Lessons From a 4-Year-Old
My children never cease to amaze me … and I’m not just talking about how gigantic their messes can be! I learn something new from them every single day, something that typically deepens my understanding of God and His purposes.
I am convinced that my 4-year old lives his life as Romans 12:15 admonishes us to live. We have been in the midst of potty training our youngest son. Caleb (4) has been a huge help as he encourages and reminds his little brother Noah (2) to go potty. One would think that this sweet child of ours had just won a trip to Disney World with the amount of celebrating that goes on after his brother’s successful potty experience. He screams, he shouts … he makes every potty success a grand celebration!
In these moments, our youngest child beams with pride as he is showered with affection and cheering. My husband and I have joked that our 4-year old has potty-trained his brother … talk about rejoicing with those who rejoice!!!
This exuberant child of ours also has a very tender heart. He knows how to mourn with those who mourn. He prays daily for his great grandparents, orphans in Zambia and sick children in Zimbabwe. He still to this day prays for people in Joplin, Missouri, who lost their houses in the tornado in May 2011 and also for our elderly neighbor who fell and cut her head open almost a year ago (and has been healthy ever since). He often reminds us when we forget to pray for someone in need. When his little brother is hurt or crying, he will frequently (although not always, especially if he had something to do with the reason his brother is crying), rub his back while gently saying, “Cool down” (which he boldly professes helps his brother feel better). 🙂
Just last night as I was putting him to bed, Caleb asked me, “Will you show me how to love others, Mommy?” And as much as I wanted to tell him that I indeed would, the first thing that came to my mind was that this child of mine is showing me how to love others.
And lest you think I’m bragging, I am very well aware of all of my children’s many imperfections (because they inherited every single one from ME). Just when I start to dwell on how wonderful they are, God will gently humble us all by reminding me of their childishness … and my lack of patience. While hearing one sibling call his brother “poopy head,” I’ll look over to see the other run directly to the soda fountain in a restaurant and attempt to drink soda directly from the stream … with no cup in sight. These sweet lessons are farthest from my mind in moments such as these!
I could dwell on the exhaustion of raising two high-energy boys (which I often do) or complain about how my house seems to never stay clean (which I frequently do as well) … but today I am relishing in the lessons my 4-year old has taught me. And at times like this, I wonder if this is exactly what Jesus meant when he said that, “The kingdom of Heaven belongs to such as these.”