giant smiles on both our faces! After all, they actually did it!!!
We know that if it didn’t mean much to them, the moment would have just passed. And I’m with Dr. Leman, we’re not simply to congratulate and celebrate every false accomplishment so our kids think they’re “winners” at everything. But that’s in regard to figuring out the talents and gifts of children as they age. My daughter isn’t at risk of thinking she can go on to become a scarve-throwing artist for the rest of her life…(although I’m sure the Cirque Du Soleil people get paid fairly well).
But it did matter. Their eyes looked up from the task at hand, searching for affirmation and love. Yearning to be celebrated. We give it to them, because we’re their parents and it’s not simply our “job”, but it is the rhythm of our hearts. When our hearts beat with this rhythm, we share the heartbeat of God. One of my wife’s favorite verses continues to grow on me:
“The LORD your God is with you, he is mighty to save. He will take great delight in you, he will quiet you with his love, he will rejoice over you with singing.” Zephaniah 3:17
God takes delight in us, even in the things that are not what the world would consider incredible accomplishments. Even in the things the “church” may not consider an incredible accomplishment. That tiny bit of love offered to a stranger. That small act of repentance, turning away from yourself and toward Him/others. That sacrificial act that passed in the blink of an eye, and you’re not sure if anyone saw it….or if it counted for much. We look with yearning eyes to our Father, and He comes to lift us up with Joy pouring out of His expression. As He twirls us around in the air, He reaffirms His love for us, and reminds us that in moments like these – the Kingdom is breaking through. We are encouraged to continue living a life full of these seemingly “tiny things” that are actually kind of a big deal….