Tuesday, May 24, 2011

A Thankful Heart

I assume it’s just normal toddler behavior, but we have been battling Eli’s selfishness so much in the past few months. The word “MINE” became a big part of his vocabulary, and we have just gotten so sick of hearing it! We’ve been trying to teach him to have a thankful heart, to think of the person/people who work hard to provide him with what he needs and so much of what he wants, to remember that everything good is a special gift from God. And, dare I say it, we are starting to see glimmers of a truly grateful heart in him.

The other day I handed Eli a cup of orange juice, a totally normal occurrence. He took a sip and then handed it up to Eric, saying, “Taste this Daddy! It’s so GOOD! Taste it!” Eric took a sip and Eli said, “Good, right? Really good!” It cracked us up. But I love that he was so grateful for something as seemingly small as a glass of orange juice.

Yesterday he was playing in the big bathtub in my bathroom while I was getting ready, just climbing into it and out of it, having a good time. He said, “I LIKE this bathtub! Thank you, Mommy, for buying this bathtub for me!” Again, it was comical, but I am SO thankful to start to see him apply the lessons we’ve been trying to teach him for months now. When he enjoys something, he is learning to choose the right words to express himself… instead of claiming what he loves for himself by saying, “MINE,” he is learning to be grateful for something to enjoy and for the person who provides him with it.

This has been a big lesson for me, too, as I’ve been trying to teach Eli. It is all too often that I tightly close my fist around something I love or enjoy, essentially saying with my heart and attitude, “MINE.” I am trying to teach myself, as I teach my son, that everything good is a gift from the Lord. Instead of claiming what I have as my own and trying to protect it, I need to instead express my gratitude for each and every gift and willingly share it.

Being a parent is humbling work! I am thankful, though, for the sin that God is revealing to me in myself, as I try to parent my son well! Hopefully after 18 or so years of parenting we'll all have hearts that are a little more thankful and a little less selfish! :)